It's been six whole years since Chris Hughes was catapulted to fame on the third series of ITV2's Love Island, cracking viewers up as he found love and friendship inside the famous villa.
While he did leave with ex-girlfriend Olivia Attwood on his arm, it was his friendship with barber Kem Cetinay which drew viewers in. But chatting to OK! recently, Chris has admitted that it's not so easy to stay in touch with his fellow former islanders.
"I speak to Kem every now and then, and Montana [Brown], she has obviously just had a baby so I've chatted to her. Love Island is a bit like leaving school, a lot of you just go your own way and you don't speak to certain people that often, but it's nice to stay in touch," says Chris.
Taking part in the dating show during it's early days, the fame that Chris and his co-stars were in for after the show wasn't known the them beforehand. But the former reality star admits that that isn't always the case these days.
He told us, "The beauty of Love Island when I was on it was that we didn't think it would lead us into anything, It was all very raw and quite natural.
"People know that it can give you a huge platform now, whereas we didn't. Some people go in there and they are genuine, but it'd be silly to say that people don't know what the show offers."
While it was a stepping stone into a much bigger career for Chris, who now spends most of his time hosting in the sporting world, Love Island isn't something he's looking to redo anytime soon.
"I've done Love Island, when I've done an experience I wouldn't want to do it again," says Chris. Adding, "It just tarnishes it. I don't feel like the experience would do anything for me now since I've been there."
Chris is living his dream job now, often hosting ITV's coverage of horse racing, a sport he has been passionate about since childhood.
"I love the races, I've always grown up with horses. Growing up where I did, in the Cotswolds, we all just grew up around them. What I get from horses, people get from dogs. If horses were a household pet, I'd have one in my house."
His love for the animals has managed to transcend into a career, with Chris also working as an ambassador for National Racehorse Week, which is currently taking place until September 17.
The annual occasion is a chance for the public to see the love, care, and attention going into horse racing, something which Chris, who often fights the sport's corner, is keen to clear up the reputation of.
He says, "I know horses and racing yards like the back of my hand, It's frustrating when people say that they aren't looked after but don't haven't actually taken the time to check it out for themselves. I want to showcase how cared for the horses are and how dedicated everyone is."
“Chris Hughes is an ambassador for National Racehorse Week, taking place from 9th to 17th September. To find out more, visit nationalracehorseweek.uk”
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