What’s life really like nearly a year after starring in one of the biggest reality TV shows on the planet? We caught up with ex-Love Islander Montana to find out...
Pretty yet real, confident but vulnerable, Montana Brown stood out in the Love Island villa. She wasn’t the one who got the guy every time – she sometimes felt down, and had rows and the odd bad-hair day. She did things we all do (though with a much better bum), and when the 22-year-old turns up to our photoshoot bare-faced and casually dressed, apologising for being late – taxis and London traffic are no pals of early starts – she’s as smart and funny in person as she was on the show. But surely things must have changed a lot for her in the past year?
‘I’ve had a complete 360° with my life,’ she grins through a glam squad of stylists, makeup artists and manicurists on our shoot. ‘Before Love Island, I was at uni, living on my overdraft and in the library every day – and now I’m doing this!’
With 2.9 million of us tuning into last year’s Love Island and the show breaking all kinds of viewing records, it’d be easy for the contestants to come out starry and spoilt (and some of them have), but what’s kept Montana’s feet on the ground? ‘I’ve done loads of internships and runner jobs, and I appreciate how annoying it is having someone making you run out and do things like get them coffee, so I always treat people really well, whoever they are.’
It’s this attitude that has seen her quietly grow a successful media career, avoiding the easy option of starring in more reality shows. ‘The only other one I’d do is Strictly, as I’m a terrible dancer and I’d love to learn properly,’ she confesses. Instead, she’s focusing on presenting jobs with stints on This Morning, and now MTV. ‘Presenting on MTV has been the dream,’ she says through a huge smile. ‘It’s a small team, so I get to do stuff like writing my own script, and I’m learning loads.’
With rumours in the papers that she’s seeing everyone from a male model to The X Factor winner Matt Terry, will she give us any details about her private life? ‘I’m dating someone, yes,’ she says, confirming to us that it’s Elliott Reeder, who’s signed to W Models. ‘We’re taking it step by step, but he’s lovely and I’m very happy. Me and Matt get on like a house on fire, but we’re just friends.’
Elliott posted a pic of the two of them on Instagram back in December, but she’s only just beginning to talk about him now. Was it a deliberate move to keep quiet about her fledgling relationship? ‘We’ve only been together, together for a little while.
I like to keep things private at the start in case it doesn’t lead to anything, but I’m not against showing who I’m with. I think I signed up to this life, where people are going to want to know about my private life, so I owe it to be honest and say yeah, I’ve got a boyfriend and I’m happy.’
Will the pair be cosying up and watching the new series together? ‘I’m definitely going to be watching! I love it so much, I watched the two series before I went in, and I think this year is going to be even bigger than ours.’ She also explains what she would do if it was up to her to pick the new contestants. ‘You need people who are going to cause a bit of trouble, you need a few rows, and I think they should get a variety of shapes and sizes, like with Jess our year, who was curvy and went down an absolute storm, just to show that it’s not only size 8 bodies that are beautiful.’