Love Island host Maya Jama reveals she was broke and lived off £1 chicken dinners when she moved to London as a teenager to start her career
Love Island host Maya Jama said that she lived off £1 chicken dinners when she was ‘broke’ and first moved to London to carve out her career.
The TV presenter, 28, told how she ‘hustled’ and used to pretend she had lost her Oyster card in order to get to work without paying.
Maya described the lengths she went to in order to make it in the entertainment business, juggling a job as a shop assistant and a showrunner.
Hustling: Love Island host Maya Jama said that she lived off £1 chicken dinners when she was ‘broke’ and first moved to London to carve out her career
Maya, who moved age 16, discussed the topic after landing in South Africa ahead of her new hosting job on the ITV reality dating show ahead of its winter series.
She explained: ‘I was broke, pretending I’d lost my Oyster card every day so I could get to work. Hustling my little way around London, having £1 chicken-shop meals every day.
‘But I was happy. I was working and I was living in London, I felt like I was getting somewhere. I’d just work as much as I could.
Past life: The TV presenter, 28, told how she ‘hustled’ and used to pretend she had lost her Oyster card in order to get to work without paying
Maya, who was eventually offered a role as a presenter with Jump Off TV, said: ‘I was fearless. I think it’s the background I come from.’
The former BBC radio 1 presenter is slipping into the role after former host Laura Whitmore, 37, quit the show citing scheduling conflicts.
It was recently rumoured that Maya had rekindled her romance with her ex-boyfriend and rapper Stormzy, but during the interview she insisted she’s ‘really, really single’.
She opened up on her previous relationship with the rapper, saying they were very young at the time.
Rise to fame: Maya described the lengths she went to in order to make it in the entertainment business, juggling a job as a shop assistant and a showrunner
Speaking to The Times, she explained: ”We were so young when we met, just beginning our careers. I was starting at MTV. He’d not even released a single at that point. We were just little babies.’
Maya continued to add that the couple didn’t put any pressure on themselves at the beginning.
She recalled: ‘I don’t think either of us knew it was going to be such a big thing. We were just: we’re young and in love and we’re going to go for it and work really hard. We’re just together. We never really did red carpets. We didn’t do any of that stuff.’
Maya and ex Stormzy after were reported to have rekindled their romance recently, with a source saying: ‘Stormzy and Maya are together again.
‘Little babies’: She opened up on her previous relationship with the rapper, saying they were very young at the time
‘They’re taking it slow but are very much back in each other’s lives after a long time when they didn’t speak or see each other.’
The celebrity duo both attended the GQ Men of the Year event in London last year and an insider claimed that they left minutes apart at 2am.
The source told The Sun: ‘They spent loads of time together at the afterparty and were chatting in a corner for ages.
‘It seemed as though they went somewhere else together afterwards because she walked out and then he followed her out five minutes later.’
No expectations: Maya, who is set to replace Laura Whitmore as the new host of Love Island, continued to add that the couple didn’t put any pressure on themselves at the beginning
But a representative for Maya told MailOnline that the star is very much single and she ‘remains great friends’ with her ex, who she has been spotted with a number of times in recent weeks.
Maya doubled down in the interview, saying: ‘I’m really, really single right now. Newly single. It’s only been a month.. but it’s nice.’
It comes after Stormzy previously admitted that he blames himself for his split from Maya.
Despite this, the chart-topping rap star believes that the experience actually helped him to ‘grow up’.
In an episode of the BBC’s Louis Theroux Interviews, the Vossi Bop hitmaker said: ‘My break-up, that was probably the biggest catalyst for growth as a man.
‘It was like, OK, you made a mistake and you lose someone you loved, someone you cared for, someone who is special to you.
‘That’s probably the biggest loss a man can have, isn’t it? Away from someone passing away, that’s the biggest loss you can have.’
Insistent: Maya doubled down in the interview, saying: ‘I’m really, really single right now. Newly single. It’s only been a month.. but it’s nice’
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