Heat (UK)


Essex newbie Junaid Ahmed has a gossip with heat about fame, dating, and family…


To say he’s made a splash on TOWIE since joining the much-loved show for its 30th series would be the reality TV understate­ment of the year. Always bringing the drama, Junaid Ahmed is here to lift the lid on his new-found fame, a boyband legend who’s caught his eye (and, seemingly, vice versa), as well as a reunion with his estranged family… “I absolutely love TOWIE,” the 26-yearold newcomer gushes. “I feel like I am the show’s Christine Quinn. You either love me or hate me.” Junaid has been at the heart of the drama from the moment the ITVBE show returned to our screens in August, having feuded with ex-pal Amber Turner and best friends Chloe Meadows and Courtney Green. “[TOWIE bosses] wanted me to inject the drama, the glamour and the fun, and that’s definitely what I have done,” he says, adding, “TOWIE can’t cover seven years of friendship prior to this. Viewers think, ‘Oh, he is starting for no reason’, or ‘He is jumping from friendship group to friendship group’, and that is not the case at all.”

The reality star admits that the social media abuse has been “horrific”, but is grateful for the love he receives when out and about in Essex. “People are coming up to me going, ‘Oh my god, I love you on TOWIE ’,” he laughs.

Junaid was a hot topic in June when he revealed he loves dating footballer­s and admitted he’s only ever “got closeted guys”. But it seems as though sportsmen are not the only ones fighting for his attention, as he tells heat a certain boyband member ticks his boxes. “Duncan James started liking my pictures. He is so fit, so if

‘I’m TOWIE’S Christine Quinn’

he wants to take me out… Who knows? Do I slide into DMS or does he need to slide into mine? I might do to be fair. I have always fancied him since I was young.”

And although Junaid is out and proud, sadly, last month he revealed he had been kicked out of his

family home aged 18, after telling them he was gay. But now, he is planning to reunite with his estranged relatives in his hometown of Peterborou­gh.

He says, “I have not seen my mum and dad for about five years now. I did go back when I was 21 when my brother passed away, but this will be the first time since then. I want to show people that yes, I do come from a Muslim, Pakistani background and the way I live my life and what I do isn’t accepted in my community, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.” ■

 ?? ??
 ?? ?? All rise
All rise
 ?? ?? Bringing the dramz on TOWIE
Bringing the dramz on TOWIE
 ?? ?? Don’t beblue–callme
Don’t beblue–callme
 ?? ?? Never not fabulous
Never not fabulous
 ?? ?? Junaid appeared on dating show Lovestruck High before TOWIE
Junaid appeared on dating show Lovestruck High before TOWIE

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