Will Eyal woo hit show’s viewers?
As Love Island returns, Rosa Doherty assesses his prospects
EYAL BOOKER, the first Jewish contestant to take part in the reality show Love Island, will be looking for a girl to make his Israeli mother proud and will not stand for bullying, his brother has told the JC.
Tal Booker predicted what his 22-yearold sibling might get up to on the hugely successful ITV2 programme.
An average of 2.95 million viewers watched the first episode on Monday — more than double the audience for last year’s launch show.
In the first week of episodes, viewers saw Mr Booker — who grew up in Bushey, Hertfordshire, and is a former JFS pupil who later studied at Sylvia Young Theatre School — couple up with Hayley Hughes from Liverpool.
Mr Booker’s brother, Tal, said: “Eyal has always loved perfoming. He was a model and a singer. He was always destined to be a star. He commands attention and can charm anyone.
“We have known about him going in for some time so it is great to finally be able to talk about it.”
The siblings live with older brother Ariel in St John’s Wood, North West London.
Tal predicted that Mr Booker, who is a model with more than 65,000 followers on Instagram and once toured the UK in a band, would end up with Ms Hughes.
“He likes blondes who are probably a little bit more on the natural side,” he said before the first episode aired.
“He is not a one-night-stand kind of guy and is suited to being in relationships. He has a thing for girls who are understated and pretty.”
According to Tal, Mr Booker’s downsides are that he “will stay in a relationship for too long, giving it his best shot. He falls in love easily.”
Before arriving on the island, Mr Booker said he was taking part because he was “looking for love”.
He said: “I have had quite a few relationships in my time, none have ever lasted that long and now I’m at a point where I’d actually like to find one that can last.”
It remains to be seen over the next eight weeks whether Mr Booker and Ms Hughes (right) will last the distance with the format of the show designed to test their commitment, loyalty and compatibility.
The Love Island contestants live under the constant eye of the cameras, and have to couple up to avoid being eliminated.
Before entering the villa, Mr Booker admitted he was “a bit nervous” about “my parents, my sister and my gran seeing something that they don’t nec- essarily want to see. Besides that, I’m excited”.
While Jewish values and identity are important to him, it is more important that he is happy, according to Tal.
“Our mum is Israeli and that will come through on the show at some point, I am sure. Israel can often be controversial to mention but Eyal is very connected to it.
“He loves Israel and Jewish values are very important to him so I am sure it will come up.”
In 2013, at the age of 18, Mr Booker told the JC how he interrupted his performance schedule with his band EverYoung to observe Yom Kippur at Bushey Synagogue.
He said of the band’s tour: “We walk into schools and gigs as nobodies, and then we leave with girls screaming and crying. It’s pretty crazy and a dream come true to see fans singing back your lyrics.
“I’m having the time of my life.”
Eyal loves Israel, and Jewish values are important’