Footballer Michael Owen has admitted that his daughter Gemma starring on this year’s Love Island is ‘every father’s worst nightmare.’
The former England striker’s eldest daughter is among the sizzling hot singletons on this year’s line-up, which also includes the show’s first-ever contestant with a cochlear implant, Tasha Ghouri.
Gemma, 19, is a swimwear business owner and Great British dressage rider, who has said she can’t wait to have a ‘really fun summer’.
But dad-of-four Michael isn’t as keen by the news she’s entering the Love Island villa, and has admitted feeling ‘sceptical’ about it all.
Speaking to ITV News, Michael shared: ‘I have no doubts that she will make us all proud.
‘It’s probably a father’s worst nightmare, but whatever she wants to do
you’ve got to be supportive.’
The 42-year-old, who shares 16-year-old son James and daughters Gemma, Emily, 15, and 11-year-old Jessica with childhood sweetheart Louise Bonsall, knows that Gemma is a ‘sensible girl’, and said the hardest part about her being away in the villa is being away from her family.
He said: ‘It’s been different without her in the house. I’ve got other kids and my wife and it’s been quite tough because she’s had to switch her phone off and we’ve had no contact for a couple of weeks so that’s been the hard bit.
‘I’ve heard a lot about it. I think old, grumpy men like me will always have an opinion on it because I don’t watch it and you just hear the snippets, but she assures me that it’s not as bad as I think.
‘So, we’ll give it a watch and I hope she enjoys herself.’
Speaking ahead of entering the Majorcan getaway, Gemma revealed that her dad hasn’t given her any rules.
‘My dad said to me, “I’m not going to tell you what you can and can’t do, it’s up to you to make your own decisions”,’ she told Metro.co.uk.
‘I’m very close with my family so I wouldn’t do anything anyway that would purposely disrespect them or embarrass them. I’m very aware of what they would potentially feel uncomfortable by.’
Gemma also admitted that she wants to be known as her ‘own person’, rather than just the daughter of a famous footballer.
‘I want to be known as my own person, not being the daughter of an ex-footballer,’ she said.
‘If [the islanders] ask questions about my family and what my parents do then of course I’m going to be open about and talk about it.
‘I’m not going to go in there and make sure it’s the first thing I say, because I’m just not that kind of person.’
Love Island returns Monday at 9pm on ITV2.