“BIT random, this, isn’t it, Mike?!” chuckles former Love Islander Amy Hart. “You and me doing an interview!”
And, yep, she’s right, it is. Seriously, I’d never have guessed, 20-odd years ago, when Amy’s dad Ian and I became mates, that his little kid would grow up to be on the telly.
Mind you, I guess there were clues. Months earlier, for example, six-year-old Amy had come second in a talent contest. At Pontins in Camber Sands, East Sussex, no less.
“I sang Last Thing On My Mind, by Steps,” she recalls. “I got a little trophy!”
And the winner? “She sang about her holiday at Pontins!”
Oh, well, that’s showbiz.
“Adversity does make you more thick-skinned,” is how an older, wiser Amy now looks at life.
In some ways, she admits, she’s become “desensitised”.
But that’s not because she lost out to some suck-up kid at a holiday camp. Honestly, it’s fine, she’s over that. It’s more to do with her Love Island stay last summer.
There was Curtis Pritchard cruelly dumping her. There was her tearful decision to walk.
But worse than either was the abuse she suffered online.
“You’re pale, you’re flat, there’s not a single thing I find attractive,” is one example Amy quotes on a new show out now on BBC iPlayer.
Hosted by YouTuber Mimi Missfit, this series, Mimi On A Mission: Digital Detox, takes a bunch of teens into the wilderness for a week without their phones.
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Amy joins them for episode three, to talk about her online troubles and hear about theirs. “Some had me crying my eyes out,” she tells me.
Before Love Island, when Amy was a cabin service manager for British Airways, life was certainly simpler.
What’s important now, she says, is to keep that heightened social media profile in perspective.
“It can get addictive,” she admits, “counting your followers, worrying why some stop.
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“But nowadays I don’t care much. What even is a follower? I’m having a nice time, that’s what matters.”
After guest appearances on Loose Women, plus her stint on Celebs Go Dating, Amy has further irons in the fire, telly-wise.
She even fancies doing a show with her funeral director dad.
“We’d love to travel around the world, learning what other cultures do for their funerals,” she says.
● Mimi On A Mission: Digital Detox is on BBC iPlayer now.
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