Spilling the tea with the people behind the Love Island contestants’ Instagram accounts

The friends and family of Leanne Amaning, Paige Turley and Shaughna Phillips tell us who’s been hitting up their DMs (apart from us).

Flack’s out, the usual Majorcan haunt has been traded in for a swanky South African pad and voice-over star Iain Stirling’s promising a sizzling hot… winter”. This Sunday Love Island 2020 kicked off for another eight weeks of grafting, recoupling and mugging off. 

Among the 12-strong line up there’s Lewis Capaldi’s ex, the sister of Rochelle Humes from The Saturdays, twins who swear they’d never go for the same guy (although given that they’re identical maybe they could share — who’d even know?) and a coffee bean salesman with some serious teeth. 

To get to know the contestants better, we spoke to their most trusted confidants: their social media handlers. With previous Islanders racking up millions of followers during their stint in the villa, these keepers of content play a crucial role in turning the super-ripped scaffolders and boujee beauticians into social media stars. They come up with cute hashtags (we’re team #LeanneHive), post exclusive group shots from the burner phones and sift through the (literal) millions of DMs. 

Read on to get it while it’s hot…

Leanne Amaning

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Run by: @bigmansuli_

How do you know Leanne?

I’ve known Leanne ever since we were about three. We both went to the same nursery, primary school and secondary school. We went to different colleges and universities but that only made our friendship stronger.

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What’s your funniest memory with her? 

There’s too many to list. Every moment with Leanne is funny, the memories go on.

The funniest recent memory has got to be when we went to the D‑Block Europe concert; everyone in the venue thought we were boyfriend and girlfriend which stopped boys from speaking to her. We had to make it clear we were not going out but at the end of the night we just went with it, the whole process was really funny.

Who do you think Leanne will couple up with? 

Before the show started I thought it was going to be Mike — turned out I was correct hoping it stays that way.

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Describe her in three words

Spontaneous, beautiful, hilarious.

What’s Leanne’s type on paper

Someone who’s tall, dark, not so pretty looking — a rugged man.

Why do you think she trusted you to run her Insta account?

Because we have been friends for a very long time and I know what her vision would be. I understand her really well and know how she portrays herself on social media.

Did she set in place any rules for running her socials?

The only rule in her words was don’t draw me out”.

What’s her go-to pose for photos?

Leanne has so many different poses, she always does something different but her all time fave has got to be the hand on face leaning to the side”.

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Will you be reading her DMs?

Yes some of them — not all as there are too many.

What’s the funniest one she’s received so far?

A 12 year old boy voice-noted her to explain that she needs a real man — and it’s him. 

Paige Turley

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Run by: @turleymarc

How do you know Paige?

I’m her brother.

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What’s your funniest memory with her?

Too many to mention, but the most recent: I noticed a dent in her car, she told me someone must have hit her car when it was parked at work. So I’m straight on the phone to the parking company demanding CCTV so this hit and run perpetrator can pay. Long story short, she hit her own car off a bollard exiting the car park!

Who do you think Paige will couple up with?

I’m honestly not sure, someone down to earth for sure. I just hope she manages to get out of bed before everyone is already coupled up.

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Describe her in three words?

Last, minute, .com.

What’s her type on paper?

Someone witty with plenty of banter.

Why do you think she trusted you to run the account?

Most likely never got around to asking anyone else. Then remembered as she was running out the door, so it landed on me.

Did she set in place any rules for running her socials?

No, she was too busy rushing around trying to catch her flight so she never mentioned any.

What’s her go-to pose for photos?

Any! But you can guarantee she won’t be happy with it until at least the tenth attempt.

Will you be reading her DMs?

It would be rude not to.

What’s the funniest one she’s received so far?

So far, probably the guy wanting to pay her to massage her feet.

Shaughna Phillips

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Run by: @taraxsidd & @emma.r9

How do you know Shaughna?

Tara: We met at London South Bank University in 2012. We both studied journalism and became friends as soon as we met on our course. Despite living in different cities we’re still as close as we can be eight years later!

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Emma: My boyfriend Conor introduced myself and Shaughna five years ago. Conor and Shaughna are like the same person in two people and I think that’s why I clicked so well with her. 

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What’s your funniest memory with her?

Tara: We both stacked it while wearing heels in Dubai, when we were on our way to a club. We were walking over some rocky ground after we got out of a taxi and we had been linking arms so we both went down. We were in stitches and couldn’t get up for ages after because we were just in fits of laughter on the floor. Luckily not many people saw us!

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Emma: Watching her and Conor learn the NSG dance for Options. Over and over, rewinding the video, trying to perfect it. I laughed so much I had abs the next day. There are videos of them doing it. 

Who do you think Shaughna will couple up with? 

Tara: Out of the original boys entering the villa, Callum is most definitely the one that’s her type.

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Emma: I’m thinking Callum… it’s so hard to tell without seeing the boys in action. She goes for personality too, so I couldn’t call it yet!

Describe her in three words.

Both: Sassy, witty and clever 

What’s her type on paper?

Tara: A charming, cheeky chappy that will use all of the right lingo to sweep her off of her feet. She likes her men pretty well-groomed, with nice teeth and a bit of a tan!

Emma: Jack the lad, confident, chatty and someone who can make her laugh. 

Why do you think she trusted you to run her account? 

Tara: Me and Shaughna have the same sense of humour and we share the same opinions on many things. She knows how she reacts to a situation is likely to be how I react as well, so I think she knows it’s good to have someone running her social media who would post the same kind of things she would. She also knows I am a perfectionist so I’ll keep her account looking pretty.

Emma: I’m the sensible mum of the group.

Did she set in place any rules for running her socials? 

Tara: Do not reply to or argue with any trolls! Which isn’t as easy as it sounds, but I’m doing it.

Emma: She told us to have fun with it, which we are! And not to react to any negativity.

What’s their go-to pose for photos?

Tara: She absolutely loves a pout, paired with a song lyric for a caption on Instagram.

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Emma: She always has a hand in there.

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Will you be reading her DMs? 

Tara: We have had so many already. She’s coming out to the offer of many dates – which of course she will turn down if she meets her dream man in Cape Town! We’ve also screenshot some really sweet ones from people offering their support.

Emma: YES! Loving them so far. One or two blue ticks in there, too. 

What’s the funniest one she’s received so far?

Tara: Of the ones we can divulge… People telling us Shaughna’s name is spelled wrong. That’s often coming from people with the same name as her, but theirs is spelled like Shauna, for example, which is how it’s usually spelled.

Emma: We had a lovely voice note of support from someone and they pronounced her name Shah-haug-nah. I think people are struggling with the silent G’ in there. A lot of people have said if she fails to find love, they will be waiting.


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