Who is Maya Jama? Host to make her Love Island debut

Who is Maya Jama? Host to make her Love Island debut

The ninth season of Love Island begins tonight (January 16) featuring new host Maya Jama.

She will be on hand to help a new influx of islanders looking for love in the winter edition of the show, which will be filmed in South Africa.

The 28-year-old recently made headlines following claims she had rekindled her romance with rapper Stormzy as they were seen attending the GQ Men of the Year 2022 Awards last month.

A representative of Jama shot down the rumours, by telling Mail Online that she “remains great friends” with Stormzy.

Stormzy and Jama dated for four years before their split in 2019.

Who is Maya Jama?

Maya Jama, 28, is a presenter of Somali and Swedish descent, who was born in August 1994.

Her parents chose the name Maya, after the civil rights activist and celebrated poet Maya Angelou, because her mother read the poem I know Why the Caged Bird Sings during her pregnancy.

Maya moved from Bristol to London aged 16, in order to pursue a career in broadcasting, setting up her own YouTube channel, which got her a role as a presenter of JumpOff TV.

After that, she became the host of MTV’s The Wrap Up, before she moved to host MTV Essentials and MTV News.

Other projects over the years include a travelogue called Copa 90’s Maya’s Fifa World Cup Cities, during the 2014 World Cup, reported the Sun. Her career advanced further when she hosted BBC3’s Glow Up, taking over from Stacey Dooley.

Elsewhere, she hosted the Friday and Saturday slots on BBC Radio 1, as well as presenting the first series of Channel 4’s The Circle, alongside Alice Levine.

When will she be presenting Love Island?

Jama will be presenting tonight’s Love Island, taking over from previous host Laura Whitmore, who quit after three years.

The show is on ITV2 at 9pm, for an extended episode.

Jama said in a press release that she was excited about her new gig and couldn’t wait to get started.

She said: “I’ve always been such a massive Love Island fan and I’m so excited to be hosting one of the nation’s favourite shows! I can’t wait to get into the villa to meet all of the islanders.”

Paul Mortimer, the director of reality programming and acquisitions at ITV, said: “Finding a new host to follow the wonderful Laura Whitmore was never going to be easy. In Maya Jama, though, we have another high-profile fan of the show who’ll be a great addition to the Love Island family.

“Cool, charming, and charismatic, I speak for us all when I say Maya will also bring a unique presenting style to the show, as did Laura and, of course, the very much missed Caroline Flack. We’re very pleased to have her on board.”

Who is Maya Jama dating?

Since May 2021, Jama has been dating basketball star Ben Simmons. They confirmed their romance in June 2021, when Simmons shared a screenshot of a FaceTime he’d had with Jama.

On January 11, 2022, they confirmed their engagement; however, they called it off in September after a “difficult time”, reported the Sun.

Before dating Simmons, Jama was in a relationship with British rapper Stormzy for four years before their split in 2019.

Love Island will air on ITV2 at 9pm tonight.