Holly Willoughby defends Love Island’s Gemma Owen after fans brand her ‘rude’

Holly Willoughby has backed Love Island 2022 star Gemma Owen after she has received some criticism following the airing of episode one.

The premiere of Love Island series eight began on Monday and the This Morning presenter has already stated that she "quite liked" the 19 year old, who is the daughter of footballer Michael Owen.

Some Love Island viewers labelled her as "rude" with last year's finalist Chloe Burrows also calling the new islander out. The blonde beauty took to Twitter, posting: "Gemma ur attitude STINKS mate #loveisland."

The negativity surrounding Gemma's debut appearance comes from many viewers belief that she "mugged off" her partner Liam Llewellyn, 22.

In a game of 'truth or dare', Gemma refused to kiss Liam – leading Paige to give him an awkward lap dance so that he didn't feel left out.

She had also mocked Luca's surname – Bish – earlier in the episode and kissed newcomer Davide Sanclimenti instead of Liam.

However, despite the backlash, Holly told former Islanders Amber Gill, 24, and Amy Hart, 29, that she liked how "dry" Gemma was.

Speaking on Tuesday's episode of This Morning, the presenter began: "She [Gemma] did [attract] a lot of attention on social media last night, probably because she's got a famous dad and people always like to have an opinion.

"I quite liked her! I quite liked that she stood back. I thought she was quite dry, and I quite liked that about her."

Love Island 2019 winner, Amber, likened herself to Gemma and agreed with Holly, saying: "I love that. That's a bit like what I was like."

During Monday's episode, Amber had jumped to Gemma's defence, again comparing the backlash to similar comments made about her during her time in the villa.

The reality star asked her followers to "cut Gemma a break", tweeting: "Let's cut Gemma a break because you all thought I was a b***h for saying a man didn't suit sunglasses when he didn't!!!!!"

Holly's co-host Philip Schofield made a sly dig when he suggested Gemma had done everything but reveal the name of her famous dad.

He said: "She was dropping some pretty substantial hints though."

To which Holly snapped back: "Or she was trying not to, I think."

Love Island continues on ITV2 at 9pm.

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