Finley Tapp has picked up new lockdown hobbies, done some wonderful charity work, and tells us how useless his other half Paige Turley is in the kitchen in our new and exclusive interview!

Finley Tapp / Picture Credit: ITV2

Finley Tapp / Picture Credit: ITV2

How was your experience with Love Island overall? Was it what you expected? Had you watched the show before? 

Yes, I watched every single series! I was a massive fan of the show. In terms of whether it was what I was expecting, I’d certainly say no. The only outcome I didn’t prepare myself for was actually being in there for a long period of time and coming out with someone like Paige and then, ultimately winning the show.

I never in my wildest dreams thought that would happen. I was just preparing myself for a week in there and getting chucked after that… so it certainly wasn’t the experience I was expecting!

How was it finding you were a fan favourite from the moment you arrived in the Villa? What was the response like when you came out?

To be fair, it was all really positive! When you’re putting yourself on national television you have to expect judgement too. I was very fortunate people saw me for who I was and I didn’t really get too much stick, which was a positive!

Upon meeting Paige in the villa, did you ever think you would be moving in together?

Considering Paige wasn’t really into it at the start and I had to do some pretty heavy grafting, it wasn’t an instant thing as soon as we met! But after two weeks or so it became clear that this was something which could work long term.

When we became more comfortable together, I think that’s when I thought it would lead to something real on the outside.

Obviously, it’s been a year on from the show, what would you say was the best thing that’s happened since you guys won and left the Villa?

I would say…probably moving in with Paige. It was something we needed to happen because Milton Keynes to Scotland is a long, long way! Had we not tried to do it as soon as possible, it might have led to us being pulled all over the place and we would have found it hard to see each other as much as we’d liked.

Moving to Manchester was the best thing we’ve done I think.

What first sparked your passion for football?

Watching my brother when I was young! He started to play before me and when I saw him have the freedom to play with this mates, I wanted to play as soon as I could! I must have started around the same time I was walking. Seeing older brothers and family members playing, it gave me the buzz.

What’s your regular workout routine you’re trying to stick to at the minute?

With lockdown being the way it is, I am trying to get in at least a 5k walk every day, unless I go for a run. Every other day a run and then a walk in the gaps in between.

Are you and Paige working out together?

Yeah! So Paige and I always do our walks together. We’ve done a few runs together as well which is great for my motivation because sometimes when I can’t be bothered and she can, I end up going, and vice versa. It’s really great to have her so we can encourage each other.

Have you found it difficult to stick to your diet throughout lockdown?

Yeah, so that’s the problem with lockdown, you do have a lot of time on your hands to do exercise, but you also have a lot of time to just…snack.

So, Paige and I have made a new rule where we’re only allowed to eat takeaways on the weekend - we were just getting to the point where we were just binge-watching series and then ordering a pizza, it wasn’t sustainable.

Can you tell us about your fabulous involvement with Football Beyond Borders?

Yes! So, they are a charity set up to help young children that are perhaps struggling at school, and find it difficult to channel their energy into things. It’s all about giving them a chance to express themselves on the pitch. Doing football workshops and team building exercises, gives them that release and something to focus on.

Throughout the pandemic it’s been especially important because kids have been finding it stressful too. I think it really does have an impact on them – being away from the classroom, not knowing whether they’re coming or going – it’s hard. It’s been a great year for Football Beyond Borders, they’ve provided guidance to the children as much as they can.

You recently posted a picture of you playing football from a while ago, how often would you usually be playing?

I was saying this to Paige the other day! It’s actually so weird because it’s a full year since I played a proper game of football. I remember three days before I flew to South Africa for Love Island I was playing a match in Dartford, so I actually haven’t played football for over a year apart from the little kick about I had when working with Football Beyond Borders.

When I used to play full-time, I was playing every single week, every single day, apart from Sundays. It’s certainly a massive shock to the system not being as active as I was.

Have you picked up any hobbies in lockdown?

Yeah! I have been cooking a lot more. I could put it down to me enjoying cooking or the sheer lack of skill Paige has in the kitchen… but I certainly am cooking a lot more in lockdown. I think that just comes with moving in as well. We love a Thai curry – that’s my favourite thing to make.

Are there any shows or Netflix series you have been binge-watching in lockdown?

I feel like we have done them all to be honest! We’ve watched The Crown which we thought was brilliant. It was also a very good history lesson! We’ve now dived into Married at First Sight Australia. It’s amazing - we love it.

Written by Melissa, who you can follow on Twitter @melissajournal

RELATED: We talk to Love Island's Callum Jones about his time in, and out of the Villa

Love Island has been popular for many years, with people crowding around the TV screen to find out who's getting on, who's breaking up and if the infamous Casa Amor will ruin some of the strongest relationships built on the show.

Callum Jones is one popular contestant who enjoyed his time in the Villa immensely, and found genuine love in Molly Smith – who he now lives with... to read more click HERE

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