Love Island: Faye Winter on the important life lessons she learned after her fight broke Ofcom records

Love Island’s Faye Winter has reflected on her explosive argument with Teddy Soares that broke Ofcom records in 2021 for the hit reality TV dating show.

The 28-year-old was an original Islander on season seven, and in a couple with bombshell Teddy, when the historic blowup ensued.

The dispute emerged after Faye was shown a clip of her partner admitting that he was sexually attracted to another woman during his time in Casa Amor, the secret villa set to tempt Islanders away from their couples. Although he did not act on his behaviour, he had not told Faye about their brief flirtation.

The show received a record 24,673 complaints after Faye’s heated response, with many of the criticisms accusing her of “overreacting”, after she called Teddy a “two-faced p***k”, a “f***ing liar”, and someone who had pretended to be a “f***ing saint”. The record for complaints prior to her outburst was 4,330, in the same season, over the misleading nature of postcards sent from Casa Amor.

The former Islander has now told The Independent that the controversy allowed her to “see a part of myself that I didn’t like and change it”.

“Still, to this day, I’ve never watched it back,” she said. “But I think getting the hate and getting the trolling and getting the comments really allowed me to look at myself and think, ‘Hang on, there are things I need to do differently here,’ and that’s exactly what I’ve done.”

The reality star, who said she would often allow her feelings to build up like a “volcano”, added that her main lessons from the experience have been about the importance of communication.

“I learned about the fact that I needed to have more patience and learn that not everyone was out to hurt me. I did need to trust people and did need to allow people in,” she said. “I keep a lot in and it takes a lot for me then to let everything out, and the way that it comes out actually isn’t always the correct way for things to come out.”

Winter described herself as a ‘volcano’ (Instagram/ @faye__winter)
Winter described herself as a ‘volcano’ (Instagram/ @faye__winter)

Reflecting on her anger, she said, “I should definitely be explaining my emotions. I’m allowed to be vulnerable. Whereas when I was in the villa I didn’t want anybody to see that vulnerable side of me. I never wanted people to know that they’d hurt me or upset me, I’d rather them think that they’d angered me.”

Teddy and Faye made it to the final three couples of Love Island, despite the controversial blowup, and continued a relationship outside the villa before breaking up in February last year.

“Our season is still spoken about, unfortunately for my blowup,” she said. “But at the same time it is a memorable moment and even though I got a lot of trolling for it, I got a lot of people who said they’ve been through it. It was actually a very raw and real moment for the show.”

Faye and Teddy were finalists on the reality TV series before breaking up last year (Gareth Cattermole/ Getty Images)
Faye and Teddy were finalists on the reality TV series before breaking up last year (Gareth Cattermole/ Getty Images)

Opting out of the usual post-Love Island life of fast-fashion deals, and London living, Faye is instead in the process of lobbying Parliament on animal welfare issues, has moved back to Devon, and recently completed a hike for breast cancer awareness charity, Coppafeel, after she found a lump in her breast earlier this year. She has continued her ambassadorship for guide dog charity, Pooch and Mutt.

But she wants to take responsibility for what went wrong during her time on the show.

“When things triggered me, that’s when unfortunately, people saw a side of me that wasn’t very nice and wasn’t very pleasant. And I saw that in myself.”

Love Island’s 11th season is now airing on ITV2 and ITVX.