Last summer, there was only one Jewish man we wanted to know about. Despite the fact that David Baddiel was back with Football’s Coming Home for Russia’s World Cup and Sacha Baron Cohen had a new series, the fella we were all fixated with was Eyal Booker.
As the first Jewish contestant on the fourth series of Love Island, the former JFS pupil, now 23, managed to make those who had never heard of the saucy reality coupling show, tune in for the first time – and they stayed.
They stayed to watch him couple up with streaky blonde Hayley who couldn’t pronounce his name or understand Brexit (turns out most of us don’t) and when he did more than “bits’ with magnificent Megan who ditched him for Wes.
Throughout Eyal, dubbed the Buddah of Bushey by us for his spiritual wisdom, was polite and personable with great beach hair. With no nice Jewish boy or girl to obsess about this season, we brought Eyal back for a summer Q&A.
Are you a summer or winter person?
Definitely summer. I’d like to chase summer around the world! I love the sunshine and find it always brings out the best in people.
If you could live in the sun – where would you choose and why?
Cape Town or Tel Aviv. They’re both really beautiful cities with great culture and people.
What is your best memory of a summer holiday with your family – it might be more than one?
When I was younger we’d often go to Israel for the entire month of August and spend countless hours playing on the beach, eating ice lollies and digging holes in the sand. Those memories combined are probably my favourite.
How old were you when you had your first summer romance?
I was 12 or 13. I was in Israel and it was proper young summer love!
Did you go on Israel tour?
I did indeed! I went on an FZY summer tour at 16 and loved every minute of it. At that time it was one of the biggest adventures of my life and it was exciting to be away from my parents for the first time. Loads of my friends went too which was pretty cool, plus we had the chance to meet loads of new people from all over the world.
I did the army tour (Gadna) and got to spend a week immersing myself in what felt like liberal army life, which was an incredible experience. I made some life-long friends on that trip so it really stands out.
Have you ever done a summer job?
I’ve never had a summer job in a beach resort, but growing up my brothers and I would work a Sunday job at the Craig Morris barber shop in Edgware. I worked there for about three years from when I was 13 and loved it!
What is the most daring item of clothing in your summer wardrobe?
That would have to be a pair of swimming shorts that are questionably short but I love them, haha.
Favourite summer food,drink and song?
A BBQ with family and friends, a margarita and the song… Summertime by Will Smith which always sets the tone!
When did you last watch the sun come up?
I’ve recently got back from Ibiza and it’s sort of a tradition out there to watch the sunrise after a night of partying! It’s really beautiful.
What are your summer picnic essentials ?
A lot of fruit, some vegetables and hummus and a few homemade pitta sandwiches with chicken and pickles!
You have beach hair – what products do you use?
I’ll either use a soft curl cream or a sea salt spray, or sometimes both. I’m actually really lucky that my hair curly is pretty easy to manage!
What convertible would you pick to drive on which road?
Ideally, either a Ford Shelby Mustang or a Ferrari 458. Then it would have to be a windy coastal road somewhere scenic in Italy.
What is your upcoming travel schedule?
I’ve got some really exciting trips that will take me to LA, Canada and Israel, perhaps with one or two spontaneous trips in-between! I actually love flying! For me, it’s also time where I can take a minute to really think and reflect on life.
How have you handled all the attention since you left Love Island?
It was a big shock to the system when I came out, but it’s something I take in my stride. I have a wonderful bunch of family and friends around me who continue to support me and look out for me which massively helps.
And have you found love with your new girlfriend Delilah (model daughter of Harry Hamlin and Real Housewife Lisa Rina?
It’s early days but we’re really enjoying spending time together so we’re just taking our relationship day by day.
What work projects are happening?
I have a really exciting show in the works for the end of this year which I’m not allowed to talk about, but keep your eyes peeled. I’m also working on a documentary as well as continuing to work with charities and raise awareness for causes that mean a lot to me including World Vision and Dog’s Trust.
And so to this year’s Love Island. Which couple are your favs so far and which girl would you have chosen?
Michael and Amber were my faves. I thought they were really genuine and I’m enjoying watching their relationship grow.
I’m very happy with my girlfriend, but if I was single and in the villa, I think it would have been between Maura or Lucie.
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By Joe Millis