Birkbeck law student prepares to enter Love Island villa

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By Aishah Hussain on

Sharon Gaffka works as a civil servant and hopes to couple up with an ‘intellectual’

Sharon Gaffka (credit: @sharongaffka)

Love Island returns next week and among the contestants confirmed for the new series is a Birkbeck, University of London law student.

Sharon Gaffka, 25, from Oxford, is studying law part-time at the London university, according to her LinkedIn page. She started her degree, which is understood to be public law-focused, in 2018, and is expected to complete it by 2022.

A “future lawyer” according to her Instagram bio, Gaffka also works as a civil servant and spent an “intense” year working in government departments during the coronavirus crisis.

“I’ve been a civil servant since I was 18. I’ve worked in lots of different departments,” said Gaffka, ahead of her appearance on the show. “I’ve been doing Brexit policy for the last year, I did a stint during the coronavirus pandemic in the Department of Health so I was helping deliver testing kits and managing the operations. It’s been an intense year!”

Love Island bosses were reportedly keen to recruit ‘key workers’ for this year’s series following the success of doctor Alex George and solicitor Rosie Williams when they appeared as contestants on the fourth series of the dating show in 2018.

Gaffka, who is currently operations lead for the Department of Transport, has held posts at The Legal Aid Agency and Ministry of Justice in recent years.

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On why she decided to take part in the show, which sees contestants ‘couple up’ to find romance and potentially win a cash prize, Gaffka said:

“It’s been a bit of a running joke between my friendship group for a while that I should apply, probably because I’m the most outrageous one out of the group. But also because of Covid and the lockdown, I’m the only single one in my friendship group. They’re either married or planning on getting married. I don’t want to be the only one in the group chat that is single anymore!”

Gaffka, who won Miss International UK in 2018, also revealed what she is looking for in a future partner, teasing that she wants someone who is taller than her and since she’s “quite an intellectual person”, someone who can match that.

Gaffka isn’t the first legally-minded Love Island contestant to appear on the show. Greg O’Shea, a University of Limerick law graduate went on to win the fifth series of the show, which also featured Leeds Beckett law grad Lavena Back. The series before that saw Rosie Williams, who was at the time, a newly qualified solicitor at a Manchester law firm, grace our screens. Since leaving the Spanish villa, Williams has launched a lawyer-inspired clothing line. The show itself is narrated by University of Edinburgh law graduate, Iain Stirling.

Love Island series seven starts on Monday 28 June at 9pm on ITV2.

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