Zara McDermott has become the first star to cross between Strictly Come Dancing and Love Island, the show where she made her name.
The 26-year-old’s partner for series 21 of the weekly dance competition is professional dancer Graziano Di Prima, who tasted victory on the dancefloor in 2021’s Strictly Christmas Special with singer Anne-Marie.
Meanwhile, Zara rose to fame on ITV dating show Love Island back in 2018, where she left the villa with Adam Collard before they broke up eight months later.
From finding love on Made In Chelsea to carving out a career as a documentary host, MailOnline takes a look at who Strictly star Zara is.
Impressive: Zara McDermott has become the first star to cross between Strictly Come Dancing and Love Island, the show where she made her name
Pairing: The 26-year-old’s partner for the show is professional dancer Graziano Di Prima (also pictured)
Career: From finding love on Made In Chelsea to carving out a career as a documentary host, MailOnline takes a look at who Strictly star Zara is
Who is Zara McDermott?
Born in London in 1996, Zara is a media personality who rose to fame after appearing on Love Island in 2018.
However, her first TV debut was in 2009 when her family appeared on the BBC’s Wanted Down Under, which follows Brits considering a move to Australia.
Before finding fame in 2018, Zara used to work for the government as an Operational Officer at the Department of Energy and Climate Change from 2015 until 2017.
She went on to work as a policy advisor at the Department for Education before she ventured into reality TV.
After making her Love Island debut, she has gone on to carve out a reality TV career, appearing on The X Factor: Celebrity and Made In Chelsea.
More recently, Zara has turned to working on documentaries and has hosted a string of programmes for the BBC.
In 2021, she fronted a Revenge Porn documentary, which shed light on her two experiences with revenge porn, after explicit images were taken and leaked when she was both 14 and 21.
She has gone on to work on two more documentaries based on her own experiences, Uncovering Rape Culture and Disordered Eating, while she also fronted Gaia: A Death on Dancing Ledge this year.
Reality star: Since rising to fame on Love Island, Zara has featured on shows including X Factor: Celebrity (pictured in 2019) and Made In Chelsea
Filmmaker: More recently, Zara has turned to working on documentaries and has hosted a string of programmes for the BBC, including Disordered Eating
When was Zara McDermott on Love Island?
Zara entered Love Island as a bombshell contestant on day 15 of Love Island’s fourth series, which aired in June 2018.
She coupled up with Adam Collard, but was dumped from the island after just ten days.
During her time on the show, she revealed her job at the Department for Education, which earned her the nickname ‘Zara from the government’.
After being dumped from the villa, Zara and Adam continued to date and even moved in together in Essex during their whirlwind romance.
But the relationship wasn’t to last, with former government advisor Zara confirming their split after eight months together.
Fame: Zara entered Love Island as a bombshell contestant on day 15 of Love Island’s fourth series, which aired in June 2018
Exes: She coupled up with Adam Collard, but was dumped from the island after just ten days. The pair dated for eight months before breaking up
Who is Zara McDermott dating?
Zara is dating Made In Chelsea’s Sam Thompson, 31, who she met in May 2019 and has had an on-off relationship with ever since.
The pair appeared together on Made in Chelsea from October 2019, but Zara left the show in December 2020 to focus on her documentary career.
They briefly split that year, after Zara admitted to cheating on Sam during her appearance on The X Factor: Celebrity, but they eventually reconciled.
Their emotional break-up was documented on Made In Chelsea, and she was filmed begging her boyfriend for a second chance, before Sam decided to forgive her and they got back together.
The couple then moved in together in 2021, and their relationship appears to have gone from strength to strength ever since.
Sam has previously spoken about his desire to have children with Zara, admitting that he would like to start a family one day.
He told OK! magazine earlier this year: ‘A big thing for me was kids, I do want kids and I want to know I can look after a child. I want to know I’m the provider and I’m the carer and that I can be the security that child needs to grow up.
‘I was like, “I don’t feel like I can even look after myself a lot of the time.” The older I was getting, the more I was thinking about that.’
The Staying Relevant podcaster also told how he wants to get married to the Love Island star at some point but she is busy in her career at the minute.
Sam said: ‘Yes. Absolutely. I’ve always known I want to be with her for the rest of my life, that’s a given. I’m definitely not engaged but I love her to bits. I don’t want to be with anyone else.’
Meanwhile, Zara spoke about her dream wedding to Sam last year and admitted she wants a small, intimate affair when they do tie the knot.
Romance: Zara is dating Made In Chelsea’s Sam Thompson, 31, who she met in May 2019 and has had an on-off relationship with ever since
In love: Zara spoke about her dream wedding to Sam last year and admitted she wants a small, intimate affair when they do tie the knot
She said: ‘I don’t think we’d be living together if I didn’t see marriage happening in the future.
‘Sam’s going to listen to this and laugh because he probably won’t believe me, but I actually want something that’s quite small and intimate.
‘I’m kind of over all the big extravagant weddings. When my friends tell me about their big weddings, it sounds like a lot of stress and a lot of planning. It seems like a day for everyone else.
‘Whereas I think something really small, and just intimate and personal, where my really close family and friends can come – that’s what I would want to do as a wedding.’
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