5th June 2021
A Love Island favourite, Ched Uzor graced our TV's in 2020 when he appeared in the sixth season of Love Island. Placing fourth with Jess Gale, for many of us watching we knew (and let's face it, hoped) it wouldn't be the last time Ched's cheeky grin would grace our presence. Following on from one of the most unexpected years to date for many of us, Ched sat down with ReVamp to share his learnings from the hit reality TV show and expresses the importance of seeing people that look like him in the mainstream media.
Necklace with pendant: Topman / Chain necklace: Stylist's own / Suit: Collusion
What was your one biggest takeaway from being on Love Island?
My biggest takeaway from Love Island was confidence. You need to be courageous. Millions of people are watching you everyday and criticising every little thing about you. Living with 11 other people has helped with my confidence and people skills massively.
What was your first thought when you found out you were going on Love Island?
I didn’t even want to go on. Simply because I much prefer a private lifestyle. My friends and family were the ones who convinced me to go on and I’m glad I did because it was one of the best experiences of my life.
Cap: Goorin Brothers (Zone Two PR) / Glasses: ASOS / Jacket: Scotch & Soda (Zone Two PR) / T-Shirt: Scotch & Soda (Zone Two PR) / Trousers: Mennace / Trainers: Ched's own.
How important do you feel Black representation is on reality TV?
It's extremely important and it’s not happening enough. Some reality TV shows have stepped and started bringing in different races/cultures. I feel like when you’re Black on a reality TV show, especially in the UK, it doesn’t matter how nice or good looking you are, you’ll never do as well as a white person and that’s the sad truth.
Working out is a huge part of your life and identity, how did you get started on that journey?
I only started going to the gym because my closest friend at the time started going and he peer pressured me to join the gym. The first two years in the gym were just play around sessions and getting the pump for house parties haha. After that, I took it seriously and it changed me physically and mentally. Especially mentally. If I was having a bad day, the gym would make everything better and take my mind away from things. It’s my escapism.
Bucket Hat: Stylist Own / Sunglasses: Stylist Own / Necklace: Carved & Cast / Tracksuit 2-piece: Asos / Socks: Sockshop (Trace Publicity PR) / Sliders: Ched's own
For someone getting into fitness for the first time, what advice would you give them?
Stay consistent!!! That is the most important thing. Nowadays everyone wants to get fitter or stronger in four weeks. It just doesn’t work like that. Get your head down and grind for it. Another advice is to not pay too much attention to other [people's] fitness journeys. Every body is different. Some people may lose 6 pounds in four weeks and it might take you eight weeks. That’s just YOUR body. Keep working.
Do you feel a difference between the Ched we saw last year and the Ched we see in 2021?
A huge difference. Lockdown has played a huge part in it. I feel like I’ve grown as a person since 2020. I’m now more confident and open minded. I’ve stopped paying attention to trolls on the internet as they don’t know the real Ched.
What defines success to you?
Success to me is waking up everyday. Me, my family and friends are all in good health, food on the table and roof over our heads. Everything else in life is a bonus. Success also means to me being able to take care of myself and my family with no worries at all.