As Maya Jama is confirmed as 'Love Island' UK’s new host—here’s the DL on the presenting star

From the radio waves to ITV2, Maya Jama’s career is on the rise, so let's talk about her!

Maya Jama attends The BRIT Awards 2022 at The O2 Arena on February 08, 2022 in London, England. / On pink, blue and green background
(Image credit: Getty Images / Samir Hussein/WireImage)

After Laura Whitmore quit as Love Island UK’s host, presenter Maya Jama has been named as her replacement—but what do we know about the British beauty? From her engagement to NBA player Ben Simmons to how she became famous in the first place—here’s the DL on Maya Jama.

From MTV to BBC Three’s Glow Up, Maya is a real broadcasting success story and is showing no signs of slowing down. Not only has she just been announced as the next host of Love Island UK—which will be returning for a winter season, but her recent modeling gigs have been next level. Plus she has her own skincare line called MIJ—which has reportedly made her a millionaire and don’t even get us started on her star-studded dating history.

Basically, Maya Jama is pretty darn interesting—so if you want to get to know her a little better, we’ve got you. 

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Who is Maya Jama? 

Let’s start with the basics, who is Maya Jama exactly? 

Well, she’s a TV personality, who has presented and hosted a number of TV Shows including the newest season of BBC Three’s Glow Up (which dropped this October on Netflix) MTV’s The Wrap Up and features on shows like The Duchess, Celebrity Juice and the list goes on and on.

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She’s a big name in the UK and aside from her TV work, she was also previously a Radio 1 presenter, commanding the radio waves on Friday and Saturday mornings, but quit the show in 2020.

She has a whopping 2.4 million Instagram followers and has modeled for a number of brands including Steve Madden and Adidas.

Why is Maya Jama famous?

As mentioned, she’s a TV presenter who has quite the broadcasting resume these days, from game shows to award shows—she’s even tried her hand at acting. 

According to the Sun, Maya got her start after launching a YouTube channel and landed a role presenting JumpOff TV. She then moved on to MTV, where she hosted shows like MTV News and MTV Essentials.

She’s now been named as the new host of Love Island, so she’ll soon be jetting off to South Africa—where winter Love Island is typically filmed.

How old is Maya Jama?

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Maya was born in 1994, which makes her 28. In fact, she just celebrated her 28th birthday on August 14, posting a video hinting that she was having a 'birthday weekend.'

Her date of birth not only makes her a summer baby but—for any astrology fans out there—also means her birthday falls in Leo season.

Where is Maya Jama from?

Maya is of Somali and Swedish descent and was born and raised in Bristol but moved to London when she was just 16 to pursue her broadcasting career. Pretty inspiring, huh?

If you wanted another interesting factoid about the star, she was reportedly named after poet and author Maya Angelou.

What has Maya Jama said about her parents?

Sadly, Maya didn’t have the easiest of childhoods as the star revealed to the Guardian (opens in new tab) that her dad, Hussein was in and out of prison. 

She said: “[He was] banged up. It wasn’t one long sentence, it was lots of sentences—sentence after sentence. Mostly, it was for violence, for pub brawls and fights. The usual thing was that he’d be drinking and get into a fight. Someone would get hurt, and he’d go to jail.”

She was mainly raised by her mother, Sadie—who has made a few appearances on her IG and is apparently sometimes mistaken for Maya’s sister.

Who is Maya Jama dating now?

As of Summer 2021, Maya was dating NBA player Ben Simmons before they got engaged in December—however, after an eight-month romance, breakup rumors have been swirling. 

A source told the NY Post (opens in new tab) that the couple had gone their separate ways, adding, “while they both care for each other so much, they truly gave it their all and realize that they just come from two different worlds.”

Ben Simmons and Maya Jama attend Wimbledon Championships Tennis Tournament at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 05, 2021 in London, England.

(Image credit: Getty Images / Karwai Tang/WireImage)

The plot thickens though, as the pair are still yet to address the speculation. Maya was even spotted sporting her engagement ring in September, so your guess is as good as ours!

Who is Maya Jama's ex boyfriend?

Famously, Maya Jama dated rapper Stormzy for four years before they split in 2019. They became somewhat of an IT couple but sadly went their separate ways.

While there were some cheating allegations floating around, Stormzy debunked the rumors, telling Hot 97, “If there was a box of what a good woman is, she ticks every one, she's amazing. But I didn't cheat on her. I actually didn't cheat. Don't get it twisted, I'm still definitely an a***hole. 100%, that's a fact. I'm an a***hole.”—We appreciate the honesty.

Maya Jama (L) and Stormzy attend the Elle Style Awards 2017 on February 13, 2017 in London, England.

(Image credit: Getty Images / David M. Benett/Dave Benett)

Before her relationship with Stormzy, Maya dated Rico Gordon when she was 16, but endured heartbreak after he was shot and killed.

She told the Guardian, “That’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. It was unreal— the sort of thing that happens in films.”

Naomi Jamieson
Lifestyle News Writer

Naomi is a Lifestyle News Writer with the Women's Lifestyle team and has recently earned her Gold Standard diploma in Journalism with the NCTJ. She has a background in design, having studied Illustration at Plymouth University but has taken a leap into the world of journalism after always having a passion for writing. She currently writes pieces on beauty, trends, fashion, and entertainment for GoodTo and My Imperfect Life. She also tests and reviews beauty and skincare products and tries out the latest TikTok hacks for My Imperfect Life.

Before working for Future Publishing’s Lifestyle News team, she worked in the Ad production team. Here she wrote and designed adverts on all sorts of things, which then went into print magazines across all genres. Now, when she isn’t writing articles on celebs, fashion trends, or the newest shows on Netflix, you can find her drinking copious cups of coffee, drawing and probably online shopping.