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Love Island

EXCLUSIVE: Broke, struggling and discarded! The sobering aftermath of reality TV fame

Forgotten Love Island star Teddy Briggs reveals how he blew through his cash and was forced to get an “embarrassing” day job.

By Erin Doyle
For many people who sign up for reality TV, their hopes are sky-high when it comes to how the instant fame will change their lives.
Love Island Australia's Teddy Briggs, 26, knows this all too well, as he says he signed up thinking the Channel Nine reality show would make him rich quickly.
"I was under the same mentality as a lot of people, that you know, you're just gonna go on Love Island and go on TV and then you're just gonna get really rich," he admits.
"Then you're just gonna retire in the Maldives and just enjoy life."
Teddy with Love Isand co-star Jaxon Human. Image: Instragram
Following his short-lived stint on the dating show, Teddy was in high demand thanks to his newfound fame.
"I was getting probably around $1000-1500 per night club appearance. I was doing a couple a week at one point," Teddy explains, adding he'd also get between $500 and $800 per sponsored Instagram post.
"I was cashing in on that, I was like 'This is great! I'm gonna be rich!'"
But it didn't take long for the lucrative offers to dry up and Teddy found himself in panic mode.
"It dries up quite quickly, and then all of a sudden three months later no one cares about Love Island season one anymore, you've spent all your money, you've got credit card debt and I found myself on Seek looking for jobs basically."
WATCH: Sophie Monk spills on Love Island's sex scenes. Story continues below...
After his stint on Love Island, Teddy ended up broke and struggling. Image: Channel Nine
Teddy says he went back to working in a retail store for $25 a hour, which he said he was "a bit embarrassed" about.
"I was getting people everyday that'd be like, 'You're from Love Island, what are you doing working here?'"
"It wasn't the best sort of thing but you know, pressure makes diamonds."
While Sophie Monk was making big bucks as host, contestants were paid "about the same as working for McDonalds." Image: Channel Nine
International versions of Love Island have recently made headlines after the death of UK host Caroline Flack and several of its contestants after battles with mental health.
Teddy faced tough times on the show, accusing some of his co-stars of bullying him while in the villa but says he doesn't regret going on Love Island.
"It obviously makes me sad when I hear about the things like the suicides, but for me, even though I had some struggles in there, I still look at it as a massively positive experience," he says.
But Teddy says Love Island fans resonated with his experience.
"It didn't obviously go super well for me, or as well as it could have. Your emotions are really heightened when you're in there," he says.
"It worked out really well though because I showed a really vulnerable side, and so many people connected, that had been through bullying in school."
UK Love Island host Carolyn Flack sadly passed away earlier this year. Image: Getty
Since leaving Love Island – where he describes getting paid "about the same you'd get for working at McDonalds", and his retail job, Teddy has moved into e-commerce.
Teddy claims he's now making $75- 82k per month through this venture, and is well on his way to turning his $29,000 annual salary to over $1million.
"Basically do is we lease the products on online stores, then the customers buy the products from our stores," he explains.
And as for ever taking another shot at reality TV? Teddy said he'd be up for it if it was The Bachelor or Big Brother, but "would rather eat a cactus than go on Married At First Sight".
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