AS a teenager, Laura Whitmore admitted she was scared of boys.
But the new Love Island host who has taken over from Caroline Flack for the winter series this week has a string of famous exes behind her, including rockers Paulo Nutini and Miles Kane.
Laura is the new face of Love Island after taking over from pal CarolineThe presenter who dated several musicians including Paulo Nutini in her twenties has now settled down with Love Island voiceover star Iain Stirling and the pair share a house in North London.
The comedian, 31, is cut from a different cloth to her rock star exes, but friends say Laura has never been happier.
The guys of the past werent as fun or silly as Laura is deep down,” a pal close to the presenter tells Sun Online.
“These guys were tortured artists and wanted to do the whole indie thing at that time, moody, cool, long hair and hats. Where as thats only one side to Laura shes got way more going for her.
“Iain is so different to the David Gandys and Richard Maddens of the world too who are lovely blokes but deeply serious.
“Iain just ripped up her relationship rule book and showed her how to be herself and at ease with that.
Losing virginity in student digs
Growing up in seaside town of Bray, County Wiklow, Laura went to an all-girls school and says boys were a mystery.
“They werent interested in chasing me, she recalled, in an interview with Hot Press in 2012.
“I was happy enough in my own little bubble.
She also joked that people thought she was a lesbian because she never had a boyfriend adding: But I always liked boys. I was just scared of them.
All that changed at Dublin City University, where she studied journalism and lost her virginity at 19.
It was in a shi**y little bed in my student accommodation in DCU, she revealed. Classy!
While it may not have been the most romantic of experiences, she says they were together for two years.
He was my first love. But it was as good as it couldve been,” she says.
Britain’s Top Model
Lauras life changed dramatically in 2008, when she beat 3,000 other applicants on Pick Me MTV to win a MTV presenter job and moved to London.
Just 23, and alone in a strange city, she was soon hobnobbing with the stars and in 2010 she bagged Britains hottest male model, David Gandy, after meeting him at the Expendables premiere afterparty.
The pair dated briefly before going their separate ways, and have remained friends.
TV success brings heartbreak
Working at MTV meant the ambitious star met plenty of rock stars and they turned out to be just her type.
I don’t like men who try too hard, she said, in a 2011 FHM interview. If a guy looks in the mirror more than I do it’s a bad sign. I like scruffy, but not smelly.
It was no surprise, then, that she fell for The Coronas frontman Danny OReilly, a huge star in her homeland.
The pair met in 2010 at a gig in Texas, which she was covering for MTV but it was a year before they had their first date, at The Killers show in Dublin, and he confessed that he had always fancied her.
He’s my best friend, she told the Belfast Telegraph in 2012, He gets me. I’m a crazy little girl. He gets my lifestyle and gets things that I do. He understands me. I’m quirky.
But in November 2012, after Laura flew off to film Im A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here Now!, he ended the relationship.
Laura said: My break-up was really, really hard. And I went through that massive break-up when I was doing live TV every day, on the other side of the world.
My mum Carmel flew over. And I wasnt well because of the stress of everything that was going on.
I lost a lot of weight. My dad rang up and said, Youre too skinny. My dad saying Im too skinny must mean Im too skinny.
Rockers and rebounds
After splitting with Danny, Lauras taste stayed firmly in the music scene.
In August 2013, she was spotted at a Groucho party, holding hands with the Last Puppets frontman Miles Kane who had previously dated Suki Waterhouse and Agyness Deyn.
The new love seemed to be helping her over her heartbreak and that night she tweeted: When did life get so fun!:) everything happens for a reason x.
The romance didnt last long, however, and in February 2014 she hooked up with Scottish singer Paolo Nutini for another brief fling.
It was inevitable shed meet lots of musicians and guys in bands,” says the source. “Shes a rock chick at heart, nothing makes her feel more like herself than watching live music in skinny jeans and a grungy t-shirt.
“She was living the dream in her 20s, and the guy was just part of the package they were a symbol of this life shes wanted, someone who understood the industry, had an air of being aloof and was happy to pose with her on red carpets.
She was also linked to 19-year-old Niall Horan after the pair were spotted partying in 2013, although they insisted they were no more than friends.
She hated all the stuff about her and Niall the idea that she would want to date someone so much younger upset her. Shes always preferred to keep her relationships private and not to feel exposed she keeps her cards close to her chest.
Partying with Leonardo DiCaprio
In July 2015, Laura began dating Sunset Sons singer, Rory Williams and by that November, when she flew to Australia to film the Im A Celeb spin off, they were inseparable.
Unusually for the Irish star, she was open with her PDAs on social media and the pair seemed very much in love.
But after the 2016 BAFTAS, in February, reports about Laura partying with notorious womaniser Leonardo DiCaprio emerged.
“Leonardo was completely taken by Laura. She was playing it cool but he made a beeline for her,” an insider told The Sun.
“[They were] getting on like a house on fire.”
Laura went to the star’s hotel suite with friends and a partygoer reported: He was all over Laura until after 5am.
A month later, Laura and Rory split but the musician has since claimed the romance was already over.
People thought we were still together when the story broke. It made it a bit more complicated, he said.
I had been out the night before and I woke up the next morning hungover, I looked at my phone and had about 50 messages telling me about Leo. I was like: What the f*** is going on.
Buff Bodyguard star
Laura and Bodyguard star Richard Madden reportedly enjoyed a secret romance in 2016, but busy schedules got in the way.
A source said at the time: They’ve both been really busy. Laura is presenting and getting ready for Strictly Come Dancing and Richard has been performing onstage in Romeo and Juliet.
They ended up hardly seeing other.
Funnyman wins her heart
Back in February 2016, Laura claimed laughter was the way to her heart.
She said: [I want someone] who can make me laugh and with whom I can have fun.
I love banter so someone who can keep me on my toes. I dont mind having a few arguments.
So when mutual friend Ore Odube introduced her to comedian Iain Stirling at an ITV party, in 2017, it seemed like fate.
In the past Laura kept repeating the same pattern with guys basically dating the same type looks, personality etc and the things played out the same way too,” the source says.
“When she met Iain it was totally different, he wasnt like anyone she dated before, and that felt fun and exciting and safe too.
The voice of Love Island since 2015, Iain almost blew it with their awkward first date, as Laura revealed on This Morning.
Laura said: He brought me to a comedy gig, so we sat in a dark room, faced not directly towards each other and then watched his friends perform. Then we met his friends and his friends family.”
She added that he was wearing a backpack because “he was working all day and got quite sweaty in his clothes, so he bought a new outfit and a backpack and put his old clothes in his backpack.
“At the end of the date, he said, Oh we should have just gone for a drink, shouldnt we?”
Iain was never trying to be cool when he met her he was just this down to earth guy who supported all his mates in comedy hes not insecure and competitive,” says the source.
“He is so warm and friendly to everyone he makes everyone in the room feel included and happy. Its not an act, its just who he is – it would be impossible to Laura not to fall for that.
The couple finally went official in August 2017.
She told Fabulous: We tried to keep it as quiet as possible at the start.
Wed been together for four or five months before we put anything on our social media.
“At that point we were both like, ‘Should we just own it?’”
Pain over miscarriage
In October, Laura revealed she has suffered a miscarriage in 2018 just days after finding out she was pregnant.
Writing in HotPress she said: I hadnt planned the pregnancy in the first place, so should I be sad? I was.
That feeling was heightened because I felt I had to be sad alone: apart from a handful of people, no one knew.
She went on to say that the heartbreaking experience has made her sure she wants children.
Despite their private pain, the pair’s romance went from strength to strength and in December, Laura moved into his two-bedroom flat in North London.
In the past Laura kept repeating the same pattern with guys basically dating the same type looks, personality etc and the things played out the same way too. When she met Iain it was totally different, he wasnt like anyone she dated before, and that felt fun and exciting and safe too.
Theyre both really ambitious but equally as supportive as each other, they love fancy dress, cracking jokes, being in the pub with their mates. Theyre both a bit over the who celeb thing and prefer low key things too.
“Laura has always had a few confidence issues deep down, but Iain seems to help her with those and has brought out a brand new Laura.
Now they even get to spend time together at work with Laura stepping in for Caroline after her arrest for assault last month.
Whatever comes of the contestants, Laura and Iain are the ultimate Love Island love story.