UNTIL this year, I was a Love Island virgin, and before I watched my first episode there was only one thing I felt sure of - that I'd hate it.

The reason I didn't avoid it this year, as I had previously, is this time around I would be following the fate Somerset water engineer Jake Cornish, in my role as a reporter for the county.

And while there are so many things I do dislike about the ITV matchmaking show, I am now hooked nonetheless.

Surprises abound every episode - and I'm not just talking about the Club 18-30-esque villa games.

So, just three weeks in, here are my top five things I didn't see coming when, strictly for work purposes, I first tuned in...

1. I actually enjoy it

When I say I enjoy it, I think it would be fairer to say, I'm a bit addicted.

There are some clever mind games being played by the makers of this show, meaning once you're in, you're all the way in - totally invested and unable to miss an episode.

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2. I'm desperate for a holiday

I don't think I'm alone here in feeling, every time you see the islanders relaxing or sipping a cold drink on a balmy evening, that I really, really need a proper holiday.

Ideally in a villa, with a pool and day beds in the garden...

Anyway, it took me by surprise just how much I yearn to get away.

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3. Faye is a legend

This is a biggie.

Perhaps I was being judgemental but initially I thought I'd have nothing in common with Devon's Faye Winter.

However, after "getting to know her" over the last few weeks, I am now convinced we could be BEST friends.

She tells it like it is, is totally self-deprecating and is an absolute hoot. I love her.

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4. I care about the contestants

Who knew I'd actually care if the islanders found love? Not me, that's for sure.

But I do. I really do.

I would love nothing more than for those in "friendship couples" to find their Mr or Mrs Right and those already coupled up to not be hurt by their current beau.

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5. What's with all the underboob?

This one is probably my age showing, but the amount of underboob on show, whether a daytime bikini or evening cocktail dress, has definitely come as a surprise.

In all honesty, so has the frequency of thong action - it has to be up there as one of the cheekiest of programmes, in every sense of the word.

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