TV personality Joey Essex insists it’s “not easy” being on a reality show.
The 28-year-old TV personality – who first found fame thanks to his appearances on ‘The Only Way Is Essex’ – made the confession in light of the recent death of ‘Love Island’ star Mike Thalassitis, who committed suicide aged 26.
“I knew Mike well, I went to his funeral. He was a lovely boy.
“It was absolutely tragic and so sad. The pressure of being on reality TV is not easy. It can get you down.
“I got famous when I was 20 and it’s really tough. Everyone thinks they know everything about you.
“You are expressing your life to everyone. Everyone knows your full name, your previous girlfriend, who they are. It’s quite hard to know whether a girl likes you for who you are or if she genuinely likes you.
“I go out dressed like a robber, with a cap over my eyes and sunglasses on. I go to ridiculous lengths to not get spotted. I just want to live my life and be me.”
Joey also acknowledged that reality TV doesn’t always give an accurate reflection of real-life situations.
The star – who dated Sam Faiers during his time on ‘TOWIE’ – told The Sun on Sunday newspaper:
“Reality TV fast-forwards things quite a lot. Sometimes you are not ready for it. You have to wear your heart on your sleeve.
“Lots of times relationships happened because of reality TV, and they ended as soon as the cameras were off. It’s like ‘Love Island’.
“Filming makes people make rash decisions because you think you need to make good TV.
“When we were on ‘TOWIE’ everyone had someone they had feelings for. That’s what those shows are about – relationships, you have to do it.
“Everyone in the reality TV industry feels the pressure because you have to live up to the person people see on TV. It can get you down.”