She's A Cockney Rebel
Cosmopolitan UK|April 2019

Last summer’s Love Island winner became the most talked-about woman in the UK – simply by being herself. But when the cameras stop rolling, who is the real Dani Dyer?

Tracy Ramsden
When she was growing up, Dani Dyer and her mother referred to the Canning Town flat in which they lived as “The Shining”, a reference to the sinister hotel with endless corridors that features in the classic horror film of the same name. “Wow, there’s a Co-op now,” she points out as we drive through her old stomping ground, all high-rise tower blocks and honking rush-hour traffic. An east Londoner born and bred, Dyer smiles as she reminisces about climbing over her grandmother’s garden wall to play on the swings in nearby Cundy Park. This is Dyer’s happy place, where – after much toing and froing – she has requested to do her Cosmopolitan cover interview, in transit, joined by her PR rep and a bemused cabbie. I’ve had one-to-ones with the Prime Minister, Angelina Jolie and Kate Moss, yet it’s Dani Dyer who’s too busy for a cup of tea and a sit-down.

For the uninitiated – or anyone who underwent a social-media blackout last summer – Dani Dyer, 22, became the most famous woman in the UK for spending eight weeks in a villa on Mallorca. The Love Island finale saw Dyer and her on-screen (now IRL) boyfriend, Jack Fincham, win with almost 80% of the public vote. The show became a high-low phenomenon, pulling in 3.6 million viewers and acres of column inches, from tabloid splashes to broadsheet think-pieces and discussions on BBC Radio 4. It was the Brexit distraction that none of us knew we needed. And Dyer was its runaway star, bringing authenticity and oldfashioned values to the hyper-filtered, silicon-manipulated world of reality TV, when she fell sweetly, innocently, for a pen salesman from Kent.

Today, in the boot of our car is a pair of box-fresh hiking boots that should definitely be muddier and more worn, given that Dyer has only three weeks left to train for an epic climb to the top of Africa’s tallest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro, standing at 19,000ft. She’s nervous about the charity trek, to raise money for Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day, so she’s hired a personal trainer. But right now she’s more concerned about who she’s sharing a tent with.

Before last summer, Dyer was the relatively unknown eldest daughter of EastEnders actor Danny Dyer. I remind her of the moment Lily Allen realised she had hit the big time – when people stopped referring to her as Keith Allen’s daughter and, instead, asked him if he was Lily’s dad.

“One-hundred-million per cent!” agrees Dyer. “I had it my whole life. It was not so much living in his shadow, but it was always brought up and now I’ve got more followers than him and we laugh about it. He’s had people say ‘I love you, but I love your daughter more’. He loves it, though. I think he thinks he’s achieved something because I’ve done alright. But now it’s my turn!” she adds, laughing.

Also in the boot is a huge Topshop bag full of purchases from an impromptu shopping spree this morning, but it’s the dress fitting she attended afterwards, at bridal store Suzanne Neville, that had the paps twitching with delight. For the record, she wasn’t wedding-dress shopping, just looking for an outfit ahead of her gig hosting the red-carpet coverage at the National Television Awards later this week. This celebrity circus is a well-trodden path for reality-TV alumni and I’m generally cynical as to how much of it is orchestrated.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM COSMOPOLITAN UKView All

'Personal Brands Are Built On Being Genuine'

Award-winning broadcaster and best-selling author EMMA GANNON, 29, on how to get ahead in a modern world

2 mins read
Cosmopolitan UK
July 2019

Strong, Fit And 300lb

Model, activist and now... unlikely fitness icon. Tess Holliday opens up about her wellness journey

4 mins read
Cosmopolitan UK
July 2019

Mix & Match

If February is for couples, then single people are claiming March as their own. Why? According to research recently released by Tinder, March was the UK’s most active month on the app last year, making a match more likely. The reason? Spring, thinks Tinder’s dating and trend expert Dr Darcy Sterling: “New beginnings are everywhere, so it’s a natural time for romantic connections to bloom.” Want to stand out from the prime-time-swipe crowd? The data suggests that being tagged as an entrepreneur, adventurer or scholar earns women the most right-swipes. *Changes bio immediately*

3 mins read
Cosmopolitan UK
April 2019

She's A Cockney Rebel

Last summer’s Love Island winner became the most talked-about woman in the UK – simply by being herself. But when the cameras stop rolling, who is the real Dani Dyer?

10 mins read
Cosmopolitan UK
April 2019

My Best Sex Ever Was… With A Reality-TV Star

For Olivia,* a work event brought her face to face with her ultimate fantasy…

3 mins read
Cosmopolitan UK
April 2019

“I've Finally Discovered Love Doesn't Have To Be Limited To One Person”

A year into his polyamorous journey, Jack* has found himself somewhere he never expected – in happy, committed relationships with two separate women

3 mins read
Cosmopolitan UK
February 2019

Rape Porn Industry

While Hollywood reels from the fallout of #MeToo, another film industry is imploding under the weight of its own storm of sexual misconduct allegations. The only issue: that industry is porn. Which means not everyone is willing to listen. Catriona Innes investigates

10+ mins read
Cosmopolitan UK
February 2019

How I Medicated With Make-Up

When a lipgloss soothes a young girl’s pain of being bullied, what happens next? LAURA CAPON explains what life is like when you’re addicted to cosmetics

8 mins read
Cosmopolitan UK
February 2019

The Obama Love Rules

A bit of relationship advice from the former First Lady (with a little help from her friend Oprah)? Oh, go on then

4 mins read
Cosmopolitan UK
February 2019

“Embrace Your Lows As The Best Lesson”

How KATRINA LAKE, 35, founder of Stitch Fix, turned her jackpot idea into a billionpound styling service…

2 mins read
Cosmopolitan UK
February 2019
RELATED STORIES

It's the Economy, Stupide

France’s president has an ace up his sleeve as he seeks a second term

5 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
January 17, 2022

Georgia On Our Minds, Again

The Southern state will be the stage for more high-stakes political drama

2 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
January 17, 2022

Multiple Fronts

Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett wages war on COVID-19 at home while building ties with the UAE and guarding against Iran

9 mins read
Newsweek
January 21, 2022

Fur Tries to SHED Its Image, Again

The industry is betting a new certification program will win back consumers worried over animal welfare

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
January 17, 2022

THE SECOND COMING OF NUCLEAR POWER

As the demand for energy rises, MINIATURIZED nuclear power plants could be a climate-friendly new source. Critics aren’t so sure

10+ mins read
Newsweek
January 21, 2022

The New Web Vs. the Old Web

Meet Web3, which could replace the Big Tech powers, or be co-opted by them

5 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
January 17, 2022

Trips Worth the Wait

As we begin a new year and the pandemic continues to rage on, travel is more complicated than ever.

4 mins read
Newsweek
January 21, 2022

Cheap, Focused, Mobile—and Not a Bank

How Silicon Valley is winning the money of young consumers

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
January 17, 2022

Q&A : Daniel Lamarre

Books

3 mins read
Newsweek
January 21, 2022

Washington vs.Carbon

The feds are starting to allocate billions of dollars to pull CO2 from the air. They’ve got a lot of work to do

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
January 17, 2022