It has been a unique few months for ballroom dancer Curtis Pritchard.
After being the victim of a brutal nightclub attack while on a night out with his famous brother – Strictly Come Dancing professional AJ Pritchard – Curtis was forced to pull out of a job he loved on Ireland’s Dancing With The Stars when the incident left him in need of surgery on his knee.
Now recovered, he is swapping the ballroom for the sunnier climes of the Love Island villa, as he looks for love as a contestant on the hit ITV2 reality show.
“It feels fantastic. I’m super excited,” he says of being able to move on from what he calls “an experience of a year”.
Speaking to HuffPost UK and other journalists in Mallorca, Spain – the home of Love Island – Curtis tells of the support he’s had from his Strictly sibling after being approached to become an Islander earlier this year.
“He’s over the moon, absolutely ecstatic,” he says. “The whole family is – mum and dad as well. They just can’t wait to see me on TV.
“I had a phone call with them before I left and they were getting upset but like excited upset.
“AJ said go in there and be yourself and if you lock eyes with someone and you feel like that’s the person to go for then go for them! So he just said to be yourself and enjoy it really.”
Of course, Love Island will also see Curtis come face-to-face with one of AJ’s rumoured exes – the show’s host Caroline Flack.
The pair sparked rumours of a brief fling when they were snapped kissing at the National Television Awards back in January.
However, Curtis refuses to be drawn on details of their relationship when asked if he’ll find their first meeting awkward.
He cagily says: “I couldn’t tell you [about it], I literally don’t know. I don’t read the papers and don’t see him enough to talk about it.”
With a huge new platform to showcase himself on along with the backing of the ballroom community, Curtis is primed to make the leap from professional dancer on the Irish Strictly to join his brother on our own version – but Curtis admits this is not his goal for when he leaves the villa.
“Who knows what the future holds, but that is not a reason why I’m doing this at all,” he says.
“I’d love do stuff with mental health and dementia, hopefully in the future and make a difference. My nan’s got dementia, it’s very, very close to me already.
“That’s what I’d like to use [his newfound fame] for, to make a difference.”
As for what he is hoping to find in the villa, Curtis continues: “I’m 100 per cent open-minded, everyone says ‘oh my type is this’, I really don’t have a type, it’s really cliché but love is blind.
“I could say something and the complete opposite could walk in and get blown away by her and then I’m with her.”
However, don’t expect to see him as one of the Islanders who takes their relationship to the next level as millions watch on at home.
“I’d kiss somebody; if it’s any further than that I think it’s private business that should be done in your own time in private,” he says, rejecting the idea he could have sex on camera.
“It shouldn’t be publicised to the world, it’s making love and stuff like that, the world shouldn’t see that. It should be private and in your own time.
“I’ve been brought up with a lot of respect and that aspect of life is all about respect.”
And while it looks like we won’t be seeing Curtis do the bedroom tango, viewers can probably expect to see him showcasing his moves for the other Islanders.
“You’ll have to wait and see – that’s all I’m going to say!” he teases.
Love Island begins on Monday at 9pm on ITV2.