LOVE Island star Anton Danyluk turned his back on fame for bodybuilding – but now wants to muscle his way onto TV again in the Gladiators reboot.

The Scots hunk landed his big showbiz break in 2019 on the ITV2 reality show before deciding to pursue a career away from the limelight in Dubai.

Anton fronts a new show on body image

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Anton fronts a new show on body image
The star would love to join the new Gladiators show

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The star would love to join the new Gladiators show

But now Anton is aiming for a high profile comeback in the remake of the 90s telly favourite which will be shown on the BBC later this year hosted by father and son presenters Bradley and Barney Walsh.

He says: “I am looking for things that challenge me.

“Gladiators is coming back and there have been a few conversations to be fair. So we’ll just have to wait and see.

“I don’t want to jump on to a reality TV show again just to raise my profile. But something like that would really interest me.”

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For now though the Scot will mark his telly return on Thursday night fronting a one-off BBC Scotland documentary called Body Shame where the 28-year-old talks about how he was bullied about his weight at school.

He says: “This is something I’ve wanted to do since Love Island because being an overweight kid I have had body image issues my whole life.”

Anton’s mum Sherie Ann, who confessed to shaving her grown son’s bum before he went on the show, and dad Michael admit he was so body conscious as a child he would rarely take his top off even on holiday.

But it was Sherie Ann who first took Anton to his local gym near their home in Blackridge, West Lothian, at the age of 15 and he hasn’t stopped working out since.

It eventually led to his big telly break in the 2019 series of Love Island which saw him coupling with fellow constant Belle Hassan, although their relationship fizzled out.

However, he maintains he now cringes anytime he rewatches his introduction on the telly dating show where he claims to only like “blondes with fake boobs”.

He says: “I knew what I had to say and do to get onto the show but in week one I was favourite to go out because of that.

“I was playing a character. Once I was on there, I decided to just be me.

“You associate abs, chest and pecs with getting girls but, as everyone saw, that didn’t really work out for me.”

Two years ago, Anton waved goodbye to the celebrity world to start a new life in Dubai working as a personal trainer while competing on the bodybuilding circuit.

He says: “Bodybuilding is something I have loved from an early age. But when Love Island came about the whole process of bulking up then cutting down for competition just wasn’t possible.”

However, the process of massive weight gain then loss for competitions led to him being trolled about his size once again.

He explains: “I would put on body fat to bulk up to 105 kilos (16st 8lbs) and I knew the reaction would be bad.

“But it was actually the worst and hardest time I have gone through in my life as it brought back all my body image issues.

“I was carrying all that extra weight as I was a good three stone heavier at that time and I was getting nasty comments on a daily basis.

“It gave me some real insecurities about myself so much so I didn’t want to leave the house and was wearing baggy tops all the time.

“It was like going back to my childhood. I was being retraumatised, because I still have that fat kid in me.”

However, it made him think twice about why he was putting his body through such an extreme regime.

He adds: “When guys are bulking they are taking stuff they shouldn’t be, also force feeding themselves. And when they’re dieting they’re not eating enough nutrition. It’s mad.

“So just because you have a six pack, it is probably unhealthy as your body fat isn’t meant to be that low.”

Anton says he’s now trying to cut down on the gym work while maintaining his muscles for a trip to Ibiza, where he met Gary Lineker’s club king brother Wayne.

He says: “When I used to go to Ibiza for two weeks it was very much about getting ripped to the bone.

“But now I am not going to kill myself for an extra vein in my abs, then feel like s**t because my energy is so low.

“I’m past that. I’m 28 now. I realise that it doesn’t even matter if I am not going to be the leanest I’ve ever been – I’m now cool with that.”

He adds: “I want to look back at the times I have enjoyed. When you’re lying on your deathbed you’re not going to think, ‘At least I was shredded when I was 25’.

“Yes, I still want to exercise and be healthy but you don’t have to take it to extremes.

“I will still go to the gym five days a week but I also want to be able to go out and have a drink once a week too. I want to eat out too.”

For his documentary Anton also met schoolkids with body image issues from Dalziel High School in Motherwell, Lanarkshire.

He says: “I would like any kid watching the show not to compare their lives with others.

“When we look at social media these people aren’t really living such amazing lives anyway. That’s why I’m so frank with people now saying ‘it’s boring living like this’.”

In the meantime Anton is now waiting to hear if he will “go on my second whistle” – a phrase made famous by Scots ref John Anderson on the original show – if he successfully becomes one of the next generation Gladiators.

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He says: “I wouldn’t do Ex on the Beach just to get back on TV. But I must admit Gladiators does appeal to me.”

  • Anton Danyluk on Body Shame is on BBC Scotland this Thursday at 10.30pm
Anton went in to Love Island with the wrong idea

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Anton went in to Love Island with the wrong idea
He put his body through hell bodybuilding

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He put his body through hell bodybuilding

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