‘Love Island’ beauty Priya reveals extreme solution to her ‘embarrassing’ health condition

Priya Gopaldas
Priya Gopaldas (Image credit: Kate Green/Getty Images)

Love Island 2021 star Priya Golpadas is taking the hard way to conquer her ‘embarrassing’ health condition – by running a 250km ULTRA ultra-marathon next month.

The 24-year-old medical student from London entered ITV2 reality dating series Love Island villa last year but ultimately failed to find a true romance, opting for friendship with her partner Brett Staniland before being voted off the series by the public.

Priya returned to her medical studies (she’s currently in her fifth year at University College London) and focused on her career and her health, which has been a problem since she was 14.

She has a condition called bronchiectasis, which is when the airways of the lungs are slightly widened and cause a build-up of mucus, leading to a chronic cough and chest infections. In the age of Covid, coughing can be alarming to other people, especially from a medical professional!

“When you're in an enclosed space with anyone and you're coughing, it can be really embarrassing,” she told The Sun.“I've learned to explain, ‘It's a chronic cough, it's not Covid,’ and I've probably used that sentence a thousand times!”

As a young teen the problem became so bad she was hospitalised for two weeks. “It was really bad,” she recalls. “I was in hospital for two weeks with pneumonia. And after, that for a year, I was just really unwell.”

She was initially misdiagnosed with asthma but felt relieved when it was found to be bronchiectasis. “It was sort of a relief finally knowing what I had and what I could do to treat it.”

She doesn’t take medication for the disease, rather she’s discovered that exercise and physio work best at clearing her airways and lungs  – and she has taken her routine to an extreme level by clocking up around 300km running each month.


Priya Gopladas

Priya at the finish line (Image credit: Instagram/Priya Gopaldas)

In March she heads to Sri Lanka to run more than a marathon a day for five days straight, in aid of NHS Charities Together. It’s beyond extreme.

Priya said: “I’m worried about the distance. 250km (the distance from London to Manchester) is the furthest I have ever attempted to run. I’m worried about the heat- Sri Lanka is between 27-31 degrees in March! I’m worried about getting a pre-race injury (hurt my knee playing netball the week before the first ever ultra I was meant to take part in).

“But what I’m not worried about is believing that I’m capable of finishing.”

Meanwhile, Love Island producers are gearing up for a significant change to Love Island season eight in 2022. Applicants will no longer have to state that they are single; instead there is an option to select 'no' to that question and then they will be quizzed about their relationship status. Things could be about to get very messy in the villa if contestants have pre-existing relationships.

Patrick McLennan

Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix. 

An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.