Love Island winners Amber Gill and Greg O’Shea paused and kissed to raucous cheers as they left the airport after touching down in the UK.
The couple, who announced on Tuesday that they are now in an exclusive relationship, were greeted by a crowd of around 120 family members and friends as well as press as they arrived at Stansted Airport.
Amber wore an all-black ensemble of leggings, a sweatshirt and a cap, and wrapped her arms around the Irish rugby player, who wore a pink sweatshirt and black jeans.
They were joined by their fellow finalists Molly-Mae Hague, Tommy Fury, India Reynolds, Ovie Soko, Maura Higgins and Curtis Pritchard, all of whom were in good spirits as they returned to Britain.
Amber’s family huddled with Greg’s childhood friends, who waved an Irish flag and chanted the rugby player’s name.
After a tearful reunion with their families and friends, the contestants were quickly ushered out of a side door where they were given a chance to catch up with their nearest in private.
Amber screamed as she saw her mother had brought her cocker spaniel Obi to the airport to surprise her.
Greg’s four closest friends posed with Amber’s father in front of a bus waiting to carry the finalists away, cheering: “Greg and Amber, Greg and Amber.”
Runner-up Molly-Mae’s family wore T-shirts emblazoned with her face and the words “Team Molly-Mae”.
WE'VE GOT A TEXT! 🌴 The #LoveIsland finalists touched down at London Stansted Airport! We were here to welcome the winners, Amber & Greg and the final couples as they embark on post-villa life! #LoveIsland2019 #LoveIslandFinal #welcomeback pic.twitter.com/2TC7E1gXPZ
— London Stansted Airport (@STN_Airport) July 31, 2019
Meanwhile, Ovie’s family opted for bucket hats, cheering the basketball player’s catchphrase “Message” – which he became known for shouting whenever the islanders received a text during their time in the villa.
Maura’s mother and father waited wearing T-shirts that read “#fannyflutters”, in reference to one of the Irish grid girl’s most memorable catchphrases.
Speaking to the Higgins family, professional dancer Curtis said: “How are you guys then?”
Referring to their T-shirts, he added: “This is incredible. I am speechless. You embraced it.”
The crowd waved and cheered as the eight finalists departed the airport to return home, and Molly-Mae’s father urged her to “relax and enjoy it”.
Before the Love Island stars touched down in the UK, Amber’s best friend said she knew she would win the series.
Brogan Wilkin told PA: “It was mad, but I had a feeling… I took her to the audition in Manchester, but as soon as we were going I was like ‘you are going to win’. She’s just got that personality. She’s just the best, honestly.”
Greg’s cousin Kelvin Brown said he was not surprised Greg won the series, and has given Amber his seal of approval.
He told PA: “I wouldn’t say I was shocked because actually I backed him the week before, he came across so well, that’s it. He came across like he is outside the villa, he’s a normal guy and a gent, that’s how he is.”
Of Amber, he said: “You can see they were easily compatible, Amber’s a great girl and Greg’s just a chilled guy and he came in at the right time, obviously.
“She seems to be very easy going and very easy to get on with, and you can see that when the parents came in, so I’m looking forward to seeing her in Limerick.”
More than 3.6 million people tuned in to watch the couple be named the surprise winners of Love Island on Monday night, ITV said.
A further 400,000 fans streamed the episode on non-TV devices such as phones and tablets.
This made it the most watched Love Island final ever and the most watched episode of the series, which has been a ratings triumph for the youth-skewing channel.
They are the first winning pair who have not been together for the majority of the series.
Greg only entered the villa in the July 16 episode as the very last bombshell of the two-month series.
Prior to that, Amber had been involved with Michael Griffiths, who dumped her for Joanna Chimonides earlier in the series.