Married At First Sight UK star Ella Morgan may not have found a husband on the E4 show, but she’s made a new best friend and exciting plans for a new career path.
The 29-year-old was the first transgender contestant to take part in the dating show and while her two MAFS UK marriages didn’t work out, she’s realised a relationship isn’t for her right now, and has also quit her job.
“I’ve realised my worth and that for me was the best thing to come out of this,” she smiles. “I’ve left my job and what I want to do going forward is documentaries, TV presenting. I’m lucky in that there’s space for me in this industry – there aren’t many trans presenters.”
In the series – in which singles meet their future spouses for the first time at the wedding altar – Ella was matched with marketing manager Nathaniel Valentino before finding a romantic connection with Essex-based JJ Slater and continuing the experiment with him.
Since amicably parting ways from JJ in the final episode, Ella, who’s from Weston-super-Mare, has sworn off dating after her relationships on the show left her feeling “slightly traumatised”.
“The final vows were the hardest moment for me and at the time, I didn’t really know whether I wanted to leave him or just be friends,” she says. “I think I’m still processing our break-up and our relationship.”
It may be over romantically with JJ, but Ella says they have become close friends and speak on the phone every day.
“I wanted a boyfriend but I found an amazing best friend,” she beams. “He’s just the most amazing soul and he’s changed my life for the better. He’s the first guy really who’s ever just accepted me and seen me as Ella. I was loved and accepted by a guy who usually I thought would not look at me twice, with him being an Essex boy and a real lads’ lad.”
After her roller-coaster romantic life played out on the show, Ella is staying out of the dating game for the meantime.
“I’m going to stay single for a bit and focus on my career, “ she says. “I’ve realised I’m not ready for a relationship so I’m going to have a glow-up and go out with the girls.
“I’ve got a lot of healing to do from the show and a lot of work to do on myself that I didn’t realise until the show – I think that was clear from me watching it and people commenting on social media.”
Ella admits that she has a “very thick skin” after growing up as a transgender woman and so can laugh off nasty comments on social media. However, she wasn’t expecting a backlash after getting together with JJ, who was paired with jilted Bianca Petronzi at the time.
“I don’t like people pitting women against each other, and me and Bianca were pitted against each other,” she frowns. “You may not have agreed with my actions, but you don’t need to give me a load of s**t, especially transphobic s**t, for it. The public really put me down to lift Bianca up.
“There are certain things I could say about my relationship with Bianca that I won’t because I know certain people have said certain things and I’d love to out them, but then I would be no different from all these trolls.”
Although it didn’t work out for Ella and JJ, the former clinic consultant is thrilled for her MAFS UK co-stars Georges Berthonneau and Peggy Rose, who are still together despite their many clashes on the show.
“I had my doubts in the beginning but I think they’ll grow old together,” Ella says. “He is so in love with her and she has accepted so much that I guess outside the experience she probably would not have.”
Ella is more surprised that Jordan Gayle and Erica Roberts made their relationship work.
“I didn’t think they were quite right for each other. When they were good they were good, and when they were bad, it could be the T word – toxic,” she whispers.
With Christmas coming up, Ella says it’s her favourite time of year – however, she’s focusing on her milestone 30th birthday at the end of December.
“I’m a Capricorn! It’s just after Christmas and I’m going to go wild. I’m hoping to do a whole month of celebrations in January and then go on holiday.
“I want to do a big party with the MAFS UK people, my London friends and my northern friends, because I’ve got no man to do it for me. No one else is going to spoil me.”
Ella admits she doesn’t usually like to celebrate her birthday. “I don’t like getting old and I’m not where I thought I’d be in my life at 30, but you’re only 30 once!”
As for the festive season, she will be spending as much time with her family as possible after months away filming MAFS UK.
“I’m away a lot now doing different things so I would like to spend Christmas with my family,” she says. “I always put a real tree up in my nan’s house and I love to decorate it. I’ve got a dog now and this will be my second Christmas with him,” she adds. “We’re all just going to be at my brother’s with my new baby nephew.
“I certainly won’t be dating any time soon unless a certain sexy celebrity – who I won’t name – ends up in my DMs. Who knows, then I might have a mystery man around the dinner table!”
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