Why Emily Atack can’t resist a toyboy – from 'fling' with Harry Styles to 21-year-old model who wooed her on Instagram

SHE once joked she felt like a “perv" for dating a model four years younger than her, but these days Emily Atack is clearly warming to the idea.

The 31-year-old comedian has reportedly given England star Jack Grealish, 26, who is five years her junior, an ultimatum – her or his childhood sweetheart, Sasha Attwood. 


The £100million footballer is said to be "smitten" with the Inbetweeners star following their secret dates.

According to sources, Emily had "no idea" he was in a relationship after spotting him on celebrity dating app Raya. 

From flings with Harry Styles, 27, to a then 18-year-old shop worker who ‘broke her heart’, Emily has increasingly embraced the perks of dating a toyboy.

And when it comes to love, the star is at least right on trend – with everyone from Kate Beckinsale to Tamzin Outhwaite recently dating a younger man.

Opening up to Fabulous about her 20-year age-gap relationship, Tamzin, 51, gushed about the virtues of dating Tom Child, 30, and said their maturity levels were perfectly matched.

The EastEnders beauty said: "I love spontaneity, I’m not great with plans and it’s a very childish way of living but Tom is much more mature.”

Here's how in-demand Emily is getting in on the race to bag a toyboy.

Alex Dabner

The comedian enjoyed a holiday fling with an accountancy graduate nine years her junior in September. 

Emily was snapped passionately snogging 22-year-old Alex Dabner during a boozy break at Marbella's Ocean Club. 

Fun-loving Emily dismissed the holiday romance as "a bit of fun" and said she has no plans to see Alex again now that she has returned from Marbella.

A source added: "Emily is single and enjoying herself. She thought Alex was attractive and didn't care about any age gap.

"She's back in the UK now and has no plans to meet up with Alex, it really was just a bit of holiday fun."

Emily previously teased that she was looking for a holiday romance on her girls trip to Spain, joking: "Lock up your waiters" when they touched down.

Jude Taylor

Emily's fling with Alex came just weeks after she split from toyboy boyfriend Jude Taylor, whom she dated for five months and invited to her sister Martha's summer wedding.

While it’s not clear how the Celebrity Juice star and fashion entrepreneur, 26, met, the pair reportedly hit it off straight away when they began dating in May. 

Emily was quick to share loved-up selfies of them together basking in sunlight and snogging him at her sister’s wedding. 

Unfortunately, they split after just five months because of Emily’s gruelling work schedule. 

A source explained at the time: "Emily and Jude were a great match and had a lot of fun, but it ended up being too tricky to make it work long term."

Charlie Edwards


The actress was linked to model Charlie Edwards, 21, who is 10 years her junior, last October.

Talented Charlie also designs intricate inks for The Raven’s Retreat tattoo parlour.

According to reports, Emily was wooed by Charlie on Instagram and wasn’t put off by the decade age difference. 

Sources told The Sun: “Emily seems totally taken with Charlie and he's really into her. They met through a mutual friend.”

But Emily reportedly split with her beau after just three months due to her hectic work schedule and strict Covid-19 rules made it impossible for them to see each other.

Jack Vacher

Emily enjoyed a five-year romance with Hollister model Jack Vacher, now 27, before they split up in 2017.

She first clapped eyes on him when he was 18 and working in a local shop – and admitted she pursued him.

“I started talking to him and got his phone number,” she said at the time. “Then I sort of stalked him.

“He’s lovely, the sweetest person in the world. We get on well and make each other laugh. I don’t have a bad word to say about him.”

The actress has previously admitted she felt like a “perv” for dating a guy four years younger than her and said she was insecure about his good looks. 

"It’s nice to look at a photo of my boyfriend Jack,” she said. “He’s rather handsome. Sometimes I don’t want to stand next to him for that reason."

Jack reportedly broke Emily’s heart when he split up with her at the end of 2017. 

During an interview with Noel Edmunds, the 31-year-old admitted it had been a tough year following the break-up with her lover – who is four years younger than her.

She said: “I went through a break up. Five years I was with somebody. I got into a habit of thinking I needed that security. 

“That I needed that love and acceptance from a guy to make me happy. For me this has been very daunting."

Harry Styles

Emily first admitted she had a crush on baby-faced Harry back in 2010. 

On her Twitter page at the time, she wrote: “Does Harry from One Direction HAVE to be 16?!

“Let’s pretend he’s 18 at least! Then there’d be only One Direction he’d be going – to the bedroom!”

In May 2012 – two and a half years later – the pair were linked but according to reports their romance fizzled out quickly.

In 2014, Emily confirmed their fling but said they no longer keep in touch.

She said: "We had a nice little fling. We were never boyfriend and girlfriend. I think that’s the first time I’ve ever admitted to what it was, because I’ve just shrugged it off before.

“Harry and I had fun, then went in opposite directions. We haven’t spoken in a while.”

Dating expert explains the attraction to toyboys

Vihan Patel, dating expert and founder of POM, the new dating app that matches people based on musical preferences, explains Emily’s attraction to toyboys…“

"It’s actually quite interesting that we’re still surprised when a woman is with a younger man, considering no one bats an eyelid when the dynamic is switched.

There are a variety of reasons why Emily may be drawn to younger men – one study into the matter recently found that one of the reasons for this kind of relationship was the allure of increased sexual stamina in younger men.

Another reason was that older women feel more empowered and confident when in relationships with a younger man. Alternatively, Emily may be drawn to the emotional aspect of an age-hypogamous intimate relationship (a woman with a younger man) if she feels that men her age are too serious or ready to settle down.

On the other side of the spectrum, younger men may find the security of an older woman like Emily alluring; confidence, financial security, emotional security, and social standing are all reasons that may explain the attraction.

For whatever reason the relationship starts, it is likely propelled by the two factors working together; for example, the women being empowered by their relationship and the man finding that alluring, and so on.

In the long run, mutual interests between the adults, along with if they click and have emotional compatibility, should matter more for a successful relationship as opposed to their age.”

Emily's 'older' former flames and the 'throuple' whose hearts she broke

The I’m a Celeb runner-up recently opened up about her raunchy threesomes with a married couple on ITV2’s The Emily Atack show. 

She revealed how the ‘throuple’ started when she hooked up with a man she met in a pub and he told her he was in an open relationship with his wife. 

But the revelation didn’t put Emily off, far from it. Emily admitted she was "excited" by the news and eager to meet his wife.

She said: “After a bit of flirting and texting, he announces that he’s married but it’s OK because he and his wife have an open relationship and she wants to meet me.

“Now to some people that would be a red flag but I’m like a bull – red flags drive me wild.

“It was all fun… for a bit until they both started falling in love with me.”

Awkwardly, Emily explained how the pair both fell for her and she had the ‘difficult’ job of breaking up with two people. 

She continued: “I sat them down and said, ‘Guys, you have some issues you need to work out and s****ing me is not the answer. I think you just need to talk to each other’.”

“You think breaking up with one person is awkward, try breaking up with two."

Rob Jowers

Emily split from film producer Rob Jowers after six months in September 2019.

The pair reportedly called time on their whirlwind romance after realising they wanted different things on a holiday with her family.

A source told The Sun at the time: "Emily and Rob were enjoying a honeymoon phase in their relationship with lots of fancy dates and extravagant weekends abroad.

"But when the dust settled they realised it just wasn’t right. The split was mutual and they are both really sad about it and remain friends.

"Emily’s enjoying one of the busiest times in her career so wants to give all she can to the exciting work opportunities coming her way. She’s throwing herself into upcoming projects and remains positive."

Not long after the break-up, Emily opened up about her love life. 

She said: “It’s been a very, very tough time and it’s still very raw.

“Luckily I’ve got so many amazing things happening in my life to distract me from the fact that I’m incredibly sad. But I know the drill and I’ve got over boys before.”

“Heartbreak gets harder to deal with as you get older as you pin your hopes on things. I so wanted this to be my happy ending.”

Ziggy Lichman

Emily and the former Big Brother heartthrob reportedly dated for a few months before she went into the jungle.

Pals revealed at the time that the pair enjoyed "a lot of chemistry" after meeting through mutual friends in September 2018.  

Ziggy, 37, a former member of the boyband Northern Line, is even said to have thrown Emily an I’m A Celebrity-themed party. 

Sources claimed Ziggy was missing Emily 'like mad' when she entered the show and was 'really proud' of her for getting on the show. 

But it appears their rumoured romance was short-lived after a spokesman for the Inbetweeners star later "categorically" said they were not in a relationship.

Seann Walsh

The Sun exclusively revealed the Strictly Come Dancing love Seann Walsh rat enjoyed a string of secret liaisons with Emily in 2016. 

The pair met at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival that August and “clicked”. 

At the time he was in a serious five-year relationship with his now-ex Rebecca Humpries. 

A source said: "Seann and Emily were really keen on each other. They were totally wrapped up in each other’s company.

“Emily told pe­ople she was in love with Seann. She liked the way he was funny and quite macho – a man’s man.

“He obviously made her laugh but also treated her well and ­lavished her with gifts and flowers. She liked the fact that he was a little bit older and more experienced than her, so seemed like a man of the world.”

Emily wasn’t the only woman Seann saw behind Rebecca’s back. 

In 2018, Rebecca sensationally dumped him on Twitter after The Sun revealed pictures of the comedian kissing married Strictly dance partner Katya Jones, 29.

Dougie Poynter

The comedian reportedly had a brief “friends with benefits” arrangement with former King of the Jungle Dougie Poynter, 33.

The actress rebounded with McFly bassist Dougie – who won the popular reality TV show in 2011 – after splitting from her model ex Jack Vacher.

Speaking about Emily's alleged fling with Dougie, a source said the pair's fling started after being friends for years, and was never taken seriously.

They said: “Emily was quite open about it being a 'friends with benefits' situation.

“They'd been friends for a long time and she joked that they were 'friends helping each other out'.

Fred Palascak

The beauty was accused of having a fling with married American ice dancer Fred Palascak in 2010. 

Emily was only 20 at the time and was reportedly “obsessed with Fred”. 

The pair grew close when she was competing on Dancing on Ice, which angered his wife Mel Lambert who also starred on the show. 

Rumours the pair were more than just dance partners were swirling after a runner on the set claimed they had caught Emily and Fred in a compromising “clinch” in the dressing room. 

Shortly after, the pair were allegedly spotted chatting to each other intimately in a London nightclub. 

A source said: “Everyone at the show – staff, skaters and production crew – were talking about what was going on and it was excruciating for Mel.

“She was young and excitable and couldn’t hide her feelings.

“Fred wasn’t exactly fighting it off. Emily was young and very sexy, wearing figure-hugging dresses and there was real electricity between her and Fred. He was the most handsome man on the set.”

But their alleged romance came crashing down after a dramatic showdown at the wrap party. 

Witnesses told how furious Mel confronted Emily about her infatuation with her husband.

Sources said: “At the party, Emily was a little tipsy and very flirtatious.

“Mel had seen enough and told Emily to leave her husband alone.

“Mel then turned to Fred and said ‘me or her’. He chose his wife.

"Emily left in tears with her mum. This was in front of everyone, it was very public, and a very awkward situation all round.”


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