MAFS UK returned to our screens earlier this year and saw 24 strangers get matched by dating experts Mel Schilling, Paul C Brunson, and Charlene Douglas.

On the show, all of the participants bravely signed up to get married to people they met for the first time at the altar.

This year's series brought with it a lot of drama and anxiety as the contestants prepared for their weddings and got to know each other afterwards, hoping to make love matches that lasted for life.

The nerves were something that Jay Howard, 32, from Lancashire, felt before her marriage to Essex boy Luke Worley, 31.

Jay has now revealed in an exclusive interview with OK! that she had a panic attack after her hen party which wasn't aired on the show, resulting in her almost backing out of her wedding.

Jay told OK!: “I nearly backed out of the wedding at the hen party when I met the rest of the girls because I was anxious and it was very overwhelming.

“I went to one of the welfare staff and said I wanted to stop because I was feeling like I wasn’t good enough. She did a good job of calming me down because I did have a bit of a panic attack.

"I was feeling heightened emotions and it got very real, very quick. I thought if I can’t do the hen do there’s not a chance I can marry someone I’ve never met before and spend all that time with them."

However, after managing to calm down, Jay decided to go ahead with the wedding after reassuring herself that she could do it.

She continued: “It worked out for the best and I’ve done it and I’m proud of myself and I don’t regret anything.”

Jay told us that on the day of the wedding she was feeling relaxed up until it came to getting her dress on.

She added: "I had my sister and best friends getting ready with me on the day so I was feeling quite chill but when I got my dress on I thought ‘oh s*** this is happening’ and I did have a bit of cold feet.

"I got to the bottom of the aisle and they said 'are you ready' and I said 'no' and they said 'come on you're going now.'"

Jay had planned to walk down the aisle alone but decided in the end that she would have her best friend come down with her.

"She held my hand, well my stump, every step of the way, I was very apprehensive. Then, when I saw Luke at the end of the aisle, I thought he was really good-looking and thought 'he's definitely not going to fancy me'.

"I assumed he was going to be another Essex f***boy and that he would be disappointed when he saw me but he turned around and smiled and he was a lovely guy," Jay said.

Jay and Luke started getting to know each other following the wedding but unfortunately had to leave the experiment after a physical fight occurred between Luke and Jordan Gayle over his comments about cheating.

Jay added: “It was really good when we were together. It was a blessing in disguise even though we left under difficult circumstances and I don’t agree with what happened. It was our time to go even though we were sad about it."

After they left the show, Jay and Luke went on holiday together and tried to make their relationship work but ended up splitting as they struggled with the six hour distance between them and a lack of communication.

“I do think if we stayed on MAFS things might have been different because we’d have been a lot stronger. The effort wasn’t there on his part and I think we split because of lack of communication.

"It is sad that it ended the way it has because I do still care about him and I wish things were different," Jay says.

Jay, who was born without part of her left arm, has been busy since the show, recently presenting an award at the Inclusive Awards and performing alongside Victoria Ekanoye.

She's also soon to become an ambassador for REACH, the UK's leading limb difference charity.

"I just want to help give back a little to society. If I can help people have confidence, I'll be happy. I want to shed a bit of light on it as well using my platform and show people that we can have a laugh too.

"I don't want people to feel like they can't ask certain questions because they might be offended, I'm very open anyway," she said.

Jay is also thinking about finding love again as she wants to settle down and have children.

She explained: "It might not be straight away that I look for love again but I'm 32 and I do want to settle down and have that family unit in the future, that's all I've ever wanted.

"I'm not losing hope, it just hasn't happened for me yet. If anyone wants to take me out for a date over Christmas, I'm more than happy!"

Check out REACH here:

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