Love Island to return this summer, ITV confirms

image copyrightITV
image captionAmy Hart and eventual winner Amber Gill pictured entering the villa in the last summer series

Love Island will return to screens this summer, nearly 18 months since it was last on air, ITV has confirmed.

However, the broadcaster has not announced any further details, such as the location of the villa.

Previous summer series have taken place in Mallorca, but reports this week suggested ITV had identified the island of Jersey as a possible back-up.

The channel has also announced a slate of new dramas and entertainment shows which will air in the coming months.

Earlier this year, ITV's CEO Dame Carolyn McCall said they were "looking at all options" to bring Love Island back.

She told the BBC's Amol Rajan: "We will want to put Love Island on air because it's been off air for a little while, we didn't do it last summer. We're looking at all our options at the moment because the pandemic makes that hard."

The most recent series of Love Island took place in the winter, concluding in February 2020, when Paige Turley and Finley Tapp were crowned the winners. (They're still together, a year later.)

That series took place just before the coronavirus pandemic, and marked the first winter run for a show which had previously only aired during summer months.

Since the series has been off air, ITV2 has been broadcasting international editions of the series in its place to fill the air time, such as Love Island Australia.

image captionLaura Whitmore is expected to return to hosting duties

Laura Whitmore will likely return to hosting duties, after she previously stood in for former presenter Caroline Flack, who died last February.

It's unclear how the show would operate if social distancing measures remain in place by this summer.

However, it's likely that Covid-19 restrictions will be significantly reduced by then, in light of the government's four-step plan to ease most lockdown rules by June, and the continued success of the coronavirus vaccine rollout.

Even if some measures are still in place, other series like Strictly have used daily testing and contestant bubbles as a way to stay on air.

But the pandemic has caused significant disruption to TV productions. Both Strictly and Dancing On Ice saw contestants leave after testing positive for Covid-19, while I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here relocated from Australia to Wales.

Love Island was one of several commissions ITV confirmed on Thursday, as it announced details of its summer programming.

ITV also announced:

  • The first series of The Masked Dancer, a spin-off from their hugely successful The Masked Singer, which will see an all-star panel try to guess the identities of disguised celebrities by the way they dance.
  • New entertainment shows featuring Ian Wright (Moneyball) Vernon Kay (Game of Talents).
  • The Thief, His Wife and The Canoe, a new drama from Unforgotten writer Chris Lang, on the story of John Darwin, who faked his own death to claim his life insurance.
  • Ready to Mingle, a dating game show that will follow a single girl in her search for a perfect partner, as 12 male suitors compete for her affections.
  • An updated version of Stars In Their eyes, titled Starstruck, which will see members of the public transform into pop stars.

The channel will also air a previously-announced new drama about the killing of Stephen Lawrence, which will star Steve Coogan as DCI Clive Driscoll.

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