Love Island: Could Tinder find the show's first gay couple?

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Love Island line upImage source, ITV
Image caption,
Previous series of Love Island have yielded no gay couplings

The ITV reality series Love Island has proved successful in helping singletons to find romantic partners since it returned to our screens in 2015.

So far, though, there has never been a same-sex couple on the show.

Ahead of this summer's new series, however, producers have hooked up with online dating app Tinder in a bid to diversify its pool of contestants.

ITV says the lack of gay couplings to date has been a "logistical" issue, rather than being discriminatory.

'Not impossible'

"You are trying to create couples," the show's executive producer Richard Cowles said in a statement provided to the BBC.

"It is not impossible and it is not something that we shy away from... but there is a logistical element which makes it difficult."

The programme-makers noted that islanders in previous series had identified as bisexual, and that the show's stance on same-sex partnerships has not changed from previous years.

They said the only stipulation for applicants uploading their profiles - Tinder is now one of several ways to do so - is that they are over 18 and single.

"Our application and casting process is inclusive to all and we are always aiming to reflect the age and diversity of our audience on the show," a spokesman said.

Tinder allows users to select their gender preferences when creating a profile. A spokeswoman for the app told the BBC on Monday: "The Love Island casting team will make the final decision on those that will be heading to the villa".

Media caption,
Dame Carolyn McCall on the future of ITV's Love Island and The Jeremy Kyle Show

Love Island will return this summer, nearly 18 months after it was last on air ITV confirmed last month.

Last year's series was torpedoed by the Covid-19 pandemic, and ITV has yet to clarify how the new series will be filmed.

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

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