Meet the beauties and hunks all set for Love Island date

Love Island starts on Monday, June 28... meet the group taking part in this year's show
Meet the beauties and hunks all set for Love Island date

Love Island contestants, from left, Sharon, Hugo, Chloe, Shannon , Kaz, Brad, Faye, Aaron, Toby , Liberty and Jake

AS Covid restrictions ease and most of us yearn for a sun-drenched getaway, one lucky group of singletons have managed to do just that — the contestants in a new series of Love Island.

In the show, which begins on Virgin Media 1 and ITV2 on Monday at 9pm, the group live in a villa for eight weeks, and in order to stay on the show and not be dumped, they must couple up.

So get set for shock recouplings, unexpected splits and dramatic exits.

New mum, Bray-born Laura Whitmore, is again hosting, while her husband Ian Stirling is back with his hilarious voiceovers, as the pair guide us through the head-turning antics and tear-jerking heartbreaks.

Regarded as a one-stop train to fame by many prospective applicants, it’s a show that harnesses the power of social media (and lust) to full effect, boosting Instagram profiles in the process.

ITV has announced new duty of care protocols after the intense scrutiny surrounding the deaths of former Love Island contestants Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis.

Islanders will now be offered therapy sessions, social media and financial management training, mental and physical health screenings, alongside extensive aftercare following their stint in the villa.

Direct from Mallorca, the latest series is sure to entertain us, although given the success of many Irish contestants in it over the years, it’s a shame to see none lined up this year.

Among the batch are Aaron Francis, aged 24, a London-based model and luxury events host who was recently a host at Princess Beatrice’s wedding.

Sharon Gaffka, aged 25, of Oxford, describes herself as “outrageous”, and Liberty Poole, aged 21, a Nando’s waitress and marketing student from Birmingham describes herself as “a bit of a social butterfly”, having already received a proposal whilst at work.

Hugo Hammond, aged 24, is the first physically disabled Love Islander. A PE teacher, he has represented his country at cricket. He says: “I was born with club foot. I had lots of operations when I was a kid.”

Shannon Singh, aged 22, is hoping to meet an “meet an exciting hunk”, and the Fife-based model says her teen glamour modelling days are “nothing to be ashamed of”.

Jake Cornish, aged 24, has “always gone for blondes” and cites his dream woman as former Towie star Billie Faiers, while water engineer Jake says he was fresh out of a seven-year relationship when lockdown hit. 

“The main thing is having respect and having good fun,” says Jake.

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