Love Island returns for first winter series since pandemic

Among the 10 contestants is the first partially sighted islander and the ex-girlfriend of an I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! contestant
Love Island returns for first winter series since pandemic

Charlotte McLaughlin, PA Senior Entertainment Reporter

Love Island is returning to South Africa for its winter series for the first time since the pandemic.

The new series of the ITV dating show, which is also being hosted by radio DJ Maya Jama for the first time, will see 10 islanders entering the villa on Monday.

Among the contestants is the first partially sighted islander, Ron Hall, the ex-girlfriend of last year’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! runner-up, Lana Jenkins, and actress Olivia Hawkins (27) who was in No Time To Die alongside Daniel Craig.

Jenkins (25), a make-up artist to the stars, was also in an episode of comedy show Benidorm as an extra when she lived in Spain when she was six.

On Hollyoaks actor Owen Warner, she said: “We had a lovely relationship. We had a bit of a lockdown relationship, so we spent a lot of time together.

“And then when we ended, we ended amicably, so I have nothing bad to say in terms of our relationship and the time that we spent together.”

Hall lost his sight in one eye while playing football aged eight which he feels has shaped him as a person “in a really good way” and been a “great conversation starter” when talking to women.

The 25-year-old financial adviser from Essex said he hopes to “bring awareness and be vocal about” his condition on the show.

Kai Fagan (24), who plays semi-professional rugby for Burnage RFC and is also a science and PE teacher, thinks his stint on the island will help his students and young people learn about “good and positive relationships”.

Shaq Muhammad (24), an airport security officer from London, Tanya Manhenga (22), a biomedical science student from Liverpool, TikTok farmer Will Young (23), and Anna-May Robey, a 20-year-old payroll administrator from Swansea, also join the cast.

The line-up also includes Haris Namani (21), a TV salesman, from Doncaster, and 26-year-old hair stylist from north London Tanyel Revan.

Jama will also host the usual summer edition in Majorca later in the year following Laura Whitmore (37), stepping down.

Made In Chelsea star Sam Thompson and Indiyah Polack, who was a finalist on the show last year, are joining as regular panellists on Love Island’s Aftersun programme.

Before the series aired, ITV announced contestants will have to disable their social media accounts to protect both them and their families.

As part of the broadcaster’s duty of care policies, islanders will also receive “guidance and training” around “mutually respectful behaviour in relationships” after the last series prompted thousands of complaints to broadcasting watchdog Ofcom.

Many of the complaints related to “alleged misogynistic and bullying behaviour” by some islanders, although they were not upheld.

Love Island returns at 9pm on Monday, January 16th on ITV2 and Virgin Media.

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