By Connie Evans, PA Entertainment Reporter
Maya Jama suggested she has faced difficulties in her past relationships during the launch of the ninth series of Love Island.
The 28-year-old TV and radio presenter has taken over as the new host of the reality dating show after Laura Whitmore announced she was stepping down in August.
During the first episode of the new winter series, Jama tells the 10 new contestants: “Don’t forget, finding your perfect match is never that simple, trust me I know.”
Jama parted ways with ex-boyfriend Stormzy in summer 2019 after more than four years together and was later in a relationship with American basketball player Ben Simmons.
— Love Island (@LoveIsland) January 16, 2023
In Monday evening’s show, which kicks off at 9pm on ITV2 and ITV’s new streaming service, ITVX, viewers will see five men arrive at the brand new South African villa where they are greeted by Jama.
Shaq Muhammad, a 24-year-old airport security officer and 21-year-old TV salesman Haris Namani, from Doncaster, are up first.
They are followed by 23-year-old farmer and TikTok star Will Young, 25-year-old financial adviser from Essex Ron Hall and finally Kai Fagan, a 24-year-old science and PE teacher from Manchester.
After arriving at the villa, the men begin to get to know each other before witnessing a dramatic entrance from Jama as she arrives by helicopter.
After landing, Jama begins to quiz the male islanders and finds out what they are looking for from the girls, who are set to arrive imminently.
When asked what his type is, Shaq says: “I go for more personality and vibes but she’s definitely got to be funny, funny is top of my list, I love it.”
Meanwhile Haris revealed he has never been in a relationship, and Kai candidly shares that he is “looking for a wifey”.
After getting to know the men, Jama says: “Well boys, it is time to couple up, the girls will come in one by one and I’ll ask you to step forward if you fancy them.
“Each girl will then decide which boy she wants to couple up with. It’s that simple.”
The five women make their entrance into the villa, with 22-year-old biomedical science student Tanya Manhenga leading the pack.
Tanya is followed by Anna-May Robey, a 20-year-old payroll administrator from Swansea, Lana Jenkins, a 25-year-old make-up artist from Luton, and Olivia Hawkins, a 27-year-old actress from Brighton.
The female line-up is completed by 26-year-old hair-stylist Tanyel Revan from London.
Following the first coupling of the series and as the islanders begin to get to know each other, they are shocked to discover that the public have been voting for the first bombshell of the series.
Following the public vote, either 25-year-old business development executive Ellie Spence, from Norwich, or 23-year-old Tom Clare, a semi-pro footballer from Barnsley, will enter the villa to shake things up as the first bombshell.
The new series is the show’s first winter series since before the coronavirus pandemic.
New additions also include Made In Chelsea star Sam Thompson and Indiyah Polack, who was a finalist on the show last year, who are joining as regular panellists on Love Island’s Aftersun programme.
Love Island returns on Monday at 9pm on Virgin Media Two.