TV & Movies

How Much Of Love Island Is Staged, Exactly?

Here’s what producers and former Islanders have said on the subject.

by Alice Broster and Sophie McEvoy
Originally Published: 
How Much Of Love Island Is Staged, Exactly?

As Love Island makes its triumphant return this week, the drama between the new islanders will soon play out making viewers wonder once again whether Love Island is staged or not. Every year the show’s creators come up against rumours that the on-screen action is somehow choreographed or scripted. Here’s what they (and fellow islanders) have had to say about it in the past.

Last year, series seven of Love Island saw Faye tell Millie that she thought she may have overreacted to Teddy’s actions in Casa Amor, leading some fans to believe that the conversation was staged due to backlash from previous episodes. However, the show’s creators have always maintained that Love Island is not staged. During the January 2020 edition, a representative from the show told Metro: “As anyone who watches the show regularly would know, Love Island is a combination of reality and produced elements that are reflective of what’s happening in the villa, and is a fair and accurate representation of villa life.”

They added: “It is absolutely untrue to suggest that Love Island is fake, staged, or scripted. The opinions they have and the relationships formed are completely within the control of the Islanders themselves.”

In the past, former islanders have lifted the lid on the crew’s involvement in their day-to-day life. The most major claim probably came from season three’s Tyla Carr, who in 2018 told The Daily Star that producers can “suggest it would be a good idea if you brought something up or discussed something.”

Carr went on: “What viewers don’t see is there is always a producer on site.” She added: “They don’t live in the villa with us but someone generally comes in every hour to have a chat. They would often tannoy an announcement asking for someone to come to the sofa to have a chat with one of the producers. They tell you what they want you to talk about, and who with.”

'Love Island'/ITV

Season two’s Kady McDermott told Cosmopolitan something similar in 2018 also, saying that producers would occasionally step in to advise on conversations topics. According to McDermott, islanders were advised not to “name drop” or talk about anyone famous as ITV couldn’t air it.

And it’s not only the content of the conversations that are under scrutiny, but where they take place, too. Adam Collard and Zara McDermott also spoke about microphones during an appearance on radio station FM104, explaining that a few intimate moments actually have to be re-filmed because of them.

“[If] we had no mics on and you couldn't hear us talking, they'd probably say ‘Can you not do that there. Can you wait until tonight where there's a party and we can make it look really pretty and make it a special moment for you?’”

The most painful example of all? Carr told The Daily Star that Liv Attwood had to dump Sam Gowland twice during their season because of a mic problem. “Which was embarrassing for both of them,” she said.

Yikes, now that sounds awkward.

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