It's been a year since a bunch of young sexy singletons attempted to find love in the Love Island villa, but for devoted fans of the show, this has felt like a lifetime. ITV's hit reality series was forced to cancel its regular filming schedule in summer 2020 due to the pandemic, however show producers did promise Love Island would return "bigger and better than ever" come 2021. So when is that, exactly? Here's everything we know about Love Island 2021 so far.
When does Love Island 2021 start?
Whilst confirming what ITV's lineup looks like in the coming months, Kevin Lygo, Managing Director of Media and Entertainment at ITV, confirmed the return of Love Island when he said: "There’s so much to look forward to on ITV this spring and into summer, with the Euros and the return of Love Island, but much more besides."
No further information have been released, but I have reached out to ITV for more details and will update you as soon as I know more. For now, the knowledge that we can look forward to its return is enough to make me put all my eggs in one basket: ITV's basket.
Earlier this year, ITV's chief executive Carolyn McCall had been hesitant to confirm the 2021 edition of the reality series, telling BBC Radio 4 that she "genuinely" didn't know whether it would be back in summer 2021. "We will want to put Love Island on air because it’s been off air for a little while," she explained. "We didn’t do it last summer. We are looking at all our options at the moment. The pandemic makes it hard."
However, after prime minister Boris Johnson announced the UK government's roadmap for Britain in February, including potential freedom in June, many hoped this would mean all systems go for the award-winning reality show.
According to sources cited by the Daily Mail, Love Island 2021 will go ahead three weeks later than expected, taking place at the end of June rather than the start, as with previous seasons. "Crew members are scheduled to fly out to Majorca on June 20 – with the series expected to launch a week later,” they reported. These reports have not been confirmed or denied by ITV.
Laura Whitmore, who welcomed a daughter with partner Iain Sterling just before Easter, presented the Winter series in February 2020, has shed a little hope for a loved-up summer.
"I have been told that it’s coming back. I love doing it, it’s such a fun show," she revealed The Telegraph's Stella magazine in February 2021. "And I actually think it’s been good to have had that break, for everyone who works on it, because we all went through a loss. It’s nice to realise how much people missed the show. Apparently applications are crazy this year."
In the meantime, you can fill the void with Love Island Australia, though.
How long will Love Island 2021 be on for?
It’s been an extra long wait for the return to the Love Island villa, so the ITV gods have seen it fit to make the return last that much longer. How long? Eight (glorious) weeks.
Will Winter Love Island make a return later this year?
The South Africa edition of the show – won by Paige Turley and Finley Tapp in 2020, a mere weeks before the UK went into national lockdown – will not be making a comeback, no. ITV's Kevin Lygo admitted that filming in South Africa was a “challenge”, citing the weather as “quite cold.” Instead, ITV bosses will focus on making the summer edition that much hotter.
Consider the winter edition “indefinitely postponed.”
Who will be the Love Island 2021 contestants?
Applications are still open so it is too soon to tell who will feature in season 7 just yet, but we do know that more people than ever have applied to take part.
When the 2020 series was cancelled, Whitmore tweeted: "Like with a lot of things because of restrictions with travel, social distancing and unable to plan ahead, Love Island is postponed until 2021. Great news is that there have been more applications than any other series! Next year is going to be BIG. Stay safe."
Where will Love Island 2021 be filmed?
Love Island usually takes place in Majorca, Spain, but that could be subject to plenty of new restrictions given the pandemic. Per Hello Magazine, contestants could be "put into strict isolation" and "undergo rigorous testing" before heading into the villa. And, depending on travel laws and quarantines, producers could consider filming in the UK.
According to sources of the Mirror, the new season could be filmed in Jersey, though that has not been confirmed, either.
While ITV's chief executive Carolyn McCall confirmed the show would be exploring "all options" for Love Island, the show's resident comedian Iain Stirling thought the idea of UK Love Island would be "amusing."
"Obviously, it's annoying, because I haven't got a sort of COVID-crystal ball so we can't tell what situation that's going to be in," he laughed to the Metro in January. "I genuinely thought I'm A Celeb was so brilliant this year, it's an option. It could be quite amusing seeing Love Island contestants embracing the beaches of Bognor Regis at some point."
Can you still apply for Love Island 2021?
Yes. As it currently stands, applications are open until April 30, 2021 — meaning if you fancy donning your swimsuit and risking being dumped on national television, now's your chance. You can fill out the initial application form right here.
Remember, you have to be aged 18 or over, can't be employed by ITV or have an immediate relative who works for the broadcaster, have a passport which is valid until at least February 2022, and you need to be free for a minimum of 10 weeks to participate in the show.
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