It's the news none of us wanted to hear – summer Love Island 2020 has been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and is unlikely to return until early next year.
In a statement sent to Bustle UK on Monday May 4, Kevin Lygo, Director of Television at ITV, announced:
“We have tried every which way to make Love Island this summer but logistically it's just not possible to produce it in a way that safeguards the wellbeing of everyone involved and that for us is the priority. In normal circumstances we would be preparing very soon to travel out to the location in Mallorca to get the villa ready but clearly that’s now out of the question.”
Lygo added: “We are very sorry for fans of the show but making it safely is our prime concern and Love Island will be back stronger than ever in 2021. In the meantime Love Island fans can still enjoy all six series of Love Island on BritBox.”
Speaking about the decision on Twitter, host Laura Whitmore said: "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 then any other series! Next year is going to be BIG. Stay safe."
Crisis talks took place in late April, with ITV bosses trying to work out whether there was any viable way the network's most popular series could go ahead. According to The Sun, some options discussed included testing the contestants for coronavirus and moving the dates to later in the year. Sadly, however, it was decided that this would not be enough to guarantee the safety of the contestants and crew.
On April 30, Lygo took part in a a virtual panel session for the Edinburgh TV Festival and explained that he was nervous about “doing a show where everyone is crammed together, slathering over each other, while the rest of the world has been told not to go near anyone in the park.” He had previously ruled out the possibility of the show being shot in Cornwall, explaining that Love Island “in the UK would not be the same show.”
On May 10, rumours began to emerge that ITV bosses were reconsidering their decision and that Love Island would perhaps be able to take place in the autumn in a location such as the Canary Islands. However, nothing has been confirmed by ITV, and they did not reply when Bustle reached out for comment.
COVID-19 has affected a number of TV shows across ITV and other networks. Britain's Got Talent has been on air for the last few weeks but an ITV spokesperson has confirmed that "in light of the latest government health guidelines," production on the live stages of the series will not go ahead until "later in the year." Soaps such as Emmerdale, Eastenders, and Coronation Street have had to make dramatic changes to their filming and airing schedules, while filming has been cancelled all together for popular series such as Gentleman Jack and Peaky Blinders.