It’s been off TV screens since January 2020.
And Love Island made its hotly-anticipated return on Monday night, with the new series getting off to an eventful start and the stunning new singletons getting their first look at each other – although some fans faced technical issues with ITV Hub crashing in the exciting lead-up to the episode airing.
Trying to find love in the Mallorca villa in the latest season of the hit ITV reality show is Kaz Kamwi, Liberty Poole, Sharon Gaffka, Faye Winter, Shannon Singh and Chloe Burrows as well as Toby Aromolaran, Brad McClelland, Aaron Francis, Hugo Hammond and Jake Cornish.
It’s back! Love Island returned to screens on Monday, with a new host of stunning Islanders hoping to couple up and find their match in Mallorca (pictured L-R Liberty Poole, Sharon Gaffka, Kaz Kamwi, Faye Winter and Shannon Singh)
In true Love Island tradition, the girls were the first ones to arrive at the villa – with Kaz, Liberty, Sharon, Faye and Shannon all make their entrance and beginning to get to know one another at the iconic fire pit.
Kaz and Liberty were the first two girls to arrive at the villa and struggled slightly popping the first bottle of drink, before bonding over some giggles and joking they needed a man to help them.
Sharon was next to turn up, shortly followed by Faye and Shannon. Once introduced to their new pals for the summer the girls wasted no time in getting to know each other and talking about their ideal men.
Shortly after, host Laura Whitmore arrived and the girls are asked to line up – with the infamous first coupling already being teased ahead of the show airing on Monday night in an action packed trailer.
Eagerly awaiting the arrival of the boys, Liberty said: ‘I’m ready for the hotties. Anyone else?’
Ahead of the first coupling up, Laura asked the girls how they’re feeling. Liberty said: ‘I’m nervous but I’m excited to see what potential is coming through the doors.’
Stunning: Liberty Poole (left) and Kaz Kamwi (right) also sizzled in their slinky bikinis during the eventful launch night episode, with the two beauties being the first to enter the brand new villa
Speaking about what she is looking for, Kaz said: ‘I just like muscles and biceps, nice backs and nice bodies!’
On whether personality is important to her, Faye – letting a little of her Devon accent shine – said: ‘We need the personality; if he’s not bringing the personality, I don’t want him!’
Speaking about her ‘turn-offs’, Sharon says: ‘White jeans and an ego… it’s just a no from me.’
The time then arrived for the girls to meet the boys as host Laura said: ‘I think it’s about time we meet some boys. What do you think? One by one the guys are going to come in, you’re going to decide if you like them or not…
‘If you fancy them, you step forward and once you step forward or not, each boy will then decide who they want to couple up with. So, who is ready to meet our first boy?’
Romance: Toby (left) and Hugo (right) are among the eligible bachelors hoping to couple up on the 2021 series
The boys – Jake, Aaron, Hugo, Toby and Brad – then make their entrance one by one and are greeted by the girls.
Somerset hunk Jake arrived first, struggling to hide how impressed he was with the stunning girls in front of him and acknowledging he’s a ‘lucky man’ to be going first.
And although having waited almost 18 months for the return of Love Island, many fans were left frustrated ahead of the girls’ big entrance and quickly trying to fix their ITV Hub stream – with football fans also facing difficulties trying to watch the France V Switzerland game.
ITV tweeted about the problem, telling fans: ‘We are currently experiencing technical difficulties and working on getting services back as soon as possible.’
Dozens of viewers shared Love Island memes featuring stars of seasons past to express their frustration, with some fans hoping that the glitchy player was just a ‘joke’.
Making sure the latest series is one to remember, the beauties and hunks wasted no time in getting to know each other and setting a very saucy tone with a game of dares around the fire pit in the evening.
Oh dear: Dozens of Love Island fans were left in a panic moments before the episode started on Monday, with many facing problems with ITV Hub crashing
LOVE ISLAND 2021: MEET THE CONTESTANTS
Sharon Gaffka, 25
Name: Sharon Gaffka
Occupation: Civil Servant – Operations Lead for Department of Transport
Who is their type on paper? ‘I tend to date someone who is taller than me, even though my last long-term partner, he was actually someone who was shorter than me.
‘I’m quite an intellectual person so I want someone who can kind of match that.’
Aaron Francis, 24
Name: Aaron Francis
Occupation: Luxury Events Host
Who is their type on paper? ‘I need someone that is passionate about what they are doing – from scientist to anything – you can tell when someone is speaking about something and they are actually smiling while they are talking. I love that.
‘I don’t like when people are doing a job just to make money and then they kind of just live for the weekend. Especially because I work on the weekends.’
Liberty Poole, 21
Name: Liberty Poole
Occupation: Nando’s Waitress and Marketing Student
Who is their type on paper? ‘So I like tall, alpha male, confident, a cheeky chappy sort of guy.
‘But obviously that’s always usually combined with player types, which is where I go wrong. So I am trying to change my ways and go for more of a nicer guy that is going to treat me right.’
Hugo Hammond, 24
Name: Hugo Hammond
Occupation: PE Teacher
Who is their type on paper? ‘I’ve been single for a while now. With the current climate, it’s been really hard to get back into dating.
‘I saw it as an opportunity to have an amazing fun summer and put myself back out there.’
Name: Shannon Singh
Occupation: Glamour model
Who is their type on paper? ‘I don’t feed off looks, I feed off energy, I need someone with personality. Just someone I can have fun with.
‘I’m a party girl, I love going out, I’m very social. For me it’s quite hard to find people who are genuine and looking for what you’re looking for’
Name: Jake Cornish
Occupation: Water Engineer
Who is their type on paper? ‘Looks wise, always gone for blondes. But for me, the main thing is having respect and having good fun, and someone who will be loyal to you…
‘I’ve had messages from girls that have got boyfriends and husbands. This is why I don’t trust anyone. Someone who is loyal really. But when I’m single, I like having a good time!
Name: Kaz Kamwi
Occupation: Fashion Blogger
Who is their type on paper? ‘I like meeting new people, I’m ready to be in a relationship. Why not be in a place where people are looking for the same things as me?’
Name: Chloe Burrows
Occupation: Financial Services Marketing Executive
Who is their type on paper? ‘I like a good build. I go to the gym. I want someone who is funny. Really funny and caring and will do nice little things for you.
‘And then obviously someone who you can depend on to not ditch you. Because I am quite a big character and quite loud, they would have to be as loud, if not more.
‘I could never be with someone who is quiet. Someone that gives you a bit back’
Name: Faye Winter
Occupation: Letting Manager
What is her type on paper? ‘Someone that will put me in my place. Someone that makes me laugh. But also someone that takes my banter. I’m like a five-year-old in a playground, if I like you, I will make a mockery of you and laugh and joke. That is my really terrible flirting skills. I need someone who can take that.’
Name: Brad McClelland
Who is their type on paper? Sommer Ray from Instagram. Zara McDermott, she’s a good-looking lass. Or Megan Fox.
Name: Toby Aromolaran
Occupation: Semi-pro footballer
How would he describe himself? ‘Optimistic. I always see the bright side in the worst situations. I’m a fun guy when I go on a night out. Responsible guy as well.’
First up to the post was semi-pro footballer Toby Aromolaran, who picked a dare from the box reading: ‘One of you must suck the toes of the other for 30 seconds’ – leading to the raucous behaviour ensuing.
Speaking in the Beach Hut after the dare, Toby said: ‘I think I got the worst one, but you know what? I’m up for it because it’s all a laugh.’ But will his partner be up for it?
Up next was labourer Brad McClelland, whose dare read: ‘You and your partner must snog for 30 seconds’, after which he locked lips with one of the girls – although fans will not know which lucky lady until airtime.
Speaking in the Beach Hut after the kiss, cheeky Brad said of his mystery suitor: ‘Decent kiss. It went on a bit too long I think.’
Oxford-born civil servant Sharon Gaffka then had her turn for a dare. She read: ‘One of you must suck the other’s earlobe for 30 seconds.’
Party time: The new islanders get dressed up as they let their hair down straight away on their first night in the villa
Bombshell arrival? A teaser trailer showed Toby receiving a voice note from Chloe (pictured) saying: ‘Hey boys. How are you?’
Speaking in the Beach Hut, Sharon said: ‘Earlobe sucking is probably not something I do on the first day that I meet someone. Actually, I don’t do that when I first meet someone. It was just a bit weird!’
However, the Islanders game of dares was soon interrupted as Toby received text. Toby received a voice note from Chloe reading: ‘Hey boys. How are you?…
‘Chloe here. I’ve just arrived and I’m outside the front of the Villa. I’d like to take you all on a date but I’ll let you guys decide who wants to come and join me. Hopefully I’ll see you soon.’
The ITV2 reality series is returning to screens for the first time since January 2020 after last year’s planned summer series was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
And after a short hiatus, the villa has had a little revamp with the bedroom boasting a tropical theme with some suggestive headboards and beds covered in pink and blue bedspreads along with a bright blue carpet.
Where the magic happens: The bedroom has a tropical theme with some suggestive headboards above each bed which are covered in pink and blue bedspreads along with a bright blue carpet
Location: The villa was given a revamp before the singletons arrived, with many of the eye-catching design choices remaining for another year as well as all the classic hangout spots including the fire pit and day beds
This year’s hideaway, where some of the couples will be heading for alone time, also features plush red curtains with a neon lips sign and some new secret drawers.
The day beds are also back for the contestants to have heart-to-hearts while the garden also features a weights area for the islanders to keep themselves in shape throughout the summer.
Meanwhile, narrator Iain Stirling recently revealed he does not intend on travelling to Majorca this year to narrate the forthcoming series of Love Island.
The TV presenter, 33, who became a voice-over artist for the dating show in 2015, has insisted he is looking forward to being ‘locked away’ in a sound booth all summer.
Radiant: Host Laura Whitmore looked nothing short of sensational as she greeted the contestants inside the villa
However, he hasn’t entirely ruled out the possibility of jetting abroad as he confirmed production haven’t made a final decision due to uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic.
Appearing on Loose Women on Friday via video link, panellist Kaye Adams asked if he will be going to Mallorca for his narrator duties.
Iain responded: ‘We are in London, I think, now, this is the thing with coronavirus, I never want to say anything because you never know, who knows what’s going to happen.
‘I don’t know what colour Mallorca is going to be next week, it will be tartan by the time I’m done with it!’
Whilst Laura had already landed in Majorca with her baby daughter ahead of the new series, Iain said he is happy to get to work in the UK.
He added: ‘I am very excited, I have not been in a sound booth for quite some time. This is like my gaming room but it’s not quite the sound booth, I am looking forward to being locked away all summer.’
Stunning: The ladies were joined by Faye Winter (second right right) and Shannon Singh (far right) by the pool