The presenter, 36, who took over hosting duties for the show’s winter series last year, said she finds it ‘really hard’ staying impartial as she watches drama in the villa unfold, but she is ‘so excited’ to be back fronting the show.
Laura added that she’ll probably ‘be a little bit fangirling’ when she finally gets to Mallorca and sees the summer series villa for the first time, as the reality show finally returns to screens after being postponed last year due to the Covid pandemic.
Returning: Love Island 2021 host Laura Whitmore, 36, has admitted she still gets giddy with excitement when she arrives at the villa ahead of filming for the new series
Speaking about the new series she said: ‘I am so excited to be back hosting. It’s been a year where I think we all need a bit more love and fun inour lives and I think everyone is ready for Love Island to be back – myself included.
‘I’m really excited about seeing the Villa. I’ve never seen the Villa in Mallorca so I’ll probably be there a little bit fangirling at the Villa. It’s almost like a person to me. So I need to remember that I’m there doing a job, not just a fangirl.
‘I haven’t met any of the Islanders yet but I’ve heard from the people behind the scenes that they are an incredible cast – it’s really exciting.’
Stunning: The presenter, who took over hosting duties for the show’s winter series last year, said she finds it ‘really hard’ staying impartial as she watches drama in the villa unfold,
Asked whether she missed the series during its time off the air, Laura added: ‘I’ve never worked a summer Love Island, so I’d normally be watching it on the telly. I really missed watching it. I couldn’t watch the news anymore.
‘I needed something that was a bit more fun – I think everyone’s the same. Having the break from it has made people appreciate it more.’
Laura went onto say that her favourite part of hosting Love Island has been getting to see the behind-the-scenes management of the show and the vast scale of the production.
She continued: ‘Purely from a fangirl point of view, getting to see behind the scenes of one of the best shows out there.
‘It’s like going on set of a movie and seeing how it works. I worked on TV shows before where it’s a set and there’s like three walls. In there it’s not.
Beauty: Laura added that she’ll probably ‘be a little bit fangirling’ when she finally gets to Mallorca and sees the summer series villa for the first time
‘You can’t see the cameras. I always wondered when you see shows like Love Island, how do they forget about the cameras, but you can understand how they can forget about them because they’re kind of behind the wall or the glass…
‘I walked in there, I was like, oh this is a really fun house to be staying in. Pretty fangirl to be able to see behind the scenes. Not many people get to do that.’
Detailing her ideal Islander, Laura continued: ‘The perfect Islander, for me, is someone funny. Someone who stirs it up a little bit. You want characters, big personalities in there. Someone who goes for it.’
Laura also confessed she struggles with staying unbiased during some of the show’s more tense moments, such as the infamous Casa Amor twist.
It’s back! She added: ‘I haven’t met any of the Islanders yet but I’ve heard from the people behind the scenes that they are an incredible cast – it’s really exciting’
She said: ‘I find it really hard. I found it really hard after Casa Amor. Last year when I knew Callum was coming back with Molly and I had to walk in there, and I saw Shaughna… I knew he’s walking in with another girl.
‘All I wanted to say was run… but obviously I can’t do that. Even my eyes… I couldn’t look her in the eye. But I found that really hard, as she ended up picking nobody and I was thinking, ”Pick somebody!”. But I’m not allowed to say that, obviously.’
Offering her advice for this year’s lineup, Laura added: ‘The only thing I can say is be yourself. Eight weeks is a long time, if you try and play a game or try to be something you’re not, you’re going to get found out quite quickly.
‘From watching the show, I would just say be yourself if you want to be in there for the long run.’
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.’
Leading the 2021 Islanders this year are OnlyFans star Shannon Singh, fashion blogger Kaz Kamwi, the show’s first ever disabled star – PE teacher Hugo, Nando’s waitress Liberty Poole and civil servant Sharon Gaffka.
Also on the line-up are financial services marketing executive Chloe Burrows, semi-pro footballer Toby Aromolaran, water engineer Jake Cornish, events planner Aaron Francis, labourer Brad McClelland and lettings manager Faye Winter.
The contestants were revealed on Monday, with a slew of singletons from all walks of life preparing to enter the Majorcan villa next week.
The pandemic resulted in last year’s series being postponed and fans are eagerly awaiting the new series following the ITV2 juggernaut’s extended break
Each confirmed contestant will be given thorough psychological and medical assessments by health experts before, during and after the series as part of new duty of care protocols.
Every Islander must fully disclose their medical history to ensure the environment of the villa is suitable. The 2021 summer series will be hosted by Laura Whitmore who featured in the show’s big teaser advert last week.
The 2021 summer series will be hosted by Laura Whitmore who featured in the show’s big teaser advert last week.
The hit ITV2 dating show has not aired since February 2020 after both the summer 2020 and winter 2021 editions were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Love Island returns on Monday June 28 at 9pm on ITV2 and the ITVHub.
Back soon: Love Island returns on Monday June 28 at 9pm on ITV2 and the ITVHub
Love Island duty of care protocols in full – ahead of 2021 series
Pre-filming and filming
- Registered mental health professional engaged throughout the whole series – from pre-filming to aftercare.
- Thorough pre-filming psychological and medical assessments including assessments by an independent doctor, psychological consultant and reports from each Islander’s own GP to check medical history.
- Potential Islanders are required to fully disclose any medical history that would be relevant to their inclusion in the villa and the production’s ability to provide a suitable environment for them.
- Managing cast expectations: detailed explanations both verbally and in writing of the implications, both positive and negative, of taking part in the series are given to potential cast members throughout the casting process and reinforced within the contract so it is clear.
- Cast are told they should consider all the potential implications of taking part in the show and work through this decision-making process in consultation with their family and those closest to them, to ensure they feel it is right for them.
- Senior Team on the ground have received training in Mental Health First Aid.
- A welfare team solely dedicated to the Islanders both during the show and after.
- Bespoke training on dealing with social media and advice on finance and adjusting to life back home.
- A minimum of eight therapy sessions will be offered to each Islander when they return home.
- Proactive contact with Islanders for a period of 14 months after the series in which they have appeared has ended, with additional help provided where applicable.
- We encourage Islanders to secure management to represent them after the show and manage them should they choose to take part in other TV shows, advertising campaigns or other public appearance opportunities.