An ITV boss has addressed Love Island 2021’s rumoured diverse line-up but says having gay contestants leads to ‘logistical difficulties’.
The hit ITV2 dating series is set to return to screens this summer with Laura Whitmore hosting. It has been off-air for more than a year with the last series cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It’s speculated that the new line-up will feature Love Island’s most diverse cast yet with contestants of ‘all shapes and sizes’.
In April, it was also reported that producers had begun accepting applications from LGBT contestants.
ITV commissioner Amada Stavri has now addressed whether the upcoming series will feature queer contestants.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com, Stavri said: ‘In terms of gay Islanders, I think the main challenge is regarding the format of Love Island.
‘There’s a sort of logistical difficulty, because although Islanders don’t have to be 100% straight, the format must sort of give [the] Islanders an equal choice when coupling up.
‘With our dating shows, such as The Cabins, there is much more sexual diversity. The formats don’t have as much restrictions as Love Island. So we’re very sort of mindful of that across our programming on ITV and dating series. But that’s the difficulty with Love Island.’
Love Island has welcomed LGBT contestants in the past.
Katie Salmon was the first bisexual contestant to appear on the show and had a relationship with fellow islander, Sophie Graydon, in 2016.
Meghan Barton Hanson, who appeared on the show in 2018, came out as bi after leaving the infamous villa.
Speculation about the search for this year’s contestants ramped up when Just had an advert for @LoveIsland on @Tinder – does this mean they are finally having gay contestants?!’ asked one.
Meanwhile, another voiced their confusion: ‘Hey @Tinder I keep getting one person tweeted: ‘Love Island ads for me to apply. I’m gay, I can’t go on this show, it’s for straight people. Can you not pls.’
Another said: ‘Hey @Tinder I keep getting Love Island ads for me to apply. I’m gay, I can’t go on this show, it’s for straight people. Can you not pls.’
A Love Island 2021 teaser was released last week but a release date is yet to be announced.
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