Laura Whitmore Announced As New Host Of 'Winter Love Island' After Caroline Flack's Arrest
The Dublin-born presenter confirmed the news on Instagram on Friday morning, writing: "I will be hosting Love Island and Aftersun this series. Whhhhaa??? To say I'm excited to be heading to Cape Town to host Love Island, the biggest show on television, is an understatement."
The 34-year-old added: "I want to thank ITV for trusting me at the helm of this huge show. I wish it was in better circumstances; Caroline is a brilliant host and friend.
"We've spoken a lot in the last few days since she stepped down. She has been very kind to me and strongly pushed me for this role. I've watched her host every series and know I have big boots to fill. I will try and do it justice.
"Above all, I am a massive fan of this show. I've never been to a Love Island villa, and I can't wait to get in there to meet all the new islanders looking for love.
"The Love Island team are the best in the business... including the voice and heart of the show, Iain. He thought he was getting a holiday away from me...not a chance".
Minutes later, Caroline Flack took to Instagram Stories to respond to the announcement commenting: "I'm glad it's Laura..she loves the show as much as I do...again..thank you for your continuous messages of support..it's a really rough time...but I'm doing all can to keep my head above water and sort this all out...".
An ITV spokesperson added: "Head of Digital Channels and Acquisitions, Paul Mortimer, said: 'I'm delighted that Laura is able to step in this winter on ITV2's biggest show.
"She is the best person for the job and is a popular and experienced presenter of live television. 'Whilst Caroline is away, we know that Love Island will be in very safe hands."
It was first reported that the Irish presenter, who is dating Love Island narrator Iain Stirling, had spoken to ITV bosses about taking on the job in Flack's absence on Tuesday.
Iain and Laura have been dating since June 2017 after meeting at a party and bought a home last year together.
Caroline and Laura coincidentally both hosted the I'm A Celeb spin off show, then called I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here NOW!
People had been pondering who could replace Caroline on the ITV show since news broke of her arrest last week, with many speculating it would be either Laura or Radio 1 DJ Maya Jama.
One of last year's most popular islanders, Maura Higgins, also sparked speculation she could be Caroline's replacement too, after she shared a picture on a private jet teasing an "exciting" project.
She later added fuel to the fire, sharing a topless picture on a hilltop and writing the new show's catchphrase: "Do one, winter."
Although, Maura's boyfriend Curtis rubbished claims she could be taking up the mantle moments after the pics came to light.
On Tuesday, Caroline, 40, released a statement to announce she was stepping down as ITV host for the next series following her recent arrest for assault.
After much speculation as to whether she would be returning in the wake of the incident, the TV presenter took to social media to break the news.
She wrote: "There have been a significant number of media reports and allegations in regards to my personal life.
"While matters were not as have been reported, I am committed to co-operating with the appropriate authorities and I can't comment further on these matters until the legal process is over.
"However, Love Island has been my world for the last five years, it's the best show on telly."
Adding: "In order to not distract attention from the upcoming series I feel the best thing I can do is to stand down for Series 6. I want to wish the incredible team working on the show a fantastic series in Cape Town."
Before concluding in a further post: "And on a really personal level, I have never experienced such kindness and love in my whole life.
"Not just from friends and family who are always the greatest... but also from total strangers who send messages to me offering help and understanding... please know that I see them.. and my boyfriend Lewis... I love you x(sic)".
Caroline was arrested and charged with assault by beating on Friday morning following a dispute with her boyfriend Lewis Burton at her North London home.
It comes less than four weeks before the hit dating show is set to return to screens in January.
A Met Police spokesperson said at the time: "Caroline Flack, 40, of Islington was charged on Friday, 13 December with assault by beating. She will appear on bail at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court on Monday, 23 December."
She is still in a relationship with Lewis, and despite the row, he has since publicly spoken out to defend her.
He wrote on his own social media: "I'm tired of the lies and abuse aimed at my girlfriend. This is not a witch hunt this is someone's life" [sic].
Love Island is set to return to ITV in January.
Featured Image Credit: PA