'Winter Love Island' Is Here: What To Expect From The New Series
Yes, that's right, if you hadn't already heard, there is now a Winter Love Island and it starts on Sunday night.
The highly addictive dating show where hopefuls compete for each others' affections and a £50k cheque, has been re-launched for series six, this time in the winter season rather than the usual summertime.
The series has been so successful that ITV2 decided two instalments a year are now necessary.
While we love the programme, at first we were sceptical whether we could commit another huge chunk of our time to all that flirting and pieing off.
However, now that January is here and the show is returning, we've somehow managed to miraculously clear our diaries.
This season, Love Island will not be set in Mallorca - we think likely due to the less than promising weather in January - and so the islanders have had an upgrade. Instead, the villa is bigger better and located in balmy South Africa.
And if reports are to be believed, it is a whopping mansion worth £5.3 million that makes the old villa look seriously basic.
It's not just the villa that is new either, with Laura Whitmore, 34, taking over Caroline Flack's role as show host.
The star stepped down from her usual presenting duties following allegations of assault.
40-year-old Caroline was arrested and charged with assault by beating on 12th December last year, following a dispute with her boyfriend Lewis Burton, 27, at her North London home and is alleged to have hit him over the head with a lamp.
She has since pleaded not guilty to the charges at Highbury Corner magistrates court and was released on bail, but now faces trial on March 4th.
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Laura was announced as her replacement shortly afterwards, and will kick things off on Sunday night no doubt playing host to the initial coupling up ceremony inside the villa - which always makes for brutal watching. Who will get pied on day one?
Vying for each others' love are islanders, Callum Jones, 23, Leanne Amaning, 22, Sophie Piper, 21, Ollie Williams, 23, Shaughna Phillips, 25, Jess Gale, 20, Eve Gale, 20, Connor Durman, 25, Nas Majeed, 23, Mike Boateng, 24, Paige Turley, 22, and Siânnise Fudge, 25, as announced on Monday.
The islanders are a varied bunch, with a future lord, VIP hostess, builder, coffee bean salesman, beauty consultant and singer in the group.
But we're most intrigued by Eve and Jess Gale who are twins. At first we wondered if they would count as one in terms of re-coupling - if one is saved the other automatically would be - as seen on other reality TV shows such as The Bachelor US.
ITV however has confirmed to Heart that although introduced as a pair, they will remain as separate contestants and would separately couple up.
It is the first time female twins have entered the Love Island villa, but male twins, Tony and John Alberti starred in season one of the show.
The twins and their fellow housemates will live in the villa for six weeks this time around, instead of the usual eight (so much change!) with previous contestant Amy Hart confirming the format last year: "It is going to be two six week series next year.
"The summer series will also be six weeks because of Euro 2020, apparently," she said.
"I think the winter series will be the most-watched show ever. It's in a brand new villa and no one wants to go out in January, no one has any money!"
Head of Digital Channels and Acquisitions at ITV Paul Mortimer added last year: "Off the back of a record-breaking year, we're delighted to be bringing an extra series of our biggest and sunniest show to the 2020 schedule."
"In response to this viewer appetite, a new batch of young singletons will deliver some highly anticipated post-Christmas romance and drama from our new and luxurious location."
And while plenty has changed for the winter season, don't fret, Iain Stirling (aka Laura Whitmore's BF) will still be the voiceover, phew! He is our type on paper thanks to his hilarious gags.
Now just to see who gives who fanny flutters...
Featured Image Credit: ITV
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