Culture

Love Island: host Laura Whitmore quits show, citing ‘difficult’ elements

Love Island host Laura Whitmore has announced she is leaving the hit dating show after two years.

In a statement on Instagram, the Irish presenter referenced elements of the production that she found “very difficult” just weeks after the most recent season concluded.

“Some news!” she wrote. “I won’t be hosting the next series of Love island. There are certain elements of the show I’ve found very difficult that cannot be changed some due to the format, including the flying back and forth to South Africa along with my new conflicting projects. I wish it was still possible but know you’ll be in safe hands. I was only planning to fill in for Caroline for a series and it turned into 3 series. I hope I did you proud Caroline.”

Whitmore joined the show as a temporary replacement for Caroline Flack after Flack was arrested, accused of assaulting her partner. After Flack’s suicide in 2020, Whitmore remained as host.

“Laura has been a fantastic host across the last three series of the show,” an ITV2 spokesperson said. “We are so grateful for everything she has brought to the programme but understand and respect her decision, and we look forward to working with her on upcoming ITV projects.”

The 37-year-old recently announced that she would be joining the West End hit 2:22 A Ghost Story in September.

The most recent season continued to be a hit for ITV2, with the finale reaching 3.4 million viewers, the highest result since 2019. ITV also claimed that the season as a whole reached 250m views on its streaming platform.

But there was also controversy, with 1,500 complaints over perceived misogyny during a task and the behaviour of one male contestant called “misogynistic and controlling” by the charity Women’s Aid.

Love Island is scheduled to return for another winter season in South Africa at the start of 2023. “Rather than just serving up a summer of love, we thought we’d make 2023 the year of love with two full series of the show,” Paul Mortimer, director of reality commissioning and controller for ITV2, said.

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