Love Island isn’t structured reality – but you’ll “feel the hand of the producer”

“We’re going to be stirring things up a bit and playing around hopefully to make the most dramatic series we can,” says commissioning editor Amanda Stavri

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Love Island may not fall into the ‘structured reality’ genre alongside The Only Way Is Essex et al, but show bosses are making no secret of the fact that we’ll “feel the hand of the producer” as the series returns to ITV2. 

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“As with last year you’ll feel the hand of the producers, you’ll see the hand of the producer,” commissioning editor Amanda Stavri told RadioTimes.com as we got a look around the re-vamped villa in Mallorca. “We feel that’s fine as long as you’re open about it. I think that’s what viewers expect these days, it’s what they want.”

Indeed, when contestant Danielle Pyne complained last year that she felt somewhat manipulated in certain situations, the general feeling was, how can you be surprised? The adverts alone showed a hand literally picking up a snow globe to mix things up.

These singletons aren’t being thrust into the villa with show bosses hoping that by just leaving them alone somehow they’ll all magically fall in love or have slanging matches with each other.

They’ll be forcing the issue with an even bigger influx of new arrivals – “we’ve got a big pool of cast in England ready to come in at any point. They are literally a phone call and a fake tan away” – as well as asking viewers to participate even more via the Love Island app. Sling them in, sling them out, the power will be with us for a lot of the series. Including voting two more in on the very first night.

“So yes, we’re going to be stirring things up a bit and playing around hopefully to make the most dramatic series we can,” Stavri continued.

They’ve got wiser from last year, too. There’s a secret balcony for example, that seems to offer privacy, but it will be made apparent to islanders that they can actually shout things over the pool wall to the love birds.

And live shows won’t be set on a specific day. Part of this is so coverage can be more reactive, but it’s also to keep the islanders on their toes: they got too savvy to things last year, their behaviour starting to reflect the schedule. And, Stavri revealed, the girls were spending ‘eviction day’ doing their make-up from around 2pm. Not exactly riveting TV.

It’s going to be a long, hot, heavily produced, but oh so entertaining summer…

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Love Island starts Monday 30th May at 9pm on ITV2