It’s happening. Our fear that Love Island will suffer the same fate as Big Brother could become a reality following the announcement of plans to air two series next year.
Arguably the best reality TV show on the box, it looks close to running its course faster than Danny and Arabella if bosses don’t seriously consider the format.
The winter dose will see a bunch of singletons set up home in a South African villa in “early 2020” as they search for love – and no doubt fame.
And our initial polling of viewers suggests there may not be quite the appetite for a second series that ITV is hoping for.
So with under six months until kick off, here’s everything we think show bosses need to consider if they don’t want fans to ghost Love Island altogether.
Sorry, but as much as we inhale Love Island for eight weeks in the summer we’re not willing to commit to that amount of time twice a year. Dedicating ourselves to being on the sofa six nights a week – seven if you watch Unseen Bits – is a mammoth commitment and ITV shouldn’t expect us to sacrifice not only our social lives but also our TV interests. Think about all the new prime time dramas we’ll miss in January and February – when we’re guessing it will air – if we’re tuning into ITV2 every night at 9pm. This year aside, most series are drying out by week seven and eight, so why not cut it to six weeks? It’s less time for us to give up and will ensure peak drama throughout and prevent deflated fans.
Keep a varied mix of singletons
People know they could potentially spend the rest of their lives walking the red carpet, carving a career in TV and posing for endless mag spreads if they sign up for Love Island. 2017 champs Amber and Kem have starred on the West End stage and worked on popular daytime TV shows respectively, while others have secured regular radio gigs and countless fashion lines. But what show bosses need to avoid are people intent on being famous. We don’t want a villa full of 20-something reality TV wannabes who are all the same person’s type on paper – we need the Francescas and the Chris’ and the Amys to strike a balance and serve up genuine emotions on the hunt for love.
Keep Iain Stirling
Comedian and Love Island narrator Iain Stirling
We’re sorry Iain but you’re now going to have to dedicate around four months a year as opposed to two, to sitting in a black box narrating the Islanders’ lives – and that of the moon. Love Island without Iain’s sarky and often balderdash narration would be like Love Island without the contestants – it won’t work. We’ve seen this on the Australian and American spin-offs, which have both fallen short of hitting the UK’s magic formula despite the same set-up and at times, bigger drama, because they don’t have an Iain.
Throw in different challenges
The old adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” comes to mind, and with millions currently tuning in every night the show is far from in it’s dying days. Everyone loves the annual Headline Challenge, Mean Tweets and Who Said What? segments – but would you really love them twice a year? It’s the same format; someone is told they’re game playing, couples are branded fake, and secret chats are exposed to the group. Also, with a bigger focus on the wellbeing of contestants, perhaps the launch of a second series is the perfect chance to shake-up the challenges and try something new that doesn’t necessarily prey on the Islanders’ insecurities.
Make it a Celeb spin-off?
Rogue, we know. And yes, we were complaining about Love Island following the same path as Big Brother but hear us out. Celebrity Big Brother was always full of drama and at under a month long, fans never got the chance to tire of the housemates. Also, throwing a bunch of single celebs in a villa isn’t a foreign concept, with Celebrity Love Island the predecessor to the current hit show. Who can forget the legends of series past? ‘Dangerous’ Paul Danan and his love for Lady Victoria Hervey, or the love triangle between Jayne Middlemiss, Abi Titmus and Lee Sharpe? Iconic. It would make for the perfect apéritif ahead of slapping it on factor 50 in the summer.
Love Island is on tonight at 9pm on ITV2