Love Island wrapped up its winter series in February, with Paige Turley and Finley Tapp being crowned as the winners.
At that time, fans thought the ITV dating show would be back for its traditional summer series, confirmed by host Laura Whitmore during the series finale.
However it has since been cancelled, on account of the coronavirus pandemic, and will be returning a lot later than we expected.
RadioTimes.com has everything you need to know about when the series will return.
When is Love Island back?
The ITV dating show will be back on screens in Summer 2021.
The network confirmed the news on June 15, telling RadioTimes.com: “Love Island UK will return bigger and better than ever with an extended run in summer 2021.”
It was previously believed there would be another series later in the year, or in early 2021, in the form of the winter series, but that will not be taking place.
Those who were hoping for just a little more sun and romance this year don’t have to miss out, however, as ITV2 will be repeating Love Island: Australia season one for the next month.
The 2018 series proved a big hit in the Australia and in lieu of a new UK instalment, it will air in full on the channel.
How long will the new series of Love Island be?
It’s currently unknown how long the series will run for, but it could be anything upwards of six to eight weeks, given how long previous instalments have been.
RadioTimes.com understands the current uncertainty has prompted producers to concentrate on a bumper series in the summer, rather than two across 2021.
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Why was Love Island cancelled?
Unfortunately, Love Island’s summer series was cancelled on account of the coronavirus pandemic.
Due to travel restrictions and the necessity of social distancing, a dating show abroad wasn’t feasible this summer .
Director of Television at ITV, Kevin Lygo, made the announcement, explaining there was simply no way it could go ahead given the current UK lockdown.
He said in a statement: “We have tried every which way to make Love Island this summer but logistically it’s just not possible to produce it in a way that safeguards the wellbeing of everyone involved and that for us is the priority.
“In normal circumstances, we would be preparing very soon to travel out to the location in Mallorca to get the villa ready but clearly that’s now out of the question.
“We are very sorry for fans of the show but making it safely is our prime concern and Love Island will be back stronger than ever in 2021.
“In the meantime, Love Island fans can still enjoy all six series of Love Island on BritBox.”
Rumours circulated that the show may actually return this autumn.
A source told The Sun on Sunday that producers might be able to bring the show to our screens in September or October, and were keen to make it work.
“Casting was well under way for the summer season and producers don’t want to lose some of the gems they had hand-picked,” said the source. “The winter series lacked a few standout characters, so they had been careful to find reality TV wannabes with looks as well as brains and personality.”
Laura Whitmore previously announced the return during the winter finale and called for applicants.
Love Island host Laura Whitmore (ITV)
How can you apply for Love Island?
Applications for the summer series usually open around January and close around the end of April.
But with the series expected to be much bigger next year, ITV could start looking for potentials a lot earlier.
And a lot of hopefuls must have already applied for the summer series, so could there be some recycling?
For more information on applying, click here.
Who will host the next Love Island?
After a successful stint on the winter series, Laura Whitmore was tipped to host the summer version, alongside her boyfriend Iain Stirling – who provides the show’s famous voiceover.
Where will the next Love Island be filmed?
Singletons were whisked away to sunny South Africa for the winter series, however, they would have been back in the show’s usual location of Majorca for the summer show.
The Canary Islands was tipped as a likely new location for the show as it’s slightly warmer than Majorca during Autumn show, but with the series now returning in Summer 2021, it’s looking very likely that it will be back on its home turf.
Love Island will return to ITV2 in 2021. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide.