Love Island's incoming host Maya Jama was the first choice for the role, understands, as a show insider reveals that Ekin-Su Cülcüloglu wasn't approached for the presenting gig.


The news follows Pop Sugar's recent interview with the Love Island 2022 winner, in which she said that she was approached to replace Laura Whitmore on the reality show, but turned it down.

"I did get offered," she told the publication. "I would've loved to do it, but I can't at the minute because of how busy I am. And I said I'm not ready for it."

Love Island 2022 winners Ekin-Su and Davide.
Love Island 2022 winners Ekin-Su and Davide. ITV

However, understands that Cülcüloglu was not asked to take on the ITV2 job, with Maya Jama being the show's first pick.

On Ekin-Su's recent comments, a Love Island show insider said: "This is untrue. Maya was the first choice for host."

Cülcüloglu, who won the latest season of Love Island with her boyfriend Davide Sanclimenti, also said that she didn't want to take on the job as she felt she wasn't "ready for it".

"I want proper training. I've done presenting before, but not to the level of Laura Whitmore," she added.

Whitmore hosted Love Island for three seasons before leaving after this summer's 2022 shows, stating in August that there were "certain elements of the show" that she found "very difficult" to deal with, such as "flying back and forth to South Africa".

Last week, ITV2 confirmed that Maya Jama would be the next host of the popular dating show ahead of its winter season, with the former BBC Radio 1 host saying that she's always been "such as massive Love Island fan".

On Maya Jama's appointment as the next host, Ekin-Su said: "She's funny, intelligent, smart, beautiful. ITV have made a good choice with picking her, I think."

Earlier this month, Ekin-Su announced that she would be joining the celebrity line-up of Dancing on Ice 2023 alongside the likes of Patsy Palmer and Mollie Gallagher.

Meanwhile, the Love Island winner will be back on ITV2 with her Italian beau for their travel show Ekin-Su & Davide: Homecomings, which will see them head abroad to their respective homes.

Love Island will return to ITV2 and ITVX early 2023. If you're looking for something to watch, check out our TV Guide. Visit our Entertainment hub for all the latest news.


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