Love Island 2021 start date: New series confirmed to air on ITV2 this year

The popular reality series will return after skipping 2020.

Love Island's Paige Turley and Finn Tapp won the winter series

After a hiatus caused by the pandemic, ITV has confirmed Love Island will return for a brand new series this summer – though details on where this year’s contestants will attempt to find love are yet to be confirmed.

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Despite location details still firmly under wraps, ITV’s Managing Director of Media and Entertainment Kevin Lygo confirmed the channel’s flagship reality would be part of 2021’s spring line-up, so we don’t have much longer to wait before we revisit Casa Amor.

We’re still waiting on a release date and a location, but RadioTimes.com has gathered everything we do know so far below, and we’ll update this page as soon as more details emerge.

When is Love Island back?

CONFIRMED: Love Island has been announced as part of ITV2’s spring line-up, meaning the show is likely to be back on our screens soon. The show usually airs in June, so we’d take an educated guess you’ll see Love Island return in June 2021.

The news will come as a relief to fans as there had previously been doubt over whether the show could safely return as the coronavirus pandemic continues, with ITV CEO Carolyn McCall recently adding to the uncertainty.

Fortunately, it appears that a plan of action has been worked out, with the network sticking to its original plan of bring back the summer edition of Love Island this year.

ITV told RadioTimes.com back in June 2020: “Love Island UK will return bigger and better than ever with an extended run in summer 2021.”

That said, there’s still a lot we don’t know about this new series, including the full line-up of contestants and the location of this year’s villa, as travel restrictions may necessitate a home-based series (as was the case with last year’s I’m A Celebrity).

On the topic of a UK-based series, narrator Iain Stirling jokingly told Metro: “It could be quite amusing seeing Love Island contestants embracing the beaches of Bognor Regis at some point.

“When they can’t eat their dinner because seagulls are taking it off the plate…  it could mix it up.”

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.

Why was Love Island cancelled?

Love Island contestants 2020
ITV

Unfortunately, Love Island’s previous summer series was cancelled on account of the coronavirus pandemic, as travel restrictions and social distancing meant a dating show abroad wasn’t feasible.

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.”

How can you apply for Love Island?

Applications for the summer series are currently open with a closing date set for Friday 30th April.

If you wish to put yourself forward for series seven, fill out the official application form here.

Who will host the next Love Island?

Love Island 2020

After a successful stint on the most recent winter series, Laura Whitmore is expected to return 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?

That will likely depend on what travel restrictions are being enforced when filming gets underway.

In March 2021, The Sun reported filming for Love Island would indeed take place in Mallorca with increased coronavirus measures and mental health checks.

However, when RadioTimes.com reached out to ITV for confirmation, a Love Island spokesperson stated that “no decisions have been made on locations as yet.”

They added: “We are not currently in a position to confirm locations for the forthcoming series of Love Island.”

In the previous winter series, singletons were whisked away to sunny South Africa, however, the summer edition has historically unfolded at a luxury villa in Majorca.

At this stage, we can’t entirely rule out that Love Island will instead take place in the UK this year, but that remains unconfirmed at the time of writing.

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Love Island will return to ITV2 in 2021. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide.