Love Island bosses reveal why they no longer send celebrities into the villa

The likes of Calum Best and Jayne Middlemiss once graced the Love Island villa but nowadays it's unknown faces looking for love

Calum Best in Love Island, Getty and ITV Pictures, SL

Celebrity Love Island isn’t going to become a reality any time soon, it seems, as ITV2 bosses have said the “magic” of the show is that it features “normal people”.


Head of ITV2, Paul Mortimer, told “I think there’s something still, with respect to the contestants, to the naivety of them coming in.

“Even now you don’t realise there are 70 cameras on you. You forget. And I think celebrities come with the experience of being performers and being in front of the cameras. You wouldn’t get as much out of them.”

The first iteration of the show – Celebrity Love Island, which launched in 2005 – welcomed famous contestants including Calum Best and Brendan Cole to the villa. However, in 2006, the word “celebrity” was removed from the show’s title due to criticism of the contestants’ level of fame. It was cancelled after the second series before being revived in 2015.

“I think the magic of this show is that they’re normal people, I really do,” said managing director at ITV Studios Entertainment, Angela Jain.

“When we re-imagined the show four years ago, we talked a lot about whether it should be a celebrity version or not and in the end we really thought quite strongly that if this show were to work then we would create celebrities. And I suppose that’s happened even quicker than we thought.”

Indeed, former islanders have gone on to secure book deals, launch careers in modelling and star in spin-off shows. But you could say that some Love Island contestants are bordering on fame before entering the villa, what with 2017’s Marcel Somerville having been a member of Blazin’ Squad and this year’s Dani Dyer being the daughter of an EastEnders star.


Love Island begins Monday 4th June on ITV2

Sign up for the free newsletter