There are some big changes taking place on Love Island. In the wake of massive viewing figures for series five, the ITV2 reality behemoth is doubling down next year, with not one but two series for 2020 – the tried and tested summer version and, before that, a new winter Love Island, promising “post-Christmas romance and drama from our new and luxurious location.”
That location is South Africa – where it’s warm in winter – and, of course, we can expect summer Love Island to continue in its traditional home of Majorca.
Or can we…?
Buried in the announcement, there’s a subtle yet significant phrase that suggests next year’s summer show might just be upping sticks and moving on.
“In early 2020 Love Island will be back in an all new location, with the first series of the year bringing the sunshine to viewers at home from a brand new villa in South Africa,” reads the press release, before continuing: “The summer series will then return to Europe for a summer of love closer to home.”
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True, Majorca is in Europe but if the show is returning there, why wouldn’t the announcement just say so? Surely, the only reason it would be phrased in this way is if producers really are seriously considering moving the show to somewhere else on the continent.
ITV remained tight-lipped when we asked them about it, which in itself suggests that things aren’t exactly cut and dried – and that there really is a chance we could be watching next summer’s series beamed from somewhere new.
True, Love Island has moved location before. The original series – the celebrity one that’s best forgotten about – was filmed in Fiji, while the current version was originally shot in another Majorcan villa before moving to the current one in series three.
But that doesn’t change the fact that the spiritual home of the series we all know and love is Majorca: in a very real sense, Majorca is Love Island.
So if producers are considering moving the show to another country – or at least another island – why might that be?
Could Brexit have anything to do with it? And if so, does that mean we could be looking at a European location outside the EU? It would have to be to a country that’s warm and sunny during the UK summer, and presumably that has at least one island attached to it.
That could mean somewhere on the Balkan peninsula – Bulgaria, Croatia or Slovenia for instance.
Or perhaps there are simply logistical or financial reasons for moving country, which could open up Greece, Italy or other Spanish islands as possible destinations.
Some may even say I’m overthinking this.
Or maybe, just maybe, we should be paying more attention to the second part of that mysterious sentence: “a summer of love closer to home“.
Love Island direct from the Outer Hebrides, anyone?
Love Island continues weekdays and Sundays at 9pm on ITV2