Love Island rounds out six weeks of sun-drenched romance tonight and signs are good for a second series.
It’s far too early for ITV2 to give any sort of confirmation of course. Show bosses need to catch their breath. Have at least a day without hearing the word pie. But given the show’s popularity, I would say it’s more likely than not that the show will make a return.
And why not? The series, revamped from the 2005/2006 days of the celebrity version, has proved fruitful for ITV2. It’s been the number one show on the channel during its time on air. At its highest, consolidated viewing figures show it pulled in 800 thousand viewers. On average it’s enjoyed nightly viewing figures of half a million, which is certainly higher than the channel usually enjoys during that same slot every day. I for one have been hooked. I haven't got out much recently. I may need to call my friends.
Bringing in ‘The Jonathan’, Hannah in her hair rollers, the Hulk et al has caught the attention of the 16-34s market, which is exactly what ITV2 would have been hoping for given it’s a channel aimed at viewers of said age range. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, as they say.
Fans aren’t just watching the show either. There has been a huge amount of social media activity, too. “The engagement factor is really important,” a show insider told me. “People have really got into it and devoured every part of it.” From online engagement between viewers, to chatting with the dumped islanders and host Caroline Flack, no pie has been left unturned.
While familiar Love Island faces Calum Best and Paul Danan popped up to share their island wisdom – aka a boozy night out in Magaluf - it seems unlikely show bosses will look to return to the celebrity version any time soon. While Big Brother offers both versions throughout its annual cycle, ITV2 are bound to want to bed this version in first. The celebrity version had its own success, but this clearly has legs.
The tone was pretty spot on. Yes, there were scenes of a sexual nature, meaning the show often carried warnings of graphic content. But it was always tongue in cheek. Whether there was a comedy soundtrack, a hilarious one-liner (you may remember a certain one about a train…) or silent movie-style reactions from the other islanders, it didn’t feel like we’d wandered into the realms of Fifty Shades. Awkward to watch with your parents, granted. Even more awkward when they then turn up in the villa admitting they’d had to fast forward a fair amount of the show. Best not to talk about that again, eh?
Caroline too has hit the nail on the head with her frank commentary. She’s clearly been watching the show, has plenty of her own opinions and therefore is believable as a host. I’d personally like to see more nights where she had a celebrity panel to bounce off of if the show were to return. TOWIE’s Ferne McCann was particularly good at getting to the crux of the matter. After all, you really can’t trust a man with Pokémon in his ears, can you?
So, if you’re single, hang on to your bikinis. There may be another chance for some island love yet.
Love Island concludes tonight from 9:00pm on ITV2