With Love Island returning to screens next week, excitement is reaching fever pitch.
And while the prospect of a legion of new Islanders is delighting fans, the behind-the-scenes secrets are equally exciting, as former contestant Laura Anderson among a number of other stars of the show spilled the beans on what viewers do not see – from food preparation all the way to drama concoctions.
The rebooted version of the show, which first started in 2005, hit screens in 2015 and caused shockwaves due to the excess of on-screen sex, wild arguments, lasting love and so much more, and after the pandemic left fans without a summer show last year, this year’s series if bound to be explosive.
So what do we NOT see at 9pm every night that brings the show to life?
Nice! With Love Island returning to screens next week, excitement is reaching fever pitch and now former stars of the show have given insights into the ins and outs of the programme
Detailing how producers approach the contestants, Laura told Closer Magazine a ‘two-way larder’ is where storylines and relationships will be hashed out with the powers-that-be. Laura said: ‘If you see someone coming out of ‘the larder’, there’s probably drama ahead!’
Francesca Allen, from 2019’s fourth series, revealed stars of the show consult producers on their decisions but insisted they do not have ‘much input’ into the situation.
She said: ‘You do speak to them but everything is your own opinion and feelings. They don’t have that much input at all. They ask you how you’re feeling, who you’re you interested in, do you like this person?…
‘So they don’t really influence your decision. If you feel like you want to speak to someone you just speak to them.’
Detailing how producers approach the contestants, Laura revealed a ‘two-way larder’ is where storylines and relationships will be hashed out with the powers-that-be.
Laura also detailed how they ensure there is cooling off time for Islanders as they are permitted four half-day holidays throughout their stint in the villa – which can last up to eight weeks (Danny Dyer pictured in 2017)
Laura also detailed how they ensure there is cooling off time for Islanders as they are permitted four half-day holidays throughout their stint in the villa – which can last up to eight weeks.
This time off involves headed to a ‘holding villa’ to cool off away from the cameras. She said: ‘One group would go to the holding villa where we’d take off our mics and laze around the pool with our chaperones.’
Another break from filming comes when cameramen have lunch however – however stars are banned from talking about ‘anything exciting’, with new couples or nemeses kept apart so nothing can be missed.
2017 winner Kem Cetinay also spoke about the time off, saying: ‘They get one day off a week.
‘What happens is it gives them a day to clean the villa and you take your mics off and normally we go to the beach and we just chill out.
‘Not a lot of people know this…
‘What happens is when you take your mics off, you’re not allowed to talk about anything to do with the show. You’ve got to talk about home life’.
Another break from filming comes when cameramen have lunch however – however stars are banned from talking about ‘anything exciting’
SEXUAL HEALTH TESTING
Marcel Somerville from 2017’s third series made the explosive but welcome revelation that contestants must undergo and sexually transmitted infection test before the show begins.
He said: ‘There’ll always be members of the cast who are more outgoing than others, and there’ll be people who don’t mind doing it [sex]. It’s definitely down to the cast members, if you do want to do it then by all means do it…
‘The show provides the necessary protection, so just be safe. The show does do strict testing beforehand just to make sure that everyone going on there is clean.’
Ahem! Sex is said to be encouraged in the villa (Michael Poateng pictured)
The hideaway has been scene to some of the raciest scenes in the show’s history, including series two’s Zara Holland’s now-infamous romp with Alex Bowen, which led to her being stripped of her Miss GB crown.
Oh my! Amber Gill and Michael Griffiths are pictured in a clinch in 2019’s series five
This does not stop producers striving to get the sexiest scenes possible, as it has been revealed the bosses encourage contestants to get busy with the help of sex toys placed in the villa.
Siannese Fudge, from last year’s winter series, said: ‘In the hideaway. Oh my gosh that was so scary wasn’t it.
Her co-star boyfriend Luke Trotman added: ‘Yeah, it’s like silent and then camera, camera, camera, camera and then this red bed with loads of sex toys on it.’
2019 winner Amber Gill revealed she refused a night in the infamous room as she did not want to ‘perform for the public’, so told producers she would not accept the nomination from her fellow contestants.
Taking to Twitter, she penned: ‘I remember I got nominated to go in the hideaway once and I start bubbling so they choose someone else…
‘I just want to sleep in peace I don’t want to perform for the public to watch in underwear with whipped cream and chocolate sauce. That’s for my mans only and to be fair I never had one in there’.
Ahem: The hideaway has been scene to some of the raciest scenes in the show’s history, including 2016 series two’s Zara Holland’s now-infamous romp with Alex Bowen, which led to her being stripped of her Miss GB crown
Cheeky! Lasting couple Tommy Fury and Molly Maer Hague indulge in an intimate moment in the hideaway in 2019
TIME AND DATE CONFUSION
Chris Williamson, who spent 18 days on 2015’s first season of the show, revealed there are no clocks in the house or calendars in the house.
Seemingly baffled by the producers’ decision, he told BBC: ‘If you were to be driven to a date location, the driver of the car would have his watch on a different time and the clock in the car would be a different time to that.
‘The only thing I can think is that it allows the show to dictate people’s sleep and wake cycles more easily. Also, if something happens at 6pm each day – but you don’t know when that is – it means the show can schedule stuff in more easily.’
Montana Brown from 2017’s third season echoed: ‘You never know what the time is’.
Montana Brown from 2017’s third season echoed: ‘You never know what the time is’
Kady McDermott from 2016’s second season told Cosmopolitan: ‘We would have food cooked for us at dinner, and producers would come to change our mic batteries’
Fans have queried in the past why Islanders’ meals are not shown on-screen – with the reasoning being the wholly unattractive sound quality of a microphone close to a chewing mouth.
Chris went on: ‘Have you ever heard anyone eat up close with a microphone around their neck? It sounds like someone walking through mud – it’s absolutely disgusting. And everyone’s got sauce all over their face and stuff like that. Who wants to see that?
‘There’s a canteen on site and a two-way larder where they drop these big pots of food – which might be lasagne or salad or pizza – just normal stuff…
‘And then once the people who’ve deposited the food leave, our side of the door gets opened and we go and get it.’
Kady McDermott from 2016’s second season told Cosmopolitan: ‘We would have food cooked for us at dinner, and producers would come to change our mic batteries…
‘That’s why dinner is never filmed or you don’t see anyone eating hot food. The food tasted amazing. They used to give us a dessert after every lunch and every dinner, and the cake was unreal, and we could request food if we wanted.’
Fans have queried in the past why Islanders’ meals are not shown on-screen – with the reasoning being the wholly unattractive sound quality of a microphone close to a chewing mouth
With the girls entering preened to perfection, complete with bronzed tans, sleek hair and flawless nails, fans swiftly noticed that they managed to maintain their upkeep – leading to head scratching with viewers.
Lucie Donlan from 2019’s fourth series soon explained the situation, revealing: ‘Every two or three weeks we’d have nails, hair, that kind of thing done. And we’d get a Maccies as well. Being in there that long, the nights are very long and no one sees how long they are, so you need a bit of a down day and a bit of a chill.’
Kady however explained that things were slightly different when she starred in the formative series, as she revealed: ‘We got our nails done once, in six weeks! It was awful… I reckon they’re getting their nails done every two weeks, they always look so fresh. I think the budget has gone up!”
Stunners: With the girls entering preened to perfection, complete with bronzed tans, sleek hair and flawless nails, fans swiftly noticed that they managed to maintain their upkeep – leading to head scratching with viewers
The smoking in Love Island has been a widely-discussed matter, ever since the puffing Islanders were clearly shown throughout the early series of the show.
After floods of complaints over the heavy exposure of smoking stars on the show, in 2018 bosses banned the showing of smoking on-screens.
Further showing this, last year’s contestant Shaughna Phillips took to Twitter on Wednesday to pen: ‘You try going for a fag break in there, would be easier and quicker to harvest the tobacco myself’.
Prior to the launch of the on-screen smoking ban, fleeting star of the show Craig Lawson said in 2017: ‘The show normally provides 20 fags a day per person – so five people equates to 100 cigarettes. Fags are on mass supply…
‘But if you get through your daily allowance then you won’t be given anymore – no one should be smoking more than 20 a day; that’s a lot. Some people smoke quite excessively in the villa…
‘I’m a non-smoker but I would still get a supply. You get so bored when you’re in there – that’s why you see so many people smoking. There’s only so much you can talk about your life.’
The smoking in Love Island has been a widely-discussed matter, ever since the puffing Islanders were clearly shown throughout the early series of the show
Smoking away: Further showing this, last year’s contestant Shaughna Phillips took to Twitter on Wednesday to pen: ‘You try going for a fag break in there, would be easier and quicker to harvest the tobacco myself’
Cheeky! Shaughna was giving insights into the wonderful and weird world of Love Island
Booze is limited to two pre-poured glasses a night, two bottles of prosecco between the group at a party and supervision to prevent drinking other contestants’ drinks.
On party nights, Laura said: ‘We’d be lucky to get half a glass!’
Previous stars of the show have spoken about booze, with Liana Isadora Van-Riel, who starred on 2016’s second series of the show, telling The Sun: ‘You’re allowed one or two drinks a night, either wine or beer, no spirits’.
A Love Island spokesperson said: ‘We provide our Islanders with all of the necessary precautionary measures and all alcohol consumption is strictly monitored.’
Kady said: ‘At night time we weren’t allowed a lot of alcohol. During the first four or five days when we didn’t know each other we had alcohol to break the ice, but then after that it was two glasses of wine a night. And we were sure it was watered down as well! I don’t get that at all.’
Booze is limited to two pre-poured glasses a night, two bottles of prosecco between the group at a party and supervision to prevent drinking other contestants’ drinks
Bottoms up! Kady said: ‘At night time we weren’t allowed a lot of alcohol. During the first four or five days when we didn’t know each other we had alcohol to break the ice, but then after that it was two glasses of wine a night’
FEATHERED ADDITIONS !
A bizarre addition to the villa is peacocks entering the villa and roaming the halls.
A bizarre addition to the villa is peacocks entering the villa and roaming the halls
LOVE ISLAND 2021: MEET THE CONTESTANTS
Sharon Gaffka, 25
Name: Sharon Gaffka
Occupation: Civil Servant – Operations Lead for Department of Transport
Who is their type on paper? ‘I tend to date someone who is taller than me, even though my last long-term partner, he was actually someone who was shorter than me.
‘I’m quite an intellectual person so I want someone who can kind of match that.’
Aaron Francis, 24
Name: Aaron Francis
Occupation: Luxury Events Host
Who is their type on paper? ‘I need someone that is passionate about what they are doing – from scientist to anything – you can tell when someone is speaking about something and they are actually smiling while they are talking. I love that.
‘I don’t like when people are doing a job just to make money and then they kind of just live for the weekend. Especially because I work on the weekends.’
Liberty Poole, 21
Name: Liberty Poole
Occupation: Nando’s Waitress and Marketing Student
Who is their type on paper? ‘So I like tall, alpha male, confident, a cheeky chappy sort of guy.
‘But obviously that’s always usually combined with player types, which is where I go wrong. So I am trying to change my ways and go for more of a nicer guy that is going to treat me right.’
Hugo Hammond, 24
Name: Hugo Hammond
Occupation: PE Teacher
Who is their type on paper? ‘I’ve been single for a while now. With the current climate, it’s been really hard to get back into dating.
‘I saw it as an opportunity to have an amazing fun summer and put myself back out there.’
Name: Shannon Singh
Occupation: Glamour model
Who is their type on paper? ‘I don’t feed off looks, I feed off energy, I need someone with personality. Just someone I can have fun with.
‘I’m a party girl, I love going out, I’m very social. For me it’s quite hard to find people who are genuine and looking for what you’re looking for’
Name: Jake Cornish
Occupation: Water Engineer
Who is their type on paper? ‘Looks wise, always gone for blondes. But for me, the main thing is having respect and having good fun, and someone who will be loyal to you…
‘I’ve had messages from girls that have got boyfriends and husbands. This is why I don’t trust anyone. Someone who is loyal really. But when I’m single, I like having a good time!
Name: Kaz Kamwi
Occupation: Fashion Blogger
Who is their type on paper? ‘I like meeting new people, I’m ready to be in a relationship. Why not be in a place where people are looking for the same things as me?’
Name: Chloe Burrows
Occupation: Financial Services Marketing Executive
Who is their type on paper? ‘I like a good build. I go to the gym. I want someone who is funny. Really funny and caring and will do nice little things for you.
‘And then obviously someone who you can depend on to not ditch you. Because I am quite a big character and quite loud, they would have to be as loud, if not more.
‘I could never be with someone who is quiet. Someone that gives you a bit back’
Name: Faye Winter
Occupation: Letting Manager
What is her type on paper? ‘Someone that will put me in my place. Someone that makes me laugh. But also someone that takes my banter. I’m like a five-year-old in a playground, if I like you, I will make a mockery of you and laugh and joke. That is my really terrible flirting skills. I need someone who can take that.’
Name: Brad McClelland
Who is their type on paper? Sommer Ray from Instagram. Zara McDermott, she’s a good-looking lass. Or Megan Fox.
Name: Toby Aromolaran
Occupation: Semi-pro footballer
How would he describe himself? ‘Optimistic. I always see the bright side in the worst situations. I’m a fun guy when I go on a night out. Responsible guy as well.’