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Love Island 2023: Meet the Islanders

A Boohoo model has been confirmed as the first singleton heading to the Love Island villa for the upcoming winter series.  

Tanya Manhenga, 22, a biomedical science student and model from Liverpool, is headed to South Africa for the launch of the new series on January 16, it was confirmed on Monday.

Alongside her degree, Tanya has worked with brands including Ego and Simmi shoes and she is already represented by the talent agency Muse. 

Islander: Boohoo model and student Tanya Manhenga has been confirmed as the first singleton heading to the Love Island villa for the upcoming winter series 

Tanya revealed that she’s excited to raise awareness of her condition, vitiligo, explaining it’s ‘a skin pigmentation, you may not even notice it.’

‘It’s on my lip and I have a stripe on my hair. Not many people know that but I think it’s quite cute. I don’t care about covering it up all the time, I think it’s a vibe.’

She added that she’s looking ‘for a boyfriend and I think being in a Villa with lots of different people will help me work out who it is I may want.’

As for what gives her the ‘ick’? Tanya has very specific turn-offs, exclaiming: ‘Guys that don’t wear socks in the house. Why are your feet flapping all around the house? Guys have huge feet too, yuck.’

‘Also, guys in the bathtub with no bubbles, such an ick, no.

The ninth series of Love Island will be hosted for the first time by Maya Jama, after Laura Whitmore stepped down from the position following former presenter Caroline Flack’s tragic death in 2020. 

In an interview with over the weekend Maya revealed she did not have to audition to present Love Island and accepted the hosting gig straight away.

She told The Times: ‘Once you start doing TV, you meet a lot of producers, through different shows, and the heads will be aware of talent . . . That’s weird, to call yourself talent, isn’t it? I talk for a living. It’s not exactly tap dancing everywhere or performing a ballad.’

‘So I think I’ve always been in their eye line, but I was super young when the presenter shifts were happening in the past.’

The presenter was having some time off when she got the call about the Love Island gig, explaining: ‘I got the phone call saying, “we wanna meet you.” Or, they offered it to me straight away? Or “They’re in discussions’? I’m trying to think! Anyway, I didn’t have to audition.”’

When asked if she said yes immediately, Maya exclaimed: ‘Straight away! Of course! Golden ticket.’  

Record-breaking viewing figures saw the last series of Love Island, which aired in summer 2022, become the most-watched series ever on ITV Hub, amassing over 269 million streams. 

The debut winter series aired in January 2020 – shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic – and was won by Paige Turley and Finn Tapp.

Plans for a second winter series were shelved in 2021 amid concerns surrounding the pandemic.

Paul Mortimer, Director of Reality Commissioning and Controller, ITV2, said ‘Love Island has once again proved itself to be the nation’s favourite talking point across the summer, and we’re always blown away by the show’s ongoing impact and talkability amongst our younger audience.

‘So, rather than just serving up a Summer of Love, we thought we’d make 2023 the Year of Love with two full series of the show.’

 The supersized luxury eco-retreat boasts stunning mountain views and is nestled away in a ‘protected area’ in the heart of the Franschhoek wine valley in South Africa’s ‘millionaire row’. 

The villa is the biggest one yet of all the series, boasting a giant pool and surrounded by palm trees and typic]ally costs around £430 per night to stay in per room. 

It is is also environmentally friendly, with the estate having 100 percent off-the-grid status which allows it to generate its own electricity, water and numerous food sources.

In a new move for 2023, the ITV2 dating show has enforced a new social media ban while contestants are inside the villa. 

Updating their duty of care policy, Love Island bosses have banned Islanders’ social media activity during the show and will give enhanced training around behaviour in relationships after a controversial summer series. 

In previous seasons, families and friends have been appointed to man islanders’ social media accounts – often posting on their behalf.

But now ITV have said a comprehensive package of welfare measures remain in place for programme contributors to ensure stars are fully supported before, during and after the filming period.

As part of extended measures to protect both the Islanders and their families from ‘the adverse effects of social media’, participants will be asked to pause handles and accounts on their social media platforms for the duration of their time on the show.

Love Island duty of care protocols in full – ahead of 2023 series

The full duty of care process is outlined below:

Pre Filming and Filming

– Registered mental health professional engaged throughout the whole series – from pre-filming to aftercare.

– Thorough pre-filming psychological and medical assessments including assessments by an independent doctor, psychological consultant and reports from each Islander’s own GP to check medical history.

– Potential Islanders are required to fully disclose in confidence any medical history that would be relevant to their inclusion in the Villa and the production’s ability to provide a suitable environment for them.

– Managing cast expectations: detailed explanations both verbally and in writing of the implications, both positive and negative, of taking part in the series are given to potential cast members throughout the casting process and reinforced within the contract so it is clear.

– Cast are told they should consider all the potential implications of taking part in the show and work through this decision-making process in consultation with their family and those closest to them, to ensure they feel it is right for them.

– Senior Team on the ground have received training in Mental Health First Aid.

– A welfare team solely dedicated to the Islanders both during the show and after.


– Bespoke training on dealing with social media and advice on finance and adjusting to life back home.

– A minimum of eight therapy sessions will be offered to each Islander when they return home.

– Proactive contact with Islanders for a period of 14 months after the series in which they have appeared has ended, with additional help provided where applicable.

– We encourage Islanders to secure management to represent them after the show and manage them should they choose to take part in other TV shows, advertising campaigns or other public appearance opportunities.


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