'Love Island' hopes to feature LGBTQ+ contestants in new series

Albertina Lloyd
·Entertainment reporter, Yahoo UK
·2 min read
Laura Whitmore has replaced Caroline Flack as the host of 'Love Island' (Credit: ITV)
Laura Whitmore is the host of 'Love Island', which is open to gay single applicants. (ITV)

Love Island 2021 could feature LGBTQ+ couples with the show encouraging gay contestants to apply for the show.

The ITV dating show — which sees contestants couple up hoping to be voted to win the £50k prize money — was cancelled last year due to the coronavirus, but is due to return this summer.

Men and women who identify as gay on dating app Tinder have reported being targeting by adverts encouraging them to apply to take part in the show.

Read more: Megan Barton Hanson says 'Love Island' sex scenes only air if contestants admit them

A spokesman for Love Island told Yahoo! UK: "Our only stipulation for applicants on Love Island is that they are over 18, single and looking for love."

Megan Barton-Hanson took part in 'Love Island' in 2018 and has since come out as bisexual. (ITV)
Megan Barton-Hanson took part in 'Love Island' in 2018 and has since come out as bisexual. (ITV)

This is in fact no change to previous years and the show has featured bisexual contestants in the past.

Love Island has had some criticism over the last six series for excluding gay couples.

Executive producer Richard Cowles has previously said he would be open to making a separate gay spin-off of the show, but said: "You need everyone to fancy everyone, so if you have gay and heterosexual in the same place, they're not going to fancy each other."

Watch: Montana Brown says Love Islanders had sex everywhere

However, he also said of including LGBTQ+ contestants in the main show: "It is not impossible and it is not something that we shy away from... but there is a logistical element which makes it difficult.”

If Love Island contestants are left single after the coupling rounds have taken place they are immediately eliminated from the show.

 Curtis Pritchard has tested positive for coronavirus. (Getty Images)
Former 'Love Island' contestant Curtis Pritchard has since spoken about being bisexual. (Getty Images)

The public are also given the chance to vote to couple up contestants and eliminate couples during the series, before voting for their favourite couple to win during the final.

Applications for Love Island series seven are currently still open, with eligibility requirements only stating that prospective contestants be aged over 18 and looking for love.

Love Island relaunched on ITV2 in its current format in 2015. It was previously known as Celebrity Love Island.

Read more: 'Love Island' star Tom Walker marries secret girlfriend after 10 year on-off relationship

Up until 2019 Love Island was hosted by the late Caroline Flack, who tragically died aged 40 after taking her own life.

The show is now hosted by Laura Whitmore who is married to the show's narrator Iain Stirling and they have just welcomed their first child together: a baby girl born in March.

Watch: Laura Whitmore confirmed Love Island will be back this summer