ITV has decided to postpone the next season of British reality TV show Love Island until 2021 amid the coronavirus pandemic, reports Deadline. The series was set to return for a new season this summer.
"We have tried every which way to make Love Island this summer, but logistically it's just not possible to produce it in a way that safeguards the wellbeing of everybody involved," said ITV director of television Kevin Lygo.
Laura Whitmore, the current Love Island presenter, echoed Lygo's sentiments on her Twitter account. She cited the social distancing rules and travel restrictions as the primary reason behind the postponement of the hit reality series.Laura's tweet garnered a strong response from fans of the show. Most people appeared happy the series was looking out for the well-being of its contestants by postponing the upcoming season until conditions are safe.
"Better to be safe. Will look forward to next year. Can't wait to see you back on it. You were fabulous x," tweeted one person in reply to Laura's statement.
If the show would have gone ahead with a summer premiere, now is the time when the production team would typically start making travel arrangements to Mallorca to prepare the villa for a new batch of contestants.
Lygo previously foreshadowed the potential postponement of Love Island during the Edinburgh TV Festival held last week. He told reporters that it would be an immense "logistical challenge" to move forward on the planned seventh season, given the current public health crisis.
"What signal might it be sending out if we're doing a show where everybody's crammed together slathering over each other and the rest of the world can't go near anyone in the park. I'm a bit uneasy about that."Deadline claims the series will most likely return for its winter season, held in South Africa. Lygo also added that at one point, the production had considered moving the location to Cornwall in the United Kingdom but ultimately decided it would be too much of a change for the series, which is known for its Mediterranean setting.
Love Island is a reality dating series that has aired for six seasons and over 200 episodes. It first started in June 2015 and is one of ITV's best-performing reality television shows.
The reality series has had a challenging year. Aside from the postponement of a new season, which will prove problematic as the network counts on its astronomical ratings for revenue, the series lost its former presenter, Caroline Flack, to suicide in February.
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