The Spanish summer sun, that unmistakable Scottish voiceover, the beautiful singles looking for a special connection and/or a £50,000 prize… they’ve finally returned to our screens.
After months and months of life being so different than what we’re used to, seeing a TV classic back on at 9pm every night has been a BIG highlight of the summer so far (second only to the Euros, but our Sports Editor will undoubtedly have alllll the info on that!)
Love Island 2021 takes place in Mallorca, once again presented by Laura Whitmore, and narrated as ever by the incomparable Iain Stirling. The Islanders will surely take inspiration from the Irish presenter and Scottish narrator in their summer search for The One, as they are actually a real-life married couple who have recently welcomed a new baby girl.
This year’s line up seem like a lovely group of people so far, and it’s great to see that there has already been a lot of emphasis on the #BeKind movement, which started after the tragic passing of Love Island’s former host, Caroline Flack. No matter what the Islanders look like or how they act, most of the audience has pledged to be thoughtful with the words they choose to use when talking about them online. Mental health issues have also claimed the lives of former contestants (Mike Thalassitis and Sophie Gradon, and in turn her partner Aaron), showing us just how much of an impact our words have on people, even if we think they’ll never see them. Because of these tragedies and the added focus on mental health during the pandemic, we hope that this year’s Islanders will receive nothing but love from the public.
Who are the starting 10?
If you’ve read this far, you probably know how the show works. If you don’t, then it starts with five girls and five guys, and there’s a lovely bit of matching up. A ‘bombshell’ comes in later in the episode to stir the pot, but the initial line up is made up of 10 people. Here’s the Love Island 2021 starting 10 – first the girls, then the boys and who they chose.
Faye Winter, 26
She’s a lettings manager from Devon, and her Instagram is @faye__winter.
Kaz Kamwi, 26
Kaz is a fashion blogger from Essex, and her Insta is @kazkamwi.
Liberty Poole, 21
Liberty’s from Birmingham, and she’s a waitress and marketing student. Her Insta is @libertypoolex.
Shannon Singh, 22
Shannon is a model and DJ from Fife, and her Insta is @shannonsinghhh.
Sharon Gaffka, 25
Sharon’s from Oxford, and she’s a civil servant (specifically working in the Department of Transport). Her Insta is @sharongaffka.
Aaron Francis, 24
He’s a luxury events host from London, and his Insta is @aaronfranciis. Two girls stepped forward for Aaron, but he chose to couple up with Shannon – although she wasn’t one of them!
Brad McClelland, 26
Brad’s a labourer from Northumberland, and his Insta is @brad_mcclell. He’s coupled up with Faye – two guys tried to pair up with her first, but Brad got to stay in the pair because his choice overrode theirs.
Hugo Hammond, 24
He’s a PE teacher from Hampshire, and his Insta is @hugo_hammond_. As he has clubfoot, he’s the show’s first ‘physically disabled’ contestant. Hugo was sent to the ‘subs bench’ after Faye was picked by another boy, but later chose to couple up with Sharon.
Jake Cornish, 24
Jake’s a water engineer from Weston-super-Mare, and his Insta is @jakecornish7. He was the first boy to enter the villa, and successfully coupled up with Liberty without being replaced by the other four.
Toby Aromolaran, 22
Toby’s a semi-professional footballer from Essex, and his Insta is @tobyaromolaran. He’s with Kaz – he was also sent to the ‘subs bench’ after another boy picked Faye. When Hugo picked Sharon, it left Kaz as the last single girl available to join Toby in the final pairing.
Who’s the late arrival ‘bombshell’?
Chloe Burrows, 25
She’s a financial services marketing executive from Bicester, and her Insta is @chloe__burrows. Chloe made her presence known to the boys by sending them a voice note and asking them all on a date to mark her arrival. She’s yet to couple up, and her choice will leave one of the other girls single.
Here’s some of the best online reactions to Britain’s favourite villa making its return to TV…
This user knows how it goes – Twitter is an absolute haven for all the best comments about the show, and thousands of people flock to the app to post their thoughts on Island events as they’re happening.
The classic Chris Hughes reaction photo has returned, still as iconic as ever:
Let’s be real – who hasn’t reinstalled either the ITV Hub or the Love Island app this week?
Where and when do I watch?
You can keep up with the Islanders’ journey to summer love every night (except Saturday) at 9pm on ITV2, and catch up on what you’ve missed on the ITV Hub. There hasn’t been a recoupling yet as Chloe has yet to make her choice, but you can find out who she picks, along with all future recouplings and new arrivals, in our upcoming regular updates.