Love Island creators open to gay spinoff after BAFTA victory
With Love Island coming back to our screens soon, its creators are now hinting at a possible LGBT version and a “gay villa.”
Producer Richard Cowles was handed the award for Best Reality and Constructed Factual at the 2018 BAFTA TV Awards on Sunday and took the opportunity to address why there haven’t been any gay or lesbians contestants on the show yet.
Cowles said he was concerned Love Island’s premise, which is based on coupling and re-coupling contestants, wouldn’t work when mixing gay and straight participants.
“For a dating show, 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,” he said in the press room at the BAFTAs.
However, Cowles added he would consider a gay version of the show, “for a gay audience with a gay villa,” saying he was open to producing two seasons a year.
Since its reboot in 2015, the show has featured mostly straight contestants. But the success of the show has led to calls for gay and lesbian contestants being included.
Back in January, a show insider had told the Daily Star: “ITV want to increase the shock factor of the show and keep people talking, by having LGBT people included.
“Love Island is supposed to be a reflection of pop culture and shows modern dating. Young people are becoming more and more fluid in their sexuality and gender identity, so the channel have realised they can’t alienate that audience, either.”
Audiences welcomed the news with great enthusiasm, but it wasn’t long before Love Island denied the rumours, reiterating in a statement that the show’s format wouldn’t work with gay or lesbian contestants.
However, rumours of gay and lesbian contestants have surrounded the new season’s cast all year long.
In 2016, a brief love triangle saw two women, Katie Salmon and Sophie Gradon, couple up together for the first time, However, the romance was short lived and Gradon eventually left Salmon for male contestant Tom Powell.
The very popular 2017 season only had straight pairings. Sadly, most of them didn’t survive very long.
Winning pair Amber Davies and Kem Cetinay split up after only four months. Only runner-ups Camilla Thurlow and Jamie Hewitt are still going strong.
Love Island should return to our screens soon, although ITV2 is yet to confirm a date.
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Host Caroline Flack hinted at a possible start up date back on April 2, when she tweeted a cryptic: “Two months.”
In spite of Cowles’ recent hints at a gay version of Love Island, ITV is yet to confirm that it is in the works.
It is not the first time the producer talked about having a gay Love Island.
In 2017, Cowles said he was thinking of creating a gay villa.