Kevin Lygo, director of television at ITV, confirmed Monday that the U.K. broadcaster has “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 everyone involved, and that for us is the priority.”
Lygo added, “In normal circumstances we would be preparing very soon to travel out to the location in Mallorca to get the villa ready but clearly that’s now out of the question.
“We are very sorry for fans of the show but making it safely is our prime concern and ‘Love Island’ will be back stronger than ever in 2021. In the meantime, ‘Love Island’ fans can still enjoy all six series of Love Island on BritBox.”
It is likely that ITV will still move ahead with its new winter edition of “Love Island,” which launched in January and is shot in South Africa. Arguably, that program could now pull in higher ratings due to the show’s absence from the summer schedule.
ITV’s decision on “Love Island” — the broadcaster’s biggest show — comes just days after Lygo planted the first seeds of doubt as to the program’s summer outing. As revealed by Variety, ITV bosses last month were considering a U.K. version of the Mallorca-set show, as well as a delayed August-September broadcast.
Speaking during an Edinburgh TV Festival-hosted virtual event last week, Lygo said: “Will Mallorca open its doors to hundreds of production people arriving? Will there have to be a quarantine? We have to factor all that in,” he said.
“Also, what signal might it be sending out if we’re doing a show where everyone is crammed together, slobbering over each other and the rest of the world is told, ‘Don’t go near anyone in the park.’ I’m a bit uneasy about that,” said Lygo.
Airing on digital channel ITV2, “Love Island” is one of the most watched programs across the U.K. and is traditionally stripped across the broadcaster seven days a week from 9-10 p.m over June and July. The ITV Studios-produced show — which finds young coupled-up singles trying to find love and outlast one another — brings in huge advertising dollars for the broadcaster, which pulled in an extra £8 million ($10 million) in commercial partnerships alone for the 2019 edition.
Production on “Love Island,” which is shot in a villa on the Spanish Balearic island of Mallorca, is believed to normally begin around mid-May, with an extensive crew bedding in at a remote location close to the villa, which is rigged with cameras.