20/12/2019 10:05 GMT | Updated 20/12/2019 10:37 GMT

Laura Whitmore Announced As New Love Island Host After Caroline Flack Exit

Caroline stepped down from the role after her arrest and charge for assault.

Laura Whitmore has been announced as the new host of Love Island, following Caroline Flack’s exit. 

Laura will front the sixth series of the ITV2 reality show, which kicks off in South Africa next month, after Caroline stood down following her arrest and subsequent charge for assault. 

She will also host spin-off series Aftersun, which will air on ITV2 live from London on Monday nights at 10pm.

In a statement, the new presenter said: “To say I’m excited to be heading to Cape Town to host Love Island, the biggest show on television, is an understatement.

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Laura Whitmore 

“I want to thank ITV for trusting me at the helm of this huge show. I wish it was in better circumstances; Caroline is a brilliant host and also a friend. We’ve spoken a lot in the last few days since she stepped down. She has been very kind to me and strongly pushed me for this role. I’ve watched her host every series and know I have big boots to fill. I will try and do it justice.

She added: “Above all, I am a massive fan of this show. I’ve never been to a Love Island villa, and I can’t wait to get in there to meet all the new Islanders looking for love.”

Caroline Flack has stood down as the presenter of the upcoming series

Laura has been dating Love Island narrator Iain Stirling since 2017, and joked: “The Love Island team are the best in the business… including the voice and heart of the show, Iain. He thought he was getting a holiday away from me… not a chance!”

Head of Digital Channels and Acquisitions, Paul Mortimer, added: “I’m delighted that Laura is able to step in this winter on ITV2’s biggest show. She is the best person for the job and is a popular and experienced presenter of live television.

“Whilst Caroline is away, we know that Love Island will be in very safe hands.”

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Laura and Caroline are close friends

It will not be the first time Laura has headed to South Africa, as she previously hosted ITV2′s short-lived reality show Survival Of The Fittest there in 2018. 

The show was originally touted as a winter Love Island, but was not recommissioned due to poor ratings. 

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Laura and Iain have been dating since 2017

Caroline announced she sitting out the upcoming series of Love Island on Tuesday, after she was charged with assault by beating following a private domestic incident at her London home, which she shares with her partner Lewis Burton. 

“Love Island has been my world for the last five years, it’s the best show on telly,” she said in a statement posted on her Instagram Story.

“In order not to detract attention from the upcoming series I feel the best thing I can do is stand down for series six.”

Caroline is currently on bail following her arrest, and will appear at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on Monday 23 December.

Police were called to her London home at approximately 5.25am last Thursday, after reports of a man being assaulted.

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Caroline and boyfriend Lewis Burton

A London Ambulance Service spokesperson said the man was treated by paramedics, although police said he was not seriously injured. “A person” was also taken to hospital. 

When announcing her Love Island departure, Caroline claimed “matters were not as have been reported” in some parts of the media. However, she has been unable to go into further detail until the legal process is over. 

Lewis has also stood by the star on his social media accounts, defending his “loyal and kind” girlfriend from the “lies and abuse” that he says have been aimed at her in the press and on social media.  

Caroline has hosted all five series of Love Island since the show was rebooted in 2015. She has also fronted spin-off show Aftersun since 2017. 

Caroline has hosted all five series of Love Island

A spokesperson for the show said of her decision to stand down as host: “ITV has a long standing relationship with Caroline and we understand and accept her decision.

“We will remain in contact with her over the coming months about future series of Love Island.”

Earlier this year, it was announced Love Island would air two series a year following huge ratings success for its fifth run, which saw nearly six million people tuning into each episode. 

Its winter series will launch in mid January from a new villa in South Africa with a new host, who is expected to be announced in the coming weeks. 

The regular summer series will return to Europe, having come from Mallorca in Spain since its inception.