ITV cannot provide aftercare “indefinitely” when contestants leave Love Island, a chief at the broadcaster has said.
The hit reality TV show has recently come under questioning for the support it offers former Islanders, with many claiming they did not receive adequate help in coping with life after the show.
Speaking at the Broadcasting Press Guild, ITV’s chief executive Carolyn McCall addressed their comments, stating that “we can do everything we possibly can to look after people and to do our duty of care but you can’t do that forever with an individual”.
“There has got to be a framework and it will come to an end,” she added. “It can’t be indefinite.”
Renewed criticism of Love Island came following the shock death of Mike Thalassitis, who took part in the 2017 series. The 26-year-old’s body was found in a park near his childhood home.
Carolyn added: “I would also say that I don’t think anybody has made a direct link between what happened to Mike and Love Island.
“That would be an extremely tenuous thing to do given he was very happy on Love Island and all his mates have said that and that he’s done two other reality programmes since then...”
Carolyn also stated that Mike’s death – and that of Sophie Gradon, who died in June last year – were “devastating” for the Love Island team because “they’re with people for nearly 10 weeks of their lives and they know everybody personally”.
“They know them as people and they become friends…” she said. “It was tragic.
“People should not have assumed that we didn’t have a duty of care because we did have a duty of care and we had clear processes and procedures. We’ve been evolving them.
“The social media haste and sometimes nastiness … It’s moving so quickly that you have to keep changing and reviewing what you do on an ongoing process.
Referencing recently-announced changes that will come into effect before the next series, Carolyn added: “We had already changed some of those processes in light of that… and we will continue to do that.”
This year’s crop of Islanders will receive enhanced aftercare, including social media and financial management training.
Announcing the new processes earlier this month, a spokesperson explained that they were the result of a review which began six months ago.
“The key focus will be for us to no longer be reliant on the islanders asking us for support but for us to proactively check in with them on a regular basis,” they said.