Love Island Bosses Admit They Never Considered Axing Show In Wake Of Mike Thalassitis And Sophie Gradon's Deaths

Producers also said changes to their aftercare process will not affect how the show is made.

ITV bosses have admitted they did not consider the possibility that Love Island wouldn’t return after the deaths of Mike Thalassitis and Sophie Gradon.

The ITV2 reality series has come under intense scrutiny in recent months after two of its former contestants were found dead, prompting producers to introduce a raft of changes to their aftercare processes.

Mike Thalassitis and Sophie Gradon
Mike Thalassitis and Sophie Gradon

However, many called for the show to be taken off the air completely, a debate that was reignited when ITV decided to cancel The Jeremy Kyle Show earlier this month, after a participant died after a week after failing a lie detector test on the programme.

Asked if there was ever a consideration to stop producing Love Island, ITV Studios Entertainment’s Managing Director Angela Jain said at a press conference in Mallorca, Spain: “No. Our duty of care has always been really robust as we’ve reflected in the statement, it’s an ongoing process.

“We engaged with [mental health specialist Dr Paul Litchfield] well before Christmas, and it was just what we do in terms of being responsible programme makers.

“Those procedures will evolve as the show changes as well. It’s a continuous process.”

Changes to their processes include new financial and social media training for the Islanders, as well as a more specific aftercare plan, which will see them have to attend a minimum of eight therapy sessions.

However, Angela has insisted this doesn’t mean contestants won’t continue to be tested during their time in the villa.

Love Island
Love Island

Speaking to journalists including HuffPost UK, she said: “That in no way is going to impact on the editorial in so much as to make us make the show differently.

“We always say this to the Islanders to [journalists] and to the public that we’re trying to mirror real life here, and relationships in real life get tested and that is entirely normal. So we are going to, and the Islanders are fully aware their relationships will be tested.

“We will do that because that’s what the expectation is for the audience and definitely for the Islanders.”

Angela also did not confirm whether or not the lie detector tests that have featured in every previous series of Love Island would return in 2019, in light of The Jeremy Kyle Show’s demise.

She said: “It’s 57 episodes in the run. Lie detector is one episode and one element of 57 episodes. It’s not even a big deal in the format of the show.”

Love Island launches on Monday at 9pm on ITV2.

Yewande Biala

Love Island Contestants 2019

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