‘Love Island’ bosses have discussed the decision to ban this year’s contestants from smoking in the villa grounds, admitting the show previously made cigarettes “look glamourous”.
A study previously revealed that ‘Love Island’ featured cigarettes once every five minutes (on average) and smoking was responsible for 24 of the 46 Ofcom complaints made about the series.
To remedy this, ITV has constructed a smoking area next to the villa and the Islanders will only be able to spend time there alone.
Paul Mortimer, the broadcaster’s controller of digital channels, told HuffPost UK and other reporters: “More than 50% of the complaints made about the show last year were about people smoking, and because they’re a very sexy cast in a very sexy environment on a very sexy channel, it made smoking look glamorous. Ofcom, I guess, took a view that it was unacceptable.
“It’s not against the law to smoke cigarettes and the smokers were smoking because they smoke, and they would have been smoking whether they were in the villa or not.
“But we have to take it seriously and so this year we’ve got in place a plan for the smoking area to be outside of the villa rather than inside the garden.”
“We’re just thinking about it like smoking in the workplace,” added ITV Studios managing director Angela Jain. “You can’t smoke in a restaurant, you can’t smoke at work, so we’ve just created a very clear separate area at the front of the villa.
“There will be a camera on it, but it won’t be as attractive a place to have a conversation. It’s not a social space.”
‘Love Island’ starts in a matter of days and we’ve already been introduced to the first batch of contestants.
As the series goes on there will be plenty of recouplings, new arrivals and departures, as only one couple can take home the cast prize in eight(!) weeks’ time.