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ITV boss defends Love Island’s lack of gay islanders: ‘It’s about boys and girls coupling up’

"[But] it is discussed," concedes Kevin Lygo, Director of Television at ITV.

By Jamie Tabberer

Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: Millie and Liam, winners of Love Island 2021 (ITV)

An ITV boss has defended Love Island over its lack of inclusion of gay contestants.

Speaking to Variety, Kevin Lygo, Director of Television at ITV, said gay Islanders aren’t suitable because the show is about “boys and girls coupling up.”

His comments follow ITV commissioner Amanda Starvi’s in June that gay contestants would present “logistical difficulties” on the show.

The latest series of Love Island wrapped up on Monday (23 August 2021), with Liam Reardon and Millie Court emerging as winners.

“Love Island is a particular thing”

Speaking virtually at the Edinburgh TV Festival on Wednesday: “Love Island is a particular thing. It’s about boys and girls coupling up, so if you want to do it as a gay version or you want to widen it, it is discussed and we haven’t yet found a way that would make it suitable for that show.”

Earlier this summer, contestant Sharon Gaffka claimed she came out as bisexual to fellow contestants while on the show, but the talks were never aired.

The 25-year-old told Metro: “A lot of the conversations I had about modern dating on the show were never aired, but I was very open about sexuality and being a mixed-race woman in modern dating.”

Love Island first ran for two series in 2005 and 2006, and was revived in 2015.

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