Skip to main content

Home Culture Culture Film & TV

Love Island’s Amber Gill doubts LGBTQ version of ITV dating show

"I think it would be hard to cast for something like that."

By Alastair James

Amber Gill from Love Island
Amber Gill from Love Island (Image: Instagram/@amberrosegill)

Should there be an LGBTQ version of the ITV reality dating series Love Island? It’s a question that’s bounced around for a few years now. Now, Amber Gill, a former winner, has cast doubt on it.

Gill won the ITV series back in 2019 with Greg O’Shea. She is now in a relationship with Arsenal footballer Jen Beattie.

Speaking to ahead of the 10th season Gill didn’t think an LGBTQ version of Love Island would work.

“I think it would be hard to cast for something like that. I think that it’s hard in itself to cast it now and I think adding that in would make it even harder.”

She added: “I think it is a possibility, but I think if that was a show, it should be a different show altogether because then I think it makes it so different from what it is.” 

In 2021 ITV commissioner, Amanda Stavri, said including gay contestants on the show present a “logistical difficulty”.

Stavri said the main issue was the programme’s format.

“Although Islanders don’t have to be 100 percent straight, the format must sort of give [the] Islanders an equal choice when coupling up.”

This followed mixed messaging from ITV with Kevin Lygo, the Managing Director of ITV Studios, also shutting down the idea.

However, one of the programme’s producers, Richard Cowles, said in 2018 he’d “absolutely be up for it. Cowles also said: “We’d have to [have a] dedicated show.”

Love Island presenter, Laura Whitmore, told Attitude in 2021 she is “always pushing” for greater inclusivity in the show.

The BBC’s I Kissed A Boy has proven that gay dating shows can work and can also be just as entertaining as others.

I Kissed A Boy, seen as the gay version of Love Island, has seen 10 guys matched by producers. They were then left to figure out if that relationship was something they wanted to continue.

The show has had its dramatic moments during its short run time, with the season finale due to air this weekend.

I Kissed A Boy airs on BBC Three on Sunday (4 June) at 9pm.