Davide Sanclimenti advises new Love Islanders to search for love not fame

Reigning Love Island winner Davide Sanclimenti has advised incoming contestants not to go into the villa hoping for fame but because they “actually want to find someone”.

The new series, which is launching on Monday night on ITV2, will see the hit dating show return to South Africa for its first winter edition since the pandemic.

TV and radio presenter Maya Jama, who is hosting the show for the first time, will welcome 10 new islanders into the villa during the opening episode.

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Italian business owner Sanclimenti, 28, won the last summer series with actress Ekin-Su Culculoglu, also 28.

Appearing on ITV’s Good Morning Britain (GMB) on Monday, Sanclimenti said his advice to the new islanders would be to “be yourself”.

He added: “Don’t go there for fame but because you actually want to find someone.

“If you are a genuine person and you actually want to find someone for love and the right person is there you will have an amazing experience.”

He said he will watch the launch episode but admitted he is unsure whether he can commit to following every show for the next eight weeks.

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The couple sparked engagement rumours at Christmas after they shared a joint video on their Instagram pages, where Sanclimenti could be seen presenting Culculoglu with a ring while they were on holiday in Rome.

Sanclimenti captioned the post: “Our first Christmas together and our first time in Rome together. It was missing something on that hand tho.”

However, he clarified on GMB that they are not engaged and said it is a promise ring, which is occasionally given in a relationship to signify commitment.

He said: “I gave her a ring because now we are officially together. We love each other, we live together and I thought that, even if we’re still not getting married, but I thought that she deserved something on her hands.

“So I wanted to buy her a ring and I did for Christmas and I gave her it in Rome just to make it more symbolic.”

Among the new Love Island contestants hoping to follow in their footsteps and find love is Ron Hall, the first partially sighted islander, Lana Jenkins, the ex-girlfriend of last year’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! runner-up Owen Warner, and actress Olivia Hawkins, 27, who was in No Time To Die alongside Daniel Craig.

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Jenkins, 25, a make-up artist to the stars, was in an episode of comedy show Benidorm as an extra when she lived in Spain when she was six.

On her ex, Hollyoaks actor Warner, she said: “We had a lovely relationship. We had a bit of a lockdown relationship, so we spent a lot of time together.

“And then, when we ended, we ended amicably, so I have nothing bad to say in terms of our relationship and the time that we spent together.”

Hall lost his sight in one eye while playing football at the age of eight, which he feels has shaped him as a person “in a really good way” and been a “great conversation starter” when talking to women.

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The 25-year-old financial adviser from Essex said he hopes to “bring awareness and be vocal about” his condition on the show.

Kai Fagan, 24, who plays semi-professional rugby for Burnage RFC and is also a science and PE teacher, thinks his stint on the island will help his students and young people learn about “good and positive relationships”.

Shaq Muhammad, also 24, an airport security officer from London, Tanya Manhenga, 22, a biomedical sciences student from Liverpool, TikTok farmer Will Young, 23, and Anna-May Robey, a 20-year-old payroll administrator from Swansea, also join the cast.

The line-up also includes Haris Namani, 21, a TV salesman, from Doncaster, and 26-year-old hair stylist Tanyel Revan, from north London.

Jama will also host the usual summer edition in Majorca later in the year after Laura Whitmore, 37, stepped down.

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Made In Chelsea star Sam Thompson and Indiyah Polack, who was a finalist on the show last year, are joining as regular panellists on Love Island’s Aftersun programme.

Before the series aired, ITV announced that contestants will have to disable their social media accounts to protect both them and their families.

As part of the broadcaster’s duty of care policies, islanders will also receive “guidance and training” around “mutually respectful behaviour in relationships” after the last series prompted thousands of complaints to broadcasting watchdog Ofcom.

Many of the complaints related to “alleged misogynistic and bullying behaviour” by some islanders, although they were not upheld.

– Love Island returns at 9pm on Monday January 16 on ITV2 and ITVX.