Dr Alex George hopes this year's 'Love Island' cast will be more diverse 'in all sorts of ways'

·3-min read
Dr Alex George hopes to see more diversity on Love Island. (Photo by Joseph Okpako/WireImage)
Dr Alex George hopes to see more diversity on Love Island. (Photo by Joseph Okpako/WireImage)

Dr Alex George hopes to see "more diversity" among this year's Love Island cast to encourage better wellbeing for participants and viewers. 

The ITV2 programme has received some criticism in the past for not featuring contestants with a wide range of body types while some have also voiced dissatisfaction with the range of ethnicities represented on the programme. 

Dr Alex, who appeared on the show in 2018, wants there to be greater diversity on the programme "in all sorts of ways". 

Read more: Love Island star India Reynolds wants to see curvier women appear on the show

He made the comments during an appearance on Susannah Constantine's podcast My Wardrobe Malfunction while discussing mental health in relation to reality TV.

"I actually sit on a board now, a mental health advisory board for ITV and a lot of the thoughts now moving forward are how can we promote a better wellbeing, not just the people on the show but the people watching it," he said. 

Watch: Dr Alex George talks about working in hospital during the coronavirus pandemic

"TV, reality TV, can have an impact on people's mental health but it can do it in positive way as well," he went on. "If we think about it and we consider these things when making these shows, consider who you're putting on there: 'Are they prepared for that. What messages are we giving to people? Are we representing the body image, the diversity that we have in the UK on screen?' Those kind of things. 

"I'll be interested to see what the cast is like this year on Love Island - but I think that we might see a better diversity, I hope, in all sorts of ways on the show this year."

The topic of body type diversity was addressed by creative director of ITV Studios Entertainment, Richard Cowles, back in 2019 as he said they wanted the contestants "to be attracted to one another"

Love Island has received criticism over the range of contestants it's featured. (ITV)
Love Island has received criticism over the range of contestants it's featured. (ITV)

“I think we try to be as representative and diverse as possible,” Cowles said.

“It has to come back first and foremost – it's an entertainment show and it's about people wanting to watch people we've got on screen and then reacting and falling in love with one another.

Read more: Francesca Allen 'didn't know who to trust' during Love Island experience

“Yes we want to be as representative as possible but we also we want them to be attracted to one another.”

Little Mix singer Leigh-Anne Pinnock also criticised the show in 2018 as she said she was "disappointed" by the lack of diversity. 

ITV confirmed the series would be returning this year following the cancellation of the 2020 series due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Watch: Laura Whitmore says Love Island will return this summer