The upcoming winter series of Love Island is set to be the “sportiest yet”, with a lavish £1.2 million villa being rented out by show bosses that comes with a rugby pitch and zip line, according to reports.
Love Island returns in January with new host Maya Jama and a fresh line-up of contestants, who will reside in the location of South Africa.
The Sun have reported that ITV2 bosses have bagged exclusive use of a stunning mansion in the exotic region, reserved for the new Islanders, that they are paying a whopping £8,000 a day for.
The remarkable estate is named Ludus Magnus after a Gladiator school in ancient Rome where slaves fought for their lives, and boasts 17 bedrooms and its own river rapids in a surrounding lake.
The property’s most standout feature is its T-shaped swimming pool, which will no doubt see much drama over the course of the next few weeks as the series returns.
A source told The Sun: “The challenges on Love Island always make for fun TV and this place is a producer’s dream.
“It’s absolutely stunning and has so much going on. It will set the standard for future series.
“There’s bound to be plenty of fun and games on the winter edition and Ludus Magnus provides the perfect opportunity for a huge range of activities for the contestants to get stuck into.”
Love Island’s infamous Casa Amor is typically located a driving distance away from the main residence, and sees the Islanders divide into two groups of men and women as their loyalties with each other are challenged.
This stately South African home has a private beach located in the middle of the lake, acting as its own ‘Casa Amor’, so contestants will be able to hear what shenanigans they each are getting up to while separated just a few feet away from each other.
ITV has given no comment to Evening Standard on the report.
This update comes after ex-host Laura Whitmore, who left her post earlier this year, discussed her struggle to remain impartial on the show, leading to her decision to exit.
She told Psychologies magazine: “There was only so much I can do as a host – I couldn’t support [the contestants] or not support them. I couldn’t say anything.
“So, you kind of have to go quiet, and that was hard for me because I like to be able to have those conversations.
“If I could [have done] things the way I wanted to, I’d probably still be doing it.”