The initial couples for the ninth series of Love Island have been revealed.
The ITV2 dating show has returned to South Africa for the first winter series since the coronavirus pandemic.
Kicking off the coupling was biomedical student Tanya Manhenga, who chose airport security officer Shaq Muhammad.
Lana Jenkins, a make-up artist from Luton, chose to couple up with the show’s first visually impaired contestant, Ron Hall.
After coupling and recoupling a number of times, Kai Fagan, a PE and science teacher from Manchester, ended up with Tanyel Revan, a hairstylist from north London,
Anna-May Robey, a payroll administrator from Swansea, was ultimately coupled with TV salesman Haris Namani, from Doncaster, who said “there’s no girl that’s ever turned me down” but admitted he has never been in love.
The two remaining islanders – actress Olivia Hawkins, who initially chose to couple up with Kai, and farmer and TikTok star Will Young – formed the final couple.
Olivia appeared initially unimpressed when Will revealed he had another girl’s initial tattooed on his ankle.
“Why would you tell me that? You should have lied!” she said.
During the first episode of the new series, viewers saw Maya Jama take over hosting duties after Laura Whitmore announced she was stepping down from the role last year.
Jama, 28, suggested she has faced difficulties in her past relationships during the launch show.
The TV and radio presenter told the 10 new contestants: “Don’t forget, finding your perfect match is never that simple – trust me, I know.”
Jama parted ways with ex-boyfriend Stormzy in summer 2019 after more than four years together and was later in a relationship with American basketball player Ben Simmons.
After entering the villa, she quizzed the male islanders to find out what they are looking for from the girls.
Asked about his type, Shaq said: “I go for more personality and vibes but she’s definitely got to be funny – funny is top of my list, I love it.”
Haris revealed he has never been in a relationship, and Kai said that he is “looking for a wifey”.
After the arrival of the female islanders and the initial coupling up, the contestants began to get to know each other before they were shocked to discover the public had been voting for the first bombshell of the series.
After the public vote, either 25-year-old business development executive Ellie Spence, from Norwich, or 23-year-old Tom Clare, a semi-pro footballer from Barnsley, will enter the villa to shake things up.
New additions also include Made In Chelsea star Sam Thompson and Indiyah Polack, who was a finalist on the show last year, who are joining as regular panellists on Love Island’s Aftersun programme.
Love Island airs at 9pm on ITV2 and ITVX.