Love Island will “encourage greater inclusivity and diversity” in its 2021 summer line-up but including gay contestants presents a “logistical difficulty”, an ITV boss has said.
The popular dating show is set to return after its summer series was scrapped last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Speculation has already started about what this year’s line-up might look like and there has previously been some chat about it possibly featuring LGBTQ+ contestants.
Watch: ITV release new teasers for upcoming Love Island series
ITV’s commissioner Amada Stavri told RadioTimes.com there have been more applications than ever this year, adding: “The line-up will be announced within time and it goes without saying that we want to encourage greater inclusivity and diversity.”
She went on: “In terms of gay Islanders, I think the main challenge is regarding the format of Love Island. There’s a sort of logistical difficulty, because although Islanders don’t have to be 100% straight, the format must sort of give Islanders an equal choice when coupling up.”
Stavri said there is “more sexual diversity” on dating shows such as The Cabins, where there aren’t as many restrictions as Love Island.
“So we’re very sort of mindful of that across our programming on ITV and dating series. But that’s the difficulty with Love Island,” she added.
The first teasers for the hit show were released last week.
One shows host Laura Whitmore wielding a pink mallet and ready to smash a heart-shaped glass box surrounding an alarm with a sign that said: "In case of Love Island, crack on.”
Another teaser featured a 4x4 with the licence plate "LOV3" and pink horns mounted on top.
The series about singletons looking for love is due to return on 28 June on ITV2.
It is expected to return to its Mallorca residency.
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