Love Island: Ofcom receives almost 800 complaints over Maura's 'predatory' behaviour and treatment of Lucie

Adam Forrest

Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has received almost 800 complaints about ITV2 reality show Love Island since Friday.

The regulator said the majority of the 794 complaints related to Maura Higgins’ attempts to win Tommy Fury’s affection during Friday night’s episode, which received 486 of the objections.

Higgins – accused by some fans on social media of “predatory” advances towards Fury – was seen trying to kiss him. The Irish model lent over him to try to lock lips with him, but he politely declined the offer.

A second batch of complaints, 302 in total, are related to the treatment of surfer Lucie Donlan by the other contestants. Donlan, who is coupled up with Joe Garratt, has been perceived to be “distant” by some of the other islanders, leading to conflict in the villa.

Several Twitter users have objected to Joe’s treatment of his partner, with some accusing him of “emotional abuse” and “gaslighting”.

One fan tweeted urged the show’s producers to “get rid” of Higgins after her efforts to kiss Fury. “I’m sorry, but if a guy had done what Maura is doing in the villa he would be classed as a sexual predator!!!!! Not right! Get her out! How many times does a guy have to say no!”

An Ofcom spokeswoman said: “We will assess these complaints against our broadcasting rules, but are yet to decide whether or not to investigate.”

Earlier today Love Island contestant Sherif Lanre revealed more details about his shock removal from the reality series days after accusing the show of “unconscious racism”.

Speaking to BBC host Victoria Derbyshire, he said: “I feel like the airtime which contestants of my race and races similar to mine was very disproportionate to our value in the villa.

“Statistically, [black people] do get less air time. Why that is is down to the people in charge.”

A Love Island spokesman said: “We would strongly refute any accusation of racism and we are unaware of any other Islanders using racist language.

“All of the Islanders are treated fairly and in accordance with our duty of care. We would like this to be made abundantly clear.”

Monday night’s episode of Love Island showed two new boys – Jordan Hames and Tom Walker – entering the villa and couples assessed on their compatibility.