Laura Whitmore confirmed to replace Caroline Flack as Love Island host
Laura Whitmore has been confirmed to replace Caroline Flack as host of Love Island series six.
On 17 December, Caroline, 40, announced that she would be stepping down as host of the winter edition of the ITV2 series, after she was charged for assault following a row with boyfriend Lewis Burton.
And now, it has been confirmed that Irish presenter Laura will be taking over on Love Island this January.
The 34-year-old said: ‘To say I’m excited to be heading to Cape Town to host Love Island, the biggest show on television, is an understatement.
‘I want to thank ITV for trusting me at the helm of this huge show. I wish it was in better circumstances; Caroline is a brilliant host and also a friend. We’ve spoken a lot in the last few days since she stepped down. She has been very kind to me and strongly pushed me for this role.
‘I’ve watched her host every series and know I have big boots to fill. I will try and do it justice.’
She continued: ‘Above all, I am a massive fan of this show. I’ve never been to a Love Island villa, and I can’t wait to get in there to meet all the new Islanders looking for love. The Love Island team are the best in the business… including the voice and heart of the show, Iain. He thought he was getting a holiday away from me… not a chance!’
Head of Digital Channels and Acquisitions, Paul Mortimer, said: ‘I’m delighted that Laura is able to step in this winter on ITV2’s biggest show. She is the best person for the job and is a popular and experienced presenter of live television.
‘Whilst Caroline is away, we know that Love Island will be in very safe hands.’
Laura was one of the favourites to land the job, alongside Maya Jama, Maura Higgins and Emily Atack, and her closeness to the crew pushed her past her rivals.
According to the Mail Online, ITV were ‘keen to keep it in the family’ with Flack’s replacement – and Laura has several links to Love Island and the channel.
Laura has been dating Love Island voiceover Iain Stirling, 31, for two years, and ITV is reportedly eyeing the couple to present After Sun together.
She also previously hosted Survival Of The Fittest – the ITV2 series that was supposed to quench the Love Island thirst in the winter.
The first series in February 2018 even starred future Love Island winner Dani Dyer, before she had to withdraw due to injury, but was not renewed for a second series due to low ratings.
And Laura is also friends with Caroline – and actually already replaced her in a hosting gig in the past.
In 2011, Laura took over I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! NOW! after Caroline announced she was leaving, and hosted for five series until she left in 2016.
Whitmore started her hosting career in 2008 when she won a competition to become the face of MTV News in Europe.
This will be the first series of Love Island not to feature Caroline since the reality show was rebooted in 2015.
Caroline has said that she is ‘absolutely devastated’ about the decision.
‘Love Island has been my world for the last five years, it’s the best show on telly. In order to not detract attention from the upcoming series I feel the best thing I can do is to stand down for series six,’ she said in a statement.
‘I want to wish the incredible team working on the show a fantastic series in Cape Town.’
Her decision came after her arrest for assault by beating, following an argument with her boyfriend, Lewis, at her home in Islington on 12 December.
Love Island is back in January on ITV2.
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