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"I think we've all enjoyed the odd holiday affair"

Published 11/06/2016

Mystery: Caroline Flack
Mystery: Caroline Flack
On the red carpet: Caroline Flack
Caroline Flack with her ex-boyfriend Harry Styles, says she still hasn’t figured out the complexities of love
Love Island

The course of true love never does run smoothly, but it sure can make for thrilling TV. As this year's Love Island heats up, presenter Caroline Flack tells Gemma Dunn what she really makes of the show's shenanigans ... and whether it's shed any light on her own love life.

Caroline Flack may be heading up ITV2 reality show Love Island for the second year running, but the TV presenter won't be playing cupid any time soon.

"I don't think I've ever match-made anyone before!" says the 36-year-old. "I wouldn't take love advice from me, to be honest."

No stranger to having her - mostly rocky - love life splashed across the front pages, Flack is understandably guarded when it comes to discussing her famous exes, from her high-profile 15-year age-gap relationship with One Direction heart-throb Harry Styles to an alleged fling with Prince Harry.

When it comes to keeping a watchful eye on the islanders' fun and games, however, she admits she's all in.

"I get more excited about watching it than being on it," she enthuses. "Last time, I asked the producers to text me the second anything happened, because I was completely addicted to watching what was going on. I was hooked."

So what, aside from comedian Iain Stirling's dry musings on events, makes it such gripping viewing?

"Everything moves so fast in there," says Flack. "Relationships are so interesting when you get to see everything and you get to see them develop and change right from the start."

Having witnessed last year's exploits, it was inevitable that the luxury Love Island villa would again be a hotbed of shameless flirting, secret hook-ups and scandalous revelations.

Romancing, or in some cases 'showmancing', in sunny Spain, the cast are already throwing each other under the bus in a bid to couple up.

For those unaware of the rules, anyone that remains single is in danger of leaving both the villa, and a £50,000 cash prize, behind. However, for the most part, it's a question of who's looking for love, and who's just in it for the money?

Flack has some tips for those who want to make it all the way.

"I'd tell them not to stick together in a pack," states the former Strictly Come Dancing contestant (she won the 2014 series).

"Last year, the boys really bonded early on, which was great, but girls don't like that; we don't like the thought that the boys are all talking about us. It's intimidating.

"And guys should definitely not sit around talking about their conquests. So try and be a bit more gentlemanly this time, please guys."

From the current Miss Great Britain to a David Gandy-scouted male model, this year's singles have already proved they're not shy when it comes to selling themselves. However, confidence comes with the territory, explains Flack.

"We've got some really outspoken girls, we've got an alpha male. We've got the guy who's looking for love and the guy who just wants to sleep with everybody. But you never really know what they're going to be like until they're out there.

"Different people bring out different traits in each other, so until you throw them all in together, you just can't tell. Also, they're all really hot. It's definitely an aesthetically pleasing show."

As for what sort of people make the best Islanders, the Norfolk-raised host reasons the best contestants aren't always the most likeable ones.

"It's funny when people say, 'I'm just being honest, it's how I am', and I think, 'yeah, but it's not how you should be, is it?' They might not say the nicest things, but they make the best Islanders for viewers."

It's not just the sunny climes of Mallorca that has seen temperatures soaring - the new features in the villa, including an outdoor gym (ideal for buff bods) and a re-designed hideaway, where couples can escape for some one-on-one time, have already seen sparks aplenty. And, of course, no one is averse to the charm of a summer romance.

"It's a bit like when you're on holiday and you have your 'holiday goggles' on," says Flack. "You're in a bubble, everything's a bit more heightened and you've got a romantic setting on the beach. Add in a glass of wine, music, sun tan, sun tan lotion, and everything becomes a bit lovelier." She isn't counting herself out of this, either.

"I've had holiday romances before and actually called my mum and told her, 'I think I've met The One', and then got home and gone, 'Uh oh!'," she admits, giggling. "Feelings develop a lot faster when you're in that environment."

In a game where looks count for a lot, the islanders' paranoia is at an all-time high as they fight to remain in the running. And, this year, things are set to be even more interesting, as the public are being given an even bigger hand in making - or breaking - the couples.

Using ITV's new app, the audience can crank up the heat from their couches, having a say in which new singles should enter the villa, which islanders to send home and, ultimately, deciding who wins the prize.

Stating that she likes an unexpected couple, Flack - who recently took up a radio gig, presenting a Sunday morning show on Heart - is championing a hot match.

However, despite keeping a close eye on the action, she admits she's no closer to understanding love.

"You can't really define it. I never really know when I'm in it. If you watch Love Actually, it shows you how love comes in all sorts of different forms. Love is sometimes lovely - and sometimes it's horrible."

  • Love Island continues daily on ITV2, 9pm

Belfast Telegraph

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