Belfast Telegraph

Love Island host Laura Whitmore answers diversity criticism

Rochelle Humes, Maya Jama and Vick Hope were also said to be frontrunners to host the show.

Laura Whitmore is hosting Love Island (Ian West/PA Wire)
Laura Whitmore is hosting Love Island (Ian West/PA Wire)

By Sherna Noah, PA Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Love Island host Laura Whitmore has addressed criticism that TV bosses missed an opportunity for diversity when she landed the role.

Whitmore, 34, replaced Caroline Flack, 40, on the ITV2 show, after the regular presenter stepped down from the series, following an assault charge.

She snapped up the job over names such as Rochelle Humes, Maya Jama and Vick Hope.

Whitmore told The Sun: “I think all of them are brilliant hosts. And I’m friends with everyone.

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Caroline Flack leaves Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court (Jonathan Brady/PA)

“I think the most important thing is for everyone to be in the room and everyone to have an opportunity.

“It’s the same when it comes to the gender pay gap. I just think it comes down to you should get paid what you’re worth.

“It doesn’t matter what your gender is, what your race is, everyone is equal and everyone should have equal opportunity.”

The new series will see 12 singletons, seven women and five men, enter a  luxury villa in Cape Town in the hope of finding a partner – and winning the £50,000 prize money.

Flack has denied assaulting boyfriend Lewis Burton in an incident that allegedly left them both covered in blood in scenes likened to a “horror movie”.

She is alleged to have hit Burton over the head with a lamp, causing a head injury.

After entering a not guilty plea to the assault charge at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court, Flack was released on bail with conditions that stop her having any contact with Burton ahead of a trial on March 4.

Love Island starts on Sunday at 9pm on ITV2.

PA

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