Love Island’s winter series starts with a twist

Laura Whitmore; ITV love island presenter
Laura Whitmore

Love Island’s winter series kicks off with a twist as two late arrivals spell double trouble for the other contestants.

The ITV2 dating show returns on Sunday night with new host, Irish presenter Laura Whitmore, who has taken over from regular presenter Caroline Flack after she stepped down following an assault charge.

The opening episode sees 10 new singletons move into the new villa in Cape Town, South Africa – five girls and five boys.

However, there is a surprise for the contestants later on when identical twins appear.

The girls – Shaughna Phillips, Sophie Piper, Leanne Amaning, Siannise Fudge and Paige Turley – are the first to arrive and start getting to know each other by sharing what they are looking for in a boyfriend.

Democratic services officer Shaughna says signed up in a bid to find “the opposite of what I attract really – the cocky know-it-alls”.

Singer Paige says she wants someone “tall dark and handsome”, while customer service adviser Leanne admits she has never been in love.

“I’ve got a phobia, but I’m here to cure it,” she says.

The girls line up before the boys arrive for the first coupling.

When the boys – Mike Boateng, Connor Durman, Ollie Williams, Nas Majeed and Callum Jones – turn up they are told they get to choose first, and the first couples of the series are formed.

Later, sports science graduate and builder Majeed receives a text which sends shockwaves through the villa, and he tells the islanders: “It’s time to really get the party started as two very important guests are about to arrive.”

As rumours swirl about whether it will be girls or boys, twins Jess and Eve Gale make their surprise entrance.

“Twice is definitely nice, you know what I mean?” says police officer Boateng, while scaffolder Jones declares the newcomers are “double trouble”.

But the arrival of the twins might ruffle a few feathers among the girls, as Phillips admits: “I was really trying so hard not to look fuming. I was trying so hard not to look bothered.”

Flack is alleged to have hit boyfriend Lewis 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, she was released on bail with conditions that stop her having any contact with Burton ahead of a trial on March 4.

Love Island airs tonight at 9pm on ITV2.

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