After doing a U-turn on replacing Laura Whitmore this year, the producers of Love Island are in negotiations with her about returning to the ITV2 show. Maya Jama, Maura Higgins, and AJ Odudu were all considered for the position of series captain by the producers.
Love Island bosses have reportedly begun negotiations with Laura Whitmore about returning for a new series because of the concerns that the show's duty of care would be questioned if she was fired. A source confirmed:
The bosses are very aware that the show’s duty of care to its stars is under a lot of scrutiny.
The possibility of replacing her on the Love Island spin-off show, After Sun, was also mentioned. But that could have the same reception.
The more cautious among the show bosses seem to be getting their way, and talks have now begun with Laura and her reps. It looks like she will be back this year, even though the vote in her favour is far from unanimous.
In January 2020, she took over as host of the ITV dating programme from the late Caroline Flack for the first winter season. A lot of replacement possibilities were being looked into for Laura, however, it seems like the show bosses will stick with her. An ITV spokesperson said:
We love working with Laura. She is a fantastic host on the show and we will confirm details around the new series soon.
In July 2021, an Ofcom executive warned that if Love Island and other reality shows fail to protect contestants' well-being, their broadcasting licences could be revoked. The new restrictions were put in place to protect participants in shows. After former Islanders Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis took their own deaths after appearing on the show, Love Island has been chastised for failing to protect prior competitors. Former host Caroline Flack also committed suicide. Speaking to the Radio Times, Adam Baxter said the changes in regulations means broadcasters
Have to take due care of people they feature who might be at risk of significant harm; primarily vulnerable people and those not used to being in the public eye.
We're talking about shows like Love Island that attract a high level of media or social-media interest, involve conflict, emotionally challenging situations, or require a person to disclose life-changing or private aspects of their lives.