This year’s crop of Love Island stars have reportedly undergone the strictest psychological tests the series has ever had to prepare them for life during and after the villa.
According to The Sun, hopefuls were given the greenlight to take part in the ITV2 show after passing several rounds of mental health checks while hundreds of others were turned down after they failed to pass the tough procedures.
The publication also reports that there are already two more unannounced contestants currently in isolation ready and waiting to enteer the villa.
Tests: This year’s crop of Love Island stars have reportedly undergone the strictest psychological tests the series has ever had to prepare them for life during and after the villa (series 7 islander Chloe Burrows pictured)
Former contestants Mike Thalassitis and Sophie Gradon as well as former host Caroline Flack all took their own lives, prompting Love Island bosses to overhaul the show’s aftercare policy.
A source said: ‘ITV puts the welfare of its Love Islandstars front and centre and this year’s checks were the most extensive ever carried out.
‘Producers are mindful that this series is also set to be the most watched because more people are watching TV during lockdown than ever.
‘That’s why the tests have been ramped up and a lot of help and support is being put in place.’
Bombshells: The publication also reports that there are already two more unnaounced contestants currently in isolation ready and waiting to enteer the villa (Shaughna Phillips and Dmei Jones pictured during series 6)
The publication also reports that a team of experts had the final say on who went into the villa rather than the show’s producers and all contestants are believed to have filled in questionairres on their mental health.
They then reportedly had an interview with an expert before a third meeting where the decision was made on whether they were mentally well enough to cope with the fame going on the show would bring.
MailOnline has contacted representatives for ITV for comment.
It comes after ITV listed the show’s new duty of care protocols in a statement, which will support Islanders before, during and after filming.
The protocols are in line with the show’s last series but will also now feature another clinical psychologist, Dr Matthew Gould, who joined ITV last year and will work with Dr Litchfield, an external advisor to the business.
Tragic: Former contestants Mike Thalassitis (left) and Sophie Gradon (right) both died tragically in 2019 and 2018, respectively
Gone but not forgotten: Love Island host Caroline Flack also died tragically in February 2020 (pictured November 2019)
The two medical professionals will continue to independently review and evolve the duty of care measures ITV currently has in place.
The current and full duty of care process sees comprehensive psychological support, detailed conversations with Islanders regarding the impact of participation on the show and a proactive aftercare package which offers support.
Other measures in place include training for contestants with social media, handling potential negativity, financial management and taking on management.
The duty of care process will regularly be reviewed and evolve in line with the increasing popularity of the show.
Love Island duty of care protocols in full – ahead of 2021 series
Pre-filming and filming
- Registered mental health professional engaged throughout the whole series – from pre-filming to aftercare.
- Thorough pre-filming psychological and medical assessments including assessments by an independent doctor, psychological consultant and reports from each Islander’s own GP to check medical history.
- Potential Islanders are required to fully disclose any medical history that would be relevant to their inclusion in the villa and the production’s ability to provide a suitable environment for them.
- Managing cast expectations: detailed explanations both verbally and in writing of the implications, both positive and negative, of taking part in the series are given to potential cast members throughout the casting process and reinforced within the contract so it is clear.
- Cast are told they should consider all the potential implications of taking part in the show and work through this decision-making process in consultation with their family and those closest to them, to ensure they feel it is right for them.
- Senior Team on the ground have received training in Mental Health First Aid.
- A welfare team solely dedicated to the Islanders both during the show and after.
- Bespoke training on dealing with social media and advice on finance and adjusting to life back home.
- A minimum of eight therapy sessions will be offered to each Islander when they return home.
- Proactive contact with Islanders for a period of 14 months after the series in which they have appeared has ended, with additional help provided where applicable.
- We encourage Islanders to secure management to represent them after the show and manage them should they choose to take part in other TV shows, advertising campaigns or other public appearance opportunities.
Talking about the processes in place, Dr Matthew Gould said: ‘Duty of care is not a static goal. It evolves with public expectation, legislation, and with the commercial development of the programme format in order to maintain creativity.
‘Effective delivery of care is an exercise in collaboration especially between health professionals, programme participants and producers. Also, it can be especially influenced by senior leaders within an organisation.
‘My appointment last year in a new role to broaden the duty of care effort is testament to the seriousness which ITV gives this subject.’
Meanwhile, The Sun also reports that the ten announced islanders could be joined by two new bombshells on Monday night’s launch episode.
A source said bosses ensured they had two extra contestants on standby after lining up more people than they needed in case anyone had to drop out due to Covid-19.
A source said: ‘ITV puts the welfare of its Love Islandstars front and centre and this year’s checks were the most extensive ever carried out’ (series 7 islander Faye Winter pictured)
The insider added that producers were so blown away by the contestants they are considering incorporating them as part of the series.
Islanders have been forced to live in bubbles ahead of the series amid the pandemic with bosses said to be taking ‘no chances’.
Love Island starts at 9pm Monday 28th June on ITV2 and ITV Hub. Episodes are available the following morning on BritBox.
If you have been affected by this story, call The Samaritans at any time, from any phone for FREE, on 116 123
LOVE ISLAND 2021: MEET THE CONTESTANTS
Sharon Gaffka, 25
Name: Sharon Gaffka
Occupation: Civil Servant – Operations Lead for Department of Transport
Who is their type on paper? ‘I tend to date someone who is taller than me, even though my last long-term partner, he was actually someone who was shorter than me.
‘I’m quite an intellectual person so I want someone who can kind of match that.’
Aaron Francis, 24
Name: Aaron Francis
Occupation: Luxury Events Host
Who is their type on paper? ‘I need someone that is passionate about what they are doing – from scientist to anything – you can tell when someone is speaking about something and they are actually smiling while they are talking. I love that.
‘I don’t like when people are doing a job just to make money and then they kind of just live for the weekend. Especially because I work on the weekends.’
Liberty Poole, 21
Name: Liberty Poole
Occupation: Nando’s Waitress and Marketing Student
Who is their type on paper? ‘So I like tall, alpha male, confident, a cheeky chappy sort of guy.
‘But obviously that’s always usually combined with player types, which is where I go wrong. So I am trying to change my ways and go for more of a nicer guy that is going to treat me right.’
Hugo Hammond, 24
Name: Hugo Hammond
Occupation: PE Teacher
Who is their type on paper? ‘I’ve been single for a while now. With the current climate, it’s been really hard to get back into dating.
‘I saw it as an opportunity to have an amazing fun summer and put myself back out there.’
Name: Shannon Singh
Occupation: Glamour model
Who is their type on paper? ‘I don’t feed off looks, I feed off energy, I need someone with personality. Just someone I can have fun with.
‘I’m a party girl, I love going out, I’m very social. For me it’s quite hard to find people who are genuine and looking for what you’re looking for’
Name: Jake Cornish
Occupation: Water Engineer
Who is their type on paper? ‘Looks wise, always gone for blondes. But for me, the main thing is having respect and having good fun, and someone who will be loyal to you…
‘I’ve had messages from girls that have got boyfriends and husbands. This is why I don’t trust anyone. Someone who is loyal really. But when I’m single, I like having a good time!
Name: Kaz Kamwi
Occupation: Fashion Blogger
Who is their type on paper? ‘I like meeting new people, I’m ready to be in a relationship. Why not be in a place where people are looking for the same things as me?’
Name: Chloe Burrows
Occupation: Financial Services Marketing Executive
Who is their type on paper? ‘I like a good build. I go to the gym. I want someone who is funny. Really funny and caring and will do nice little things for you.
‘And then obviously someone who you can depend on to not ditch you. Because I am quite a big character and quite loud, they would have to be as loud, if not more.
‘I could never be with someone who is quiet. Someone that gives you a bit back’
Name: Faye Winter
Occupation: Letting Manager
What is her type on paper? ‘Someone that will put me in my place. Someone that makes me laugh. But also someone that takes my banter. I’m like a five-year-old in a playground, if I like you, I will make a mockery of you and laugh and joke. That is my really terrible flirting skills. I need someone who can take that.’
Name: Brad McClelland
Who is their type on paper? Sommer Ray from Instagram. Zara McDermott, she’s a good-looking lass. Or Megan Fox.
Name: Toby Aromolaran
Occupation: Semi-pro footballer
How would he describe himself? ‘Optimistic. I always see the bright side in the worst situations. I’m a fun guy when I go on a night out. Responsible guy as well.’