Love Island just became a lot more inclusive, as the hit reality show will reportedly feature queer couples next season. First reported in the Daily Star, the British version of the series has joined forces with Tinder to cast contestants of different sexualities for the villa.
The show originally premiered in 2015 and will be entering its seventh season this year. Although past seasons have included bisexual competitors, the show has yet to feature gay or lesbian couples. This is the first time they are actively widening the pool of people looking for love to include non-straight pairings.
Related: How the lockdown has helped people discover their queer identity.
According to producers, the show is open to any person who is looking for love as long as they are over the age of 18.
Love Island follows a group of ‘islanders’ who are isolated from the outside world while living in a luxurious villa in Spain. They are each expected to team up with another contestant to try and win a cash prize while ideally finding love along the way. Those who end up single are eliminated, as well as those who receive the fewest votes from the public.
The show’s executive producer Richard Cowles said that including LGBTQ+ islanders has always been something they have been mindful of, but making it work within the show’s format presented challenges. However, he noted that, “It is not impossible and it is not something that we shy away from.”
ITV – the British network that airs the show – confirmed Love Island would be back in Majorca in June with health and safety measures in place for Covid-19.
Related: 12 TV shows portraying Covid realistically and 3 doing it completely wrong.