When is Winter Love Island 2023? Start date, host, contestants update trends now
Love Island returns to screens for its hotly-anticipated winter series on Saturday January 16, three years after the ITV2 reality show last aired outside of its usual summer installment.
The ninth series will be hosted for the first time by Maya Jama, after Laura Whitmore stepped down from the position following former presenter Caroline Flack's tragic death in 2020.
Confessing she found flying back and forth from the Mallorca villa 'very difficult', Laura claimed she was only planning to fill in for Caroline for one series, emotionally saying that she hopes she did her late friend 'proud'.
Alongside this, she had been fronting sister programme Aftersun and had faced mixed reviews, with some viewers praising her handling of sensitive topics, while others criticised her for 'encouraging slut-shaming' in a segment which sparked 427 Ofcom complaints.
The villa was revealed last month, with sources telling MailOnline the South African manor is the 'best villa' yet, boasting stunning mountain views and is nestled away in the country's 'millionaire row'.
So, with the new series just around the corner, here's everything you need to know about the ITV programme...
Winter Love Island 2023: When is the start date? When will the contestants be revealed? Who is hosting this year? Everything you need to know as the reality show makes its hotly-anticipated return
When is the Love Island 2022 winter start date?
The date coincides with Blue Monday, which is said to be the most depressing day of the year.
Speaking to the publication, sources said: 'Love Island bosses have planned for the show to start on Blue Monday – which is bound to give fans a massive lift on such a gloomy day.
'This year’s contestants will be flown out to South Africa earlier in January and will start filming for the first episode the day before.
'The grand finale will take place eight weeks later on March 13. The villa is absolutely amazing, Maya is raring to go and this series’ contestants are looking to be the sexiest ever.'
Exciting: The Winter Love Island series start date will reportedly be Monday, January 16 (host Maya Jama is pictured in trailer)
When will the contestants be revealed?
Cast members are typically revealed about a week before the series' start date, with last year's line-up being announced on May 30 ahead of a June 6 series premiere.
Back in August, Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu and Davide Sanclimenti won Love Island 2022 and split the £50,000 prize money.
The couple finished ahead of Gemma Owen and Luca Bish, who were awarded second place and narrowly missed out on the money, with bosses deciding to ditch the 'split or steal' twist that usually comes at the end for the first time in the history of the ITV2 show.
What a pair! Cast members are typically revealed about a week before the series' start date, with last year's line-up being announced on May 30 ahead of a June 6 series premiere (2022 winners Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu and Davide Sanclimenti pictured)
In previous years, winners have picked an envelope which either has the prize money or nothing enclosed, with one person in the couple being given the £50,000 with the option to 'split or steal' the cash.
Host Laura announced during the live final they would automatically be sharing the money as producers opted to scrap the tradition which has been in place since series one.
As the news was announced, emotional Ekin-Su jumped into her Italian beau's arms as they celebrated their win and speechless Davide exclaimed he 'couldn't believe it'.
Who is hosting this year?
Maya said in a statement: 'I’ve always been such a massive Love Island fan and I’m so excited to be hosting one of the nation’s favourite shows! I can’t wait to get into the Villa to meet all of the Islanders.'
Both Maya and Love Island shared a video of herself scrolling through stories about her being the rumoured presenter on various media outlets.
The Love Island account shared: 'Okay, the rumours are true Say hey to your brand-new #LoveIsland host @mayajama!'
Good fit: In October, Maya Jama was confirmed as the new Love Island host, replacing Laura Whitmore
Maya wrote in the comments section: SO BLOODY EXCITED. GET ME ON THAT ISLAND. ❤️'
Director of Reality Programming & Acquisitions, Paul Mortimer said: 'Finding a new host to follow the wonderful Laura Whitmore was never going to be easy.
'In Maya Jama though, we have another high profile fan of the show who’ll be a great addition to the Love Island family.
'Cool, charming and charismatic, I speak for us all when I say Maya will also bring a unique presenting style to the show, as did Laura and, of course, the very much missed Caroline Flack. We’re very pleased to have her on board.'
In her element: Maya said in a statement: 'I’ve always been such a massive Love Island fan and I’m so excited to be hosting one of the nation’s favourite shows! I can’t wait to get into the Villa to meet all of the Islanders'
Why did Laura Whitmore step down?
The Irish presenter, 37, joined back in 2020 and has hosted the hugely popular reality programme and its spin-off Aftersun for three series.
Laura - who is mother to a 16-month-old daughter with Love Island voiceover star Iain Sterling - took to her Instagram at the time to confirm she would be leaving, saying she has found flying back and forth from the villa 'very difficult'.
The broadcaster's stint on the ITV2 dating show received mixed reviews this season; some viewers praised her handling of sensitive topics, while others criticised her for 'encouraging slut-shaming' in a segment which sparked 427 Ofcom complaints.
Laura replaced Caroline Flack as the presenter of Love Island when she stood down in December 2019. Caroline tragically took her own life aged 40 in February 2020.
Exit: Laura announced in August this year that she was quitting the show and would not be returning to host the next series of the ITV2 dating show (pictured in August 2022)
In her statement, Laura said she was only planning to fill in for Caroline for one series, emotionally saying that she hope she did her late friend 'proud'.
Taking to Instagram, Laura said: 'Some news! I won't be hosting the next series of Love island.
'There are certain elements of the show I've found very difficult that cannot be changed some due to the format, including the flying back and forth to South Africa along with my new conflicting projects.
'I wish it was still possible but know you'll be in safe hands. I was only planning to fill in for Caroline for a series and it turned into 3 series. I hope I did you proud Caroline.'
Speaking of Laura's exit, an ITV spokesperson said at the time: 'Laura has been a fantastic host across the last three series of the show.
Host: The Irish presenter, 37, joined Love Island back in 2020 and has hosted the hugely popular reality TV show for three