In light of recent allegations, Caroline Flack has hung up the cork wedges for good. Love Island will be spared of yet another Oasis mullet dress. No longer shall narrator Iain Sterling spew out the now depressingly ironic ‘Flack Attack’ shriek upon the sight of yet another Oasis mullet dress. Caroline has been deported. So too a suitcase full of Oasis mullet dresses (fingers crossed).
Which means ITV showrunners are in a last minute scramble for a new el presidente. And time is running out. The winter sun rehash is set to hit our screens on January 8, and there’s a big, overpaid vacancy for someone to waltz in at tea time, deliver bad news within two minutes of dialogue, and then disappear for another fortnight. Or at least until the British public have been whipped up into a witch-hunt against another Scouse blonde who had the sheer gall to call herself beautiful.
But who will hold sway over the islanders? Who will cash in a fat pay cheque to mend, rent and resuscitate the hearts of a new cast all primed to make their fortune on teeth whitening #ads? We rundown the frontrunners, the long shots and the fat chances below.
The bookies’ favourite, Maya Jama is just one Boohoo deal away from the top job. It makes sense. She’s incredibly beautiful. She’s famous (but not too famous as to demand more cash). And, like all ITV mainstays, she’s seen scandal thanks to the excavation of ancient, problematic tweets about race. Plus, a trial run presenting The Circle was well-received by the 12 people that watched it. The one to watch in this contest.
Gemma Collins has had her fair share of heartbreak. A fair share of the populace has seen it too. So, despite the hours upon hours of footage of her bullying others, belittling underlings and bigging herself up, the nation thinks its found a sweetheart because she once fell off a stage. That said, Collins does make good TV. Just expect her to rule the island with a firm, Orangina-hued grip.
“We tell ourselves stories in order to live,” muses Joan Didion, a slight shadow beyond the flickering flames of the firepit, islanders gazing back (one asks if this apparition in front of the finalists was the subject of their English Language A-Level, but her whispers are enveloped by the silent heat). If one woman knows heartbreak, it’s the cerebral goliath that is Didion, who, upon wrapping up her first season, puts pen to paper as watery eyes stare out into the distance, slow hands compiling an essay on the emotional cage of a Missguided one-piece swimming costume. One can dream.
Sandi Toksvig is co-founder of the Women’s Equality Party. She stands alone, a monolith of intellectual might so concrete that most don’t even realise she’s not a native English speaker. Yes, Tokkers don’t need no Noel to make her host good. She’s a class solo act. Possibly a stretch. But, a Girton College grad is perhaps the best salve for islanders that wrongly believe the word ‘generally’ is interchangeable with ‘genuinely’.
Who is Sophie Monk, we hear you cry. Whilst totally unknown beyond Australia, the jack-of-all-trades has done a sterling job of leading her own nation’s take on the Love Island franchise. Imagine the glamour of your mum’s best mate who prefers Berkeley Menthols to the local bachelors, combined with the gravelly tones of a winking hometown mechanic that’s absolutely robbed you blind on an MOT quote, and you’re almost there.
If Love Island truly is about finding love, then why not lead by example? Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes are TV’s golden couple: they fall out with other celebrities in tandem, and they’re a shade woker than the Richard & Judy of the Neolithic Age. There’s no talking over your wife here. No cynical engagements for a Say Yes To The Dress Christmas special. This is true soulmateship, and something that’s left ITV lovestruck since early 2002.
An actual, probable contender in the running, it would give Dubliner Laura Whitmore real purpose. After all, nobody can quite say what the TV personality/radio DJ/professional turner-upper/actress/dogwalker/spiritual medium/Boris Johnson’s new chancellor even does full-time. At least we’d get a better picture. And her boyfriend is the voiceover guy (all tropical regimes require some degree of nepotism, y’know).
‘You look like a popstar...’
Wrong show, Louis.
‘You sound like a popstar...’
Louis, wrong show.
‘You’re like a little Lenny Henry.’
Louis, you’re cancelled. But don’t try tell us that it wouldn’t make for exquisite viewing.
Gary’s less popular brother is a bit of a known face on the reality TV circuit: he’s the brains behind the greasy glow of that Malia-based Linekers in which you lost your purse/mind in the heady days of 2007. A left-field choice for viewers, granted, but Wayne Lineker’s diet of casual relationships and botox puts him in good stead amongst his incoming subjects. It’s worth an Instagram follow if anything.
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