Love Island 2019 bosses 'planning to cast more body-diverse contestants'

Report claims ITV2 is looking at "what the viewers want"

The Islanders get ready for a salsa lesson.

ITV bosses are planning to cast a more body-diverse range of contestants for Love Island 2019, according to a report.

The ITV2 dating contest has come under fire for its stereotypical choice of islanders, focusing on six-packs and slim waists.

However, the upcoming fifth series could shatter that Instagram-perfect image.

The Daily Star claims chiefs want more ‘plus size’ lads and ladies to move in to the villa this summer.

“Over years there’s been quite a bit of criticism from viewers that it’s only guys with chiselled abs and rippling muscles and girls with slim toned bodies who are chosen for the show,” a source commented.

“They’ve gone back to see what it is the viewers want, and if there’s anything they can do to make it better.

“One thing that keeps coming up is the lack of body shape diversity. Viewers want to see girls and boys with bodies they can relate to.

“Sexy singles come in all shapes and sizes and this is what the viewers will see this year. It’s a really positive move.”

The rumour comes amid debate over the welfare of Love Island participants following the shock death of Mike Thalassitis.

ITV has announced improvements its aftercare process, pledging to be more proactive in reaching out to the hit show's stars.

“Bosses know that the show will be under intense scrutiny this year,” the Star’s insider added.

The broadcaster has previously been bullish in defending its decision only to feature “sexy people”.

Paul Mortimer, ITV’s head of digital channels, said at last year’s Edinburgh TV Festival: “We cast very attractive people, in the same way Hollywood casts a certain type to get bums on seats in theatres.

“We make no excuses that people more beautiful than us are entitled to go into a villa for eight weeks and find love.”

However, NHS England chief Simon Stevens has accused Love Island of “playing into a set of pressures around body image”.

The new series is due to kick off in June.

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