Winter Love Island could finally happen as ITV2 bosses plan new series

Channel reportedly wants to take advantage of show's enduring popularity

ITV2 is planning to launch a winter edition of Love Island following its astronomical success, a report claims.

Viewers of the dating contest have long called for a second series each year over the winter months.

Bosses initially rejected the idea, claiming they were “treading very carefully” to avoid damaging the Love Island brand.

Instead, they created Survival Of The Fittest, which saw boys compete against girls in mental and physical challenges.

The spin-off launched last February but was dropped after one series, having attracted fewer than 1million viewers.

Now it seems the broadcaster has decided to change tack.

According to The Sun, ITV2 is working on a winter version of Love Island to cash in on its popularity.

It will apparently feature the exact same format, although filming will take place in South Africa rather than Spain.

Chiefs intend to air the show after Christmas, similarly to Celebrity Big Brother, a former staple of the January schedules which Channel 5 axed last year.

An insider told the newspaper: “After the flop of Survival of the Fittest, producers want to keep the format simple and mop up the gaping hole Celebrity Big Brother left.

“Fans adore the drama and love triangles and everyone wants to enjoy a bit of sun on screens in the cold winter months.”

They added: “It’s still in the very early stages and casting isn’t even close.

“But producers at ITV Studios and crew are definitely gearing up for it.”

ITV2 may be less worried about taking advantage of Love Island after the current run enjoyed yet another ratings boost.

Its first week averaged a whopping 5.65million viewers, with almost 6million watching the launch episode.

The huge numbers are a result of TV audience body BARB officially including online catch-up in its data for the first time.

In December the network aired a one-off Love Island Christmas special that reunited the cast of last year’s series.

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