Interview with Laura Whitmore who talks Love Island

First rising to telly fame after emerging victorious in an MTV talent show back in 2008, Laura Whitmore first began her TV career hosting MTV bulletins, before landing a gig on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here three years later. Since then, the Irish broadcaster and actor has foxtrotted her way through Strictly Come Dancing, commentated on Eurovision semi-finals, and presents a morning radio show on BBC 5 Live. And for the last two years, she’s also hosted Love Island.

It has been reported that Laura Whitmore is set to be paid a whopping £500,000 – £600,000 for her work on the show this year, though the star will have a fair bit of flying back and forth being involved since the show’s After Sun studios are based back in the UK. She also revealed that she offsets her travel carbon footprint as part of her Love Island contract.

How does it feel to be back hosting Love Island?

It’s so exciting to be back. I feel like summer is here! I think we all need a little bit of Love Island in our life again.

Why do you think it’s so popular with viewers?

I think it’s so popular because it comes back to, as humans, we just love being part of people’s relationships and seeing people’s journeys. With this show we almost think they are family. Eight weeks seems like a short time in life, but on that show it feels like a lifetime. We really become invested in these relationships. The Islanders are looking for love and know that the nation will be watching.

What’s your favourite thing about hosting?

My favourite thing about hosting is being part of these journeys and then also, as a fan of the show, I get a bit of the behind the scenes view – although not as much as people think I get, sadly! It’s such an iconic show and it’s a real honour to be able to work on it. I have such respect for everyone who works on the show because it’s a huge production and I really respect the process. To be at the helm of something like this, it feels nice to be trusted to do it.

What do you think makes a good Islander?

What’s so beautiful is these Islanders are just themselves and they’re open to so much and I think that’s what we fall in love with when it comes to Islanders.

Do you get nervous before you go in to break news to the Islanders?

Yeah I’m always really scared I’m going to give something away. Not that I know anything to give away! I can’t make eye contact during Casa Amor. Even though they all try and make eye contact with me.

They’re all trying to look at me and I’m kind of keeping my eyes down. I have to really go into professional mode and not talk any more than I’m supposed to talk. I have to be unbiased.

What are you excited to see in the new Villa?

All of it! The Villa last year I was never allowed inside because of Covid. The previous series I had been in South Africa. So I didn’t really know the previous Villa in Mallorca. So it’s quite nice to go in with a fresh Villa.

What’s your favourite thing about Aftersun – is it talking to the celeb fans or the friends and family?

All of it really. I love speaking to the friends and family. There’s so much to unpack from each episode. I love talking to the Islanders after they come out. You could easily talk to them all for half an hour at least. We’ve got a bigger studio audience than last year due to restrictions being lifted. I think that will really help the Islanders when they come back too to see the support that they have.

Who is the most unexpected fan of the show you’ve met/ messaged you about it?

On my radio show I was interviewing Amy Schumer on a video call for a new TV series she had. We started talking and I think we got a minute in and Amy turned around and went, ‘I’m really sorry, but are you Laura Whitmore from Love Island?’ I knew she loved the show but I was trying really hard to be professional. We only had six minutes to talk and we just talked about Love Island. We didn’t talk about her show at all and then the time was up! That was really funny. Cara Delevingne is a huge fan and she’s messaged me a lot about it. She was on a film set one day and messaged me a picture of where she was saying, ‘I’m so jealous of what you’re doing.’ I was like, ‘I’m so jealous of what you’re doing!’ She said, ‘No, no, no, what you’re doing is a million times cooler!’

If you get stopped in the street, what’s the most common question?

What I love about Love Island is the fan base is such a wide range of people; from grandparents to younger viewers. It’s such a wide-range. It’s not just for people the same age as the Islanders. I’m sometimes surprised when people stop me and they are so invested and are asking, ‘What are they really like?’ People are obsessed with what they eat in there as I guess we don’t show a lot of that – as it’s quite boring to watch people eat.

Who messages you the most about Love Island?

My mum is big into it! She says, ‘Tell me something no-one else knows yet!’

What’s your favourite bit of Love Island merchandise?

The classic bottle – especially now as it keeps your drinks cold. The amount of people that ask me about the bottles!

In 2020, Whitmore published her debut book, No One Can Change Your Life Except For You, which quickly became a bestseller. It is not known how much she earned for the book. Speaking to the Independent about money and how talking about it can feel taboo, she said: “It could be because of embarrassment, shame, or you don’t want to be seen as greedy or bigging yourself up in any way.” She also added that “money is not the most important thing in the world, but it gives us more choices in life.”

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