"Love Island" host Maya Jama has hit back at critics who had been speculating about lacklustre viewing figures for the summer 2023 series. "Love Island" kicked off on 5 June and is the second season fronted by Jama who has largely been praised for her warm presenting style and her incredible array of outfits. But reports had been swirling about dwindling viewing figures.
On 14 June, ITV set the record straight, revealing that "Love Island"'s launch saw 3 million viewers across all devices and attracted the biggest 16-24 TV audience age group since the 2022 World Cup. In fact, it has been streamed almost 200 million times, so it's fair to say the reality show's popularity is far from waning. Jama was quick to post a response on her Instagram stories following the news, writing: "The papers were so quick to report viewers being low but the honeys were watching online on @itvxofficial this season is ELITE thank you very much."
As the latest bunch of Islanders get grafting in the Majorcan villa, the "Love Island" format is clearly still continuing to attract a large audience, a large proportion made up of those streaming the shows. And Jama is proud to be a part of it. She confirmed she would be back via an Instagram post on 22 March as she wrote, longside a carousel of photos: "best time ever can't wait to do it all over in the summer".
Jama's first season presenting "Love Island" was a resounding success, and just days after she declared Kai and Sanam as the 2023 winter winners, social media was alight about whether she would return to the show. And, of course, ITV were quick to couple up with her again.
She was originally announced as the new "Love Island" presenter, taking over from the coveted reality TV gig from Laura Whitmore, on 11 Oct. After being the anchor of "Love Island" for the last three seasons, Whitmore confirmed on 22 Aug. that she would be standing down from the show. Having been at the helm of the series since 2020 when she took over from the late Caroline Flack, she stated conflicting schedules with her reason to leave the villa. "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," Whitmore captioned her Instagram post. The TV presenter poignantly ended her social media post with a message for her friend: "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 ❤️."
Fans of "Love Island" had been speculating about who would get the coveted gig. "Love Island" 2022 winner Ekin-Su even let slip that she'd been asked to take on the role, yet Jama was the chosen one. While the Islanders might be recoupling amongst them, we can't think of a better match than Jama and "Love Island".