Laura Whitmore 'wasn't allowed' to ask Love Islanders if they were OK

‘I am one tiny person’: Laura Whitmore claims she ‘wasn’t allowed’ to ask Love Island contestants if they were OK as former presenter takes parting shot at show producers

  • Whitmore confirmed her departure from the ITV2 ratings juggernaut in August after a brief two-and-a-half year spell as host
  • The presenter is now preparing to fill Lily Allen’s prodigious shoes in a new run of West End play 2.22: A Ghost Story 
  • But she says she’s still affected by the restrictions placed upon her by Love Island bosses during her time on the show
  • Whitmore claims she was not allowed to check on the mental health of contestants and felt powerless to voice an opinion

Laura Whitmore has aimed a parting shot at her former ITV paymasters by claiming she was prevented from checking on the wellbeing of Love Island contestants during her time on show. 

Whitmore confirmed her departure from the ITV2 ratings juggernaut in August after a brief two-and-a-half year spell as host, during which the show suffered inevitable production setbacks caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

The presenter, 37, is now preparing to fill Lily Allen’s shoes in a new run of West End play 2.22: A Ghost Story, but says she’s still affected by the restrictions placed upon her by Love Island bosses. 

Speaking out: Laura Whitmore has aimed a parting shot at ITV by claiming she was prevented from checking on the wellbeing of Love Island contestants during her time on show

Speaking to The Sunday Times, Whitmore claims she was not allowed to check on the mental health of contestants in the show’s remote Spanish villa and felt powerless to voice an opinion regarding anything she felt was unacceptable. 

She said: ‘I hate having anything I’m not allowed to say. I couldn’t ask Love Islanders if they were OK.

Whitmore’s comments follow further criticism of the dating show, which was dogged by accusations of misogyny, bullying and claims of an ethnic imbalance that favours straight white contestants. 

All over: Whitmore confirmed her departure from the ITV2 ratings juggernaut in August after a brief two-and-a-half year spell as host 

She added: ‘It is hard. Your face is the front of the show but I am one tiny person and have no producing role so I couldn’t say if I didn’t think something was OK. 

‘If your child is watching, maybe you should watch it with them and have a conversation. A friend watched with her daughter and told her that it is not OK to say certain things.

‘I question things a lot, even if I don’t do it publicly, people would rather I didn’t. It’s difficult doing that when you work on the show.’ 

Dream job: Despite her misgivings Whitmore insists she loved her time as Love Island host, a job she won in difficult circumstances after long-term host Caroline Flack stood down

Tragic: Flack, who served as Love Island presenter from its 2015 relaunch until 2019, subsequently took her own life in February 2020, raising further questions about the show

Despite her misgivings Whitmore insists she loved her time as Love Island host, a job she won in difficult circumstances after long-term host Caroline Flack stood down in December 2019 while awaiting trial for an alleged domestic assault against boyfriend Lewis Burton. 

Flack, who served as Love Island presenter from its 2015 relaunch until 2019, subsequently took her own life in February 2020, raising further questions about the show and prompting calls for its cancellation. 

‘I will always be grateful for how much support Caroline gave me,’ Whitmore added. ‘The first year I did the show, I was surviving the trauma of losing someone and keeping it together and doing a live show. 

‘That first series was one of the toughest things, a lot of it was survival.’ 

Exciting: Whitmore (far left) is now preparing to fill Lily Allen’s shoes in a new run of West End play 2.22: A Ghost Story

Whitmore has previously admitted she didn’t like not being able to ‘talk about certain things’ while presenting the show.

She told The Evening Standard: ‘Love Island is a show that I love to watch, and I always want to work on shows that I enjoy. But there’s nothing more that I can do with it. There are parameters.  

‘When you work on the show, you can’t really talk about certain things. But I’m really proud of what I did, and proud to leave on what I think has been a brilliant series, with great winners.’

MailOnline has contacted a Love Island representative for further comment. 

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