LOVE Island will not air until summer 2021 because of the coronavirus crisis, The Sun can reveal.
ITV bosses have decided they will not air a winter version of the series, which was previously shot in South Africa and hosted by Laura Whitmore.
Instead, they are planning on showing an extended version of the summer series a year from now.
A source said: “ITV want Love Island to be a huge success so have decided to put all their energy into making next summer’s series a bumper run, and not trying to force a Winter version given the uncertainty in the television industry still at this point.
“January 2021 seems a long way off but the process would be starting imminently and with certain restrictions still in place they don’t want to approach anything half-baked.”
The channel have already confirmed that there would be no summer series this year, instead repeating the Australian version of the show which first aired in 2018, which begins on ITV2 tonight.
An ITV spokesman said: “Love Island UK will return bigger and better than ever with an extended run in summer 2021.”
Last month it was confirmed this year’s summer edition of the show would not air.
ITV boss Kevin Lygo said: “We have tried every which way to make Love Island this summer but logistically it’s just not possible to produce it in a way that safeguards the wellbeing of everyone involved and that for us is the priority.
“In normal circumstances we would be preparing very soon to travel out to the location in Mallorca to get the villa ready but clearly that’s now out of the question.
“We are very sorry for fans of the show but making it safely is our prime concern and Love Island will be back stronger than ever in 2021. In the meantime Love Island fans can still enjoy all six series of Love Island on BritBox.”
It came despite a record number of Brits applying to appear on the show.
More than 12,000 wannabes sent requests to ITV to be in the Mallorca villa and the chance to win £50,000.
A TV insider said: “Applications have gone through the roof since lockdown.
“Never before have so many people applied in this six-week time span.
“Over seventy per cent of the applications have come from 18 to 28-year-olds and the videos being sent in have been more creative than ever as people have more time on their hands.”
The insider added: “Once candidates have been whittled down to a shortlist, they’ll be interviewed face-to-face.”