Get ready for a summer of love, lust and drama. M-Net has commissioned a local version of the popular British reality TV show Love Island, expected to launch in early 2021.

Local production company Rapid Blue will head the South African adaptation, which will be recorded in the Western Cape and premiere in late February 2021. Rapid Blue is also behind the Bachelor SA and the first season of the Bachelorette SA, which is currently being filmed.

Love Island is a reality show that groups sexy singles together in a villa with the mission of finding love. Contestants must ‘couple up’ and those not chosen to be in a couple must leave the villa. The show plays out in real-time, with six weekly episodes showing the goings-on in the villa.

While the show starts off with 10 contestants, five male and five female, more contestants enter as the weeks progress to break up existing relationships and add drama. Viewers at home also have the chance to get in on the action, and can vote certain contestants or couples off.

The show traditionally spans three months. The finale features four couples, and the public gets to vote who will be crowned the winner. The winning couple also wins a cash prize. In the UK, the cash prize is  £50 000 (R932 558). As a twist, each partner in the winning couple is handed an envelope, one contains £50 000 and the other £0. The person with the £50 000 can choose to share the prize money with their partner or keep it for themselves.

The original UK version has had six seasons thus far. In early 2020, the first ‘winter season’ of the UK show was filmed in South Africa. The villa was located in Constantia, and Boulders Beach, as well as a number of vineyards, were date locations.


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There are multiple international versions, including Love Island Australia and Love Island USA. Germany and The Netherlands also have their own local versions, and Nigeria signed on as the first African version in early 2020.

“The multi-channel phenomenon is having a fantastic year, travelling the world at a rapid pace,” said Maarten Meijs, president of global entertainment at ITV Studios. “This is the second version on the African continent, following the Nigerian acquisition earlier this year, and we can’t wait to see how this local adaptation will find its way to the South African viewers.”

Picture: Instagram/Love Island

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