Is Love Island 2019 going to be cancelled after contestant deaths?

16-05-2019 10:05

jeremy kyle, mike thalassitis and sophie gradon

Could Love Island be axed next? (Pictures: ITV/WENN/North News)

After being on the air for over a decade, The Jeremy Kyle Show was cancelled this week after the ‘suspected suicide‘ of 62-year-old Steven Dymond following his appearance on the show.

Carolyn McCall, CEO at ITV, said in a statement: ‘Given the gravity of recent events we have decided to end production of The Jeremy Kyle Show.

‘The Jeremy Kyle Show has had a loyal audience and has been made by a dedicated production team for 14 years, but now is the right time for the show to end.

‘Everyone at ITV’s thoughts and sympathies are with the family and friends of Steve Dymond.’

Now, calls have mounted for Love Island to be cancelled as well, due to the fact that two of the alums of the reality TV show committed suicide – Sophie Gradon in 2018 and Mike Thalassitis in 2019.

In the wake of the axing of The Jeremy Kyle Show, could Love Island be next?

Love Island alum Mike Thalassitis

Mike Thalassitis appeared on Love Island in 2017 (Picture: Joe Maher/Getty Images)

Will Love Island be cancelled?

As it currently stands, Love Island will be returning on June 3.

After the deaths of Mike Thalassitis and Sophie Gradon, fans and former Love Island stars alike accused the series of not providing adequate aftercare, with Sophie having reportedly messaged a male friend before her death that she was ‘struggling with the world‘.

The same accusations were thrown at the show following Mike’s suicide in March 2019, but former Love Islander, Olivia Attwood, who starred in series three alongside MIke, defended the show’s care for its contestants.

She said: ‘It isn’t an aftercare situation but a “before care”. You need to be obligated to do a certain amount of therapy before going on Love Island to prepare you.’

Now, MPs are now going to investigate similar programmes, with The Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (DCMS) chairman Damian Collins saying ITV ‘has made the right decision to permanently cancel the Jeremy Kyle Show’, but ‘that should not be the end of the matter’.

He added in a statement: ‘There needs to be an independent review of the duty of care TV companies have to participants in reality TV shows and the DCMS select committee has decided to hold an inquiry this summer into these issues.

former love island contestant sophie gradon

Sadly, Love Island alum Sophie Gradon took her own life as well (Picture: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

‘This kind of TV featuring members of the public attracts viewing figures in the millions but in return for ratings, the broadcasters must demonstrate their duty of care to the people whose personal lives are being exposed.

‘With an increasing demand for this type of programming, we’ll be examining broadcasting regulation in this area – is it fit for purpose?’

After Sophie Gradon’s death, ITV released the following statement: ‘The whole ITV2 and Love Island team are profoundly saddened to hear the news about Sophie, and our deepest sympathies and thoughts go to her family and friends.’

After Mike Thalassitis’ death, an ITV spokesperson responded to the criticism that Love Island was facing regarding its aftercare policies by saying: ‘Care for our Islanders is a process the show takes very seriously and is a continuous process for all those taking part in the show.

‘We ensure that all of our Contributors are able to access psychological support before, during and after appearing on the show.

‘The programme will always provide ongoing support when needed and where appropriate.’

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Then, earlier this month, a source told The Sun: ‘Bosses want to stars to be safe mentally and physically. Their biggest nightmare would be someone contracting an STI, so potential contestants must have several rounds of medical tests.’

‘Advance sessions with counsellors and psychologists have been ramped up to ensure that everyone can handle the fame.’

Even so, with the upcoming inquiry in mind, the future of the show might not be certain, but, as Metro.co.uk‘s TV editor Adam Miller puts it: ‘With the promise from ITV to overhaul their aftercare, Love Island could still be hopeful.’

Love Island is expected to return on June 3 2019 on ITV2.

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