Love Island bosses ‘urged to rethink winter series’ South Africa location over safety concerns’

Love Island bosses have reportedly been urged to reconsider South Africa as the location for the winter version of the reality series after a rise in violent crimes in the country.

Producers announced they were creating a winter version of the popular reality show, which will air in January 2020, earlier this year.

The location of the show, which is already taking applicants, was confirmed as South Africa.

But, the show’s producers have since reportedly been urged to rethink the filming location after a spike in violent gang-related crime in the country.

According to The Daily Star, producers are concerned for the safety of the show’s contestants after new figures revealed the murder rate in the country had risen to around 12 killings each day.

And, at the weekend the amount of murders dramatically rises from 12 to 50 per day.

Locals have claimed the violence between rivalling gangs, which is fuelled by drugs, alcohol and guns, is now spiralling out of control.

Gang violence isn't the only concern for producers either, as a spate of xenophobic hate crime has also plagued the South African city of Johannesburg.

The New York Times recently reported that citizens in the South African city are also killing immigrants and other “outsiders“ in xenophobic street attacks.

The bout of violence in recent days has seen at least 12 people killed and hundreds forced from their homes within the city.

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But a source told the Daily Star that tourism in the country is on the rise. They said: “Cape Town International Airport welcomed 5.3 million holiday makers last year – up 3% on the previous year.“

OK! online have contacted ITV for comment.

This comes after it was rumoured that Love Island presenter Caroline Flack, 39, is set to host for the winter version of the show.

Although bosses haven’t confirmed Caroline’s stint on the winter series, an insider told The Sun: “Caroline is now synonymous with the show so it wouldn’t seem right to have anyone else hosting it.

“They’ll use the same production crew too so it should all run like clock work.

“ITV bosses have been thrilled with the popularity of the show this year and enjoyed bumper viewing figures so it seemed like a no brainer to fill the January reality TV slot left by Celebrity Big Brother.

“Winter Love Island makes sense as fans adore the drama and love triangles and everyone wants to enjoy a bit of sun on screens in the cold winter months.”

Applications for the show are already open, and the closing date is on 30 November 2018, and bosses are already on the hunt for islanders for January’s series.

In August, ITV released a statement which read: “ITV2 are looking for vibrant singles from across the UK who want to head to the winter sun in search of love! Love Island will be back for 2020 and we're now on the lookout for people to take part.

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“Our Islanders will spend time in a luxury villa in the hope of finding love, but to remain in paradise they must win the hearts of the public and their fellow Islanders, who ultimately decide their fate on Love Island. If you think you’ve got what it takes, then we want to hear from you!”

This time around, the show’s bosses are said to be scouting for twins, goths and Essex boys to participate in the reality series in an effort to make it “different” from the previous seasons. A source told The Sun: “It’s no secret that contestants for the show come through a lot of different channels.

“As well as tens of thousands of people applying through ITV’s website this year, the show accepts contestants put forward by talent scouts and agents, and producers approach people on social media too.”

However, those who apply may not have much luck as it was revealed in August that just 6 of the 36 islanders who appeared in the most recent series, applied for the show.

Amy Hart, 26, Michael Griffiths, 27, Joe Garratt, 22, and Ovie Soko, 28, all applied for the show.

While another six of the show’s cast were suggested by showbiz agents and the remaining 24 were cast or spotted by the show’s bosses.

The application also says contestants much be “exclusively able to participate in the programme for a minimum of eight consecutive weeks from January 2020”. But, former Love Island winner Kem Cetinay, 23, said the winter version of the show will last just four weeks rather than the longer summer version.

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