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Love it or hate it? Love Island is the unlikely phenomenal success, by Naomi Stafford

There are currently only two topics of conversation being widely commented upon and discussed. The first one being the World Cup – even a few days after – and the other, a TV programme focusing on a group of singletons getting cosy in a Spanish villa. Yes, I’m talking about Love Island!

Like Marmite, you either love it or hate it but if ITV2’s ratings are anything to go by – averaging two million viewers per episode – it seems most of the nation fall into the former category. So, just what is the secret of Love Island’s success and how has it become such a massive hit?

We’re all old romantics at heart

There may be a lot of dating and relationship shows already on TV, but it would seem we can’t get enough of them. Dinner Date, Take Me Out and, more recently, the return of Blind Date, we all live in the hope that everyone has their very own Prince Charming out there somewhere. Nothing fills our hearts and makes everything seem a little brighter, than seeing two people fall in love and live happily ever after.

Love Island is a cross between a dating programme and Big Brother. We all know how popular Big Brother was back in the day, so it’s no surprise that the format for Love Island works and connects with a lot of people.

Who doesn’t love a bit of eye candy on an evening

Being conservative won’t get you far in reality TV, so Love Island has had to adapt a format that is different and draws in the viewers. A big part of its winning formula are the contestants. The more controversial and louder the characters the more drama will happen, which makes for great TV.

There’s no doubt that the contestants are chosen for a reason.  They’re all young, attractive and confident enough to strut around in swimwear. This makes the show even more engaging to watch and is spot on when it comes to the programme’s target demographic – millennials.

Anything can happen as there are live elements

There are cameras everywhere to capture the Islander’s antics – 73 in total! While it is not live with each episode usually shot one to two days in advance, most of what is broadcast is true and has happened, making it even more appealing. Yes, even the Hayley, trees and Brexit comment was all down to her! We never quite know what is going to happen and all the ‘grafting’, ‘mugging off’ and ‘cracking on’ can be captured for our pleasure.

Everyone wants a bit of the action…

And we don’t mean immediate sign-ups for the next series. From a dedicated app where you can couple up with a washboard-ab beauty in virtual reality to an online shop – personalised water bottle or phone case anyone? – collaborations with stores like Superdrug which has boosted their profits and the inevitable post-show charcoal toothpaste, NutriBuddy, InTheStyle, Boohoo and PrettyLittleThing #ad(s), they’re all making money, too.

You’ve got to hand it to it Love Island; it’s topping the charts when it comes to reality TV. It’s been rumoured, due to the success of the programme, it will continue to run for another five years, so we can look forward to more singletons finding ‘the one’ until 2024. Now there’s a scary thought for you!