Laura Whitmore has been announced as the replacement for Caroline Flack on the upcoming series of Love Island.
The Irish star, 34, had been hotly tipped to fill in for Caroline, after the TV presenter was arrested and charged with assault following an incident at her North London home last week.
After saying she “didn’t want to detract” from series six of the show, ITV announced that Laura would be Caroline’s replacement on the show, which is set in Cape Town, South Africa this year.
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ITV said in a statement: "ITV2 today announces that Laura Whitmore will host season 6 of Love Island. The show will launch on the channel on 12 January 2020.
"Laura will present the main show which airs nightly at 9pm on ITV2 as regular presenter Caroline Flack stands down for this series. Laura will also host Love Island: Aftersun, which will air on ITV2 live from London on Monday nights at 10pm.
"The first series of the year comes from a brand new location and villa in Cape Town where a host of new Islanders will try to win the hearts of each other – and the nation – in the ultimate search for love."
Laura said: “To say I’m excited to be heading to Cape Town to host Love Island, the biggest show on television, is an understatement.
“I want to thank ITV for trusting me at the helm of this huge show. I wish it was in better circumstances; Caroline is a brilliant host and also a friend. We’ve spoken a lot in the last few days since she stepped down. She has been very kind to me and strongly pushed me for this role. I’ve watched her host every series and know I have big boots to fill. I will try and do it justice.
“Above all, I am a massive fan of this show. I’ve never been to a Love Island villa, and I can’t wait to get in there to meet all the new Islanders looking for love. The Love Island team are the best in the business… including the voice and heart of the show, Iain. He thought he was getting a holiday away from me… not a chance!”
Shortly after Caroline announced she would no longer be hosting the winter version of the show reports emerged suggesting Laura had met with ITV bosses.
A source revealed to The Sun: “It's an amazing job, every TV presenter in Britain wants it, so of course Laura was open to speaking to bosses about it.
“She's already had a chat about it – as soon as Caroline quit, they needed to sign someone up asap.
“Laura already knows the production crew from when she goes out to visit Iain on location, and bosses from her previous jobs on ITV.”
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Caroline announced she would no longer be hosting the show in an emotional statement, before paying tribute to her boyfriend Lewis Burton.
She wrote: “There have been a significant number of media reports and allegations in regard to my personal life.
“While matters were not as have been reported I am committed to co-operating with the appropriate authorities and I can't comment further on these matters until the legal process is over.
"However Love Island has been my world for the last five years, it's the best show on telly.
“In order not to detract attention from the upcoming series I feel the best thing I can do is stand down from Series 6. I want to wish the incredible team working on the show a fantastic series in Cape Town.”
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She added: “And on a really personal level. I have never experienced such kindness and love in my whole life.
“Not just from friends and family who are always the greatest but also from total strangers who send messages to me offering help and understanding… Please know that I see them and my boyfriend Lewis. I love you x.”
Following her arrest last week, Caroline has been bailed to appear at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court on December 23.
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