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8 January 2020, 10:36
Love Island’s new presenter Laura Whitmore has defended the show from claims ITV2 should have diversified when Caroline Flack stepped down.
But when it was announced the Irish star would be Caroline’s replacement, some viewers said ITV2 should have used the chance to diversify the role.
Other TV personalities in the rumoured running was Maya Jama and Rochelle Humes.
But Laura has dismissed the backlash, saying everyone deserves to have an opportunity for such a job.
She told the tabloids: “I think all of them are brilliant hosts. And I’m friends with everyone.
“I think the most important thing is for everyone to be in the room and everyone to have an opportunity.
"It’s the same when it comes to the gender pay gap. I just think it comes down to you should get paid what you’re worth.”
She added: “It doesn’t matter what your gender is, what your race is, everyone is equal and everyone should have equal opportunity.”
Laura is joining her boyfriend Iain Stirling on the series – which is set in South Africa this year – as he has been a narrator on the show for five years.
Speaking about spending the next couple of months with her beau, Laura said before jetting off: "I'm super excited, it’s the biggest and best TV show. Normally I’m sitting on my sofa watching it, which I’ll still be doing when I’m not out in South Africa, but I’m so glad to be a part of it too.
"I can’t wait to work with the team and in a different location this year which will bring a brand new side of things. I can’t wait to meet the Islanders too!
"Well, I couldn’t possibly let him go out there and have fun without me! It will be nice. I’ve always said it, he’s one of the best things about the show.
"As the voiceover, he is the heart of it and he’s saying the things that people at home are thinking but in a funnier way. He’s brilliant, the show is the way it is because of him and I feel lucky to now be a part of it."
Love Island begins on 12 January.