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19 December 2019, 10:15 | Updated: 19 December 2019, 10:30
ITV has pushed back the start date of winter Love Island.
After an initial start date of 8 January, winter Love Island will now launch on 12 January after the show’s host Caroline Flack stepped down from the role following her arrest.
The question of who will take over the job now remains in question, with Laura Whitmore said to be the front-runner for the hosting slot.
Announcing the start date on Thursday, ITV2 tweeted: “January, don’t be such a melt. It’s time to thaw out those inflatables, @loveisland BACK! #LoveIsland returns Sunday 12 January @ITV2.”
Some of the campaigns for the new series had already aired, starring Caroline in the adverts, so a lot of the promotional material will apparently have to be re-filmed.
Caroline was arrested and charged for assault by beating on Friday 13 December, after police were called to her London home following a row with her boyfriend Lewis Burton.
Announcing she’s stepping down from her five-year job, the 40-year-old said in a statement: "There have been a significant number of media reports and allegations in regards 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 to not detract attention from the upcoming series I feel the best thing I can do is to stand down for Series 6. I want to wish the incredible team working on the show a fantastic series in Cape Town.”
Laura – who is in a relationship with the series’ narrator Iain Stirling – has been having secret discussions with ITV about replacing her good pal Caroline, according to the tabloids.
ITV apparently 'want to keep it in the family', and have reportedly chosen Laura because she knows the production crew well after visiting her boyfriend on set through the summers.
Winter Love Island will be set in South Africa for the first time, with a brand new cast for the first series of 2020.
While there may be a new presenter for the winter edition of the show, fans are predicting Caroline will return for the summer series.