It's that time of year again. Are you ready to go back to 'Love Island'?

Yes, 'Love Island' is back for its sixth summer season and we can hardly believe it either. After slowly becoming the biggest television event of the summer, supplanting 'Big Brother' to become the must-see TV show that starts a thousand conversations, 'Love Island' is now big business.

It's not been without its controversy either. Since the show began, two former contestants have died by suicide, and former contestants have criticised the show for not supporting them after they left the programme and found themselves instantly famous and subjects of high media scrutiny.

The previous host of the series, Caroline Flack, sadly passed away last year during filming of the winter edition.

This year's production team has promised to provide each of the new contestants at least eight therapy sessions following their appearance on the show, as well as training in "how to handle potential negativity" on social media.

Laura Whitmore will be back as the host for this series, while her husband Iain Stirling is also returning with his inimitable take on all the island action as show narrator.

As the game of love gets underway, the Islanders must couple up in order to secure their place in the villa, with those who stay single finding themselves at risk of being dumped from the island.

Temptation is always rife for the Islanders, so loyalties will be tested, with surprise bombshell arrivals and unexpected twists and turns proving that the 'Love Island' road to romance is never smooth. They're kicking things off with six women and five men - meaning one of those girlies is going to have to do some grafting to save themselves from being dumped from the island.

Ultimately the public will decide their favourite couple, who will walk away from the villa with a life-changing cash prize, as they are crowned 'Love Island' winners 2021.

Before they go in, they've done the obligatory photoshoot and Q&A.

Let's meet the 11-strong cast.

Aaron Francis

24, London, Luxury Events Host

24 year old Londoner Aaron Francis works as a luxury events host. He's covered some high profile events, including Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice's royal weddings.

What made you want to take part in the new series of 'Love Island'?

I’ve been single for about six or seven months and the dating world at the moment is a little bit off. Everyone’s wearing masks. You can’t really see anyone which makes dating a lot harder. I do prefer relationships than dating.

How would your friends and family describe you?

Confident, quietly confident. Recently my mum said, ‘You are one of the most confident people I know’.

You’ve met lots of celebs through your job, including working at Royal weddings…

Yeah, Eugenie’s and Beatrice’s over the summer. I hosted and chatted. It was nice and intimate. Everyone’s chill. In my job you meet a lot of famous people… unless you’re Beyonce, I’m not really interested. Obviously, this life is nice but it’s not really something you can settle down with. Unless you're doing very, very well. For me the ultimate goal is family. I want to have like three or four kids.

Who is the biggest celebrity you have met through your job?

Stormzy. At the Brits he was jokes! I was hosting the winners’ room in 2020.

What are you looking for in a romantic partner?

I need someone that is passionate about what they are doing - from scientist to anything - you can tell when someone is speaking about something and they are actually smiling while they are talking. I love that. I don’t like when people are doing a job just to make money and then they kind of just live for the weekend. Especially because I work on the weekends. And usually someone that works out. I work out every day.

Are you close with your family?

I’m tight with my family to be fair. My whole family has an opinion. Proper opinion. I only bring “the girlfriend” to my house. They’ve only met three girls. You kind of have to be very confident, hold your own within my family. They need to get on with my 9-year-old nephew as well. If he doesn't like you, you're out.

What are you most excited about in the Villa?

I’m excited about going in there, seeing the guys and the girls and kind of just the first couple of days, working out all the vibes. If you look at all the previous shows, the dynamics are all completely different. There’s different types of people. So yeah I kind of want to get in there and see.

Brad McClelland

26, Northumberland, Labourer

26 year old Brad McCelland has been single for two years and has never been on a date. He's from Northumberland and works as a labourer.

What made you want to take part in the new series of 'Love Island'?

I want to date face-to-face, I like meeting people. I’m easy going, laid back. Who wouldn’t want to be in a nice villa in a hot country for a while?

What would your colleagues say about you?

I try and make as much money as I can by doing as little as possible. They’d probably say – not lazy, as I’m energetic – I just try to get away with doing literally nothing.

How would your friends and family describe you?

I’m the person that’ll take the p*** out of them but I’m the first one that they’ll go to if they’ve got any problems. I try to have a laugh and try not to take anything too seriously. They’d probably say I’m too honest.

What do you look for in a romantic partner?

Someone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously. I could not be with someone that’s constantly on your case. I’d say I like dark hair, dark skin, dark eyes. But then my ex-girlfriend who I was with for over 8 years was fair skinned, blue eyes, blonde hair.

What’s been your best or worst date?

I’ve never been on a blind date. I’ll just be myself and go with it. When I was in a relationship we only went for about 3 or 4 meals out as I cooked myself. I’ve been told I’m quite a good cook.

What are you most excited about?

The socialising side of it - meeting new people. And that’s not just meeting the lasses, meeting everyone.

Who is your celebrity crush?

Sommer Ray from Instagram. Zara McDermott, she’s a good-looking lass. Or Megan Fox.

What would be your ideal date?

A boat springs to mind – the 'Love Island' dates on a boat always look the best. In the middle of nowhere just chilling.

Chloe Burrows

25, Bicester, Marketing Executive

25 year old Chloe Burrows is a financial services marketing executive.

What made you want to take part in the new series of 'Love Island'?

I’ve been in awful ‘situationships’ and stuff so I just thought, why not?!

How would your friends and family describe you?

Funny. I’m always the funny one in a situation. I always try and make everyone laugh. Outgoing, I’m quite bubbly and always doing something.

What are you looking for in a romantic partner?

I want someone who is funny. Really funny and caring and will do nice little things for you. And then obviously someone who you can depend on to not ditch you. Because I am quite a big character and quite loud, they would have to be as loud, if not more. I could never be with someone who is quiet. Someone that gives you a bit back.

What’s the best or worst date you’ve had?

I went on one with this boy, it was when I first moved to London, to this really swanky bar. He was wearing a suit and he got me Champagne, it was really nice. At the bar, it wasn’t very loud and he was like, ‘Oh, one minute’. And I was like, ‘What?’ and he was like, ‘I’m gonna fart’. Everyone was looking at us. It was so embarrassing. I was just looking at everyone and they were looking at me and he was just grinning and I was like, ‘I have to leave!’

What are you most looking forward to in the Villa?

It would be so nice to meet someone. All my friends are buying houses and having babies. I’m literally going from friendship group to friendship group every weekend with different plans because they are like, ‘Okay well I’ve got to see my boyfriend’. We have been locked down for a year as well, just to play in a villa with people my age for however long will just be fun!

Who is your celebrity crush?

Michael B. Jordan. I love him. I’m in love with him. Michael Griffiths, he was stunning.

What would be your dream date?

I like doing active things. But for a date, I think it’s more about having cocktails, getting a bit of a sexy vibe. Maybe a bit of a snog, nice dinner. But not too much food so you feel sick but just cocktails, a nice bar.

Faye Winter

26, Devon, Lettings Manager

26 year old Faye Winter is from Devon and works as a lettings manager.

What made you want to take part in the new series of 'Love Island'?

In the last year we haven’t been able to experience anything. I’m open to anything. The opportunity came up so why wouldn’t I? I’d love to meet somebody, what better way to meet somebody than in the sun - amazing.

What do you do for work at the moment?

I’m a lettings manager and I’ve got an amazing team. I go out and do valuations, win business for the company and I’ll do the odd viewing and find tenants. My main role is the sales side of things. I absolutely love it! I’ve actually only taken a sabbatical from work because in my ideal world, I’d love to go back to work. I try to make it as Selling Sunset as possible. I’m definitely there in the mini dresses, boobs out, bum out, turning up and you can see the wives say to their husband, “You’re staying outside”. It’s so fun.

How would your friends and family describe you?

Loud. I think they’d say I’m authentic. I’m an individual person. A bit of a foghorn - opinionated. My friends have been my friends for years and years so I must be alright because they’ve stuck around for a long time. I say it how it is. Even with my closest friends if they do something wrong I tell them.

What do you look for in a romantic partner?

Looks wise they have to be like 6ft. But then my last relationship that I was in for five years he was like 5ft 7”… Someone that will put me in my place.
Someone that makes me laugh. But also someone that takes my banter. I’m like a 5- year-old in a playground, if I like you, I will make a mockery of you and laugh and joke. That is my really terrible flirting skills. I need someone who can take that.

How do you meet potential partners at the moment?

I normally meet people out, or I’ll meet people on Instagram. A lot of people wouldn’t get my personality on a dating website. They’ll think I’m just being harsh when actually I’m just trying to flirt. I’m probably going to see someone in swim shorts and say, ‘Is that all your packing?’ I am that type of person! I don’t like people to know what I’m thinking.

Have you ever had any amazing dates?

St Ives is my favourite place and one guy took me there for lunch. I went there loads as a child with my mum and dad. It's my comfort. No one cares what you look like or what you’re doing. Loads of beautiful restaurants and it’s got its own climate. It’s my favourite place and he knew that and took me there. So, that was really sweet. I’ve had some really thoughtful things done by guys. Like when I’m hungover and they’ve only been speaking to me for a day and they’ve brought me a Starbucks. They're on the doorstep like, ‘Oh, am I not coming in? And I’m like, ‘No, goodbye!’

What will you miss most while you’re in the Villa?

My mum and dad. I speak to them every single day. I speak to my dad four times a day. He’s my best friend.

Who is your celebrity crush?

Anthony Joshua or Zac Efron. I really fancy Tom Hardy as well. He’s so fit! I also fancy Gerard Butler. That was my school crush back in the day. I fancy older guys too but I’ve also been to ‘Cougarville’. I actually really like younger guys as well. Might go for you… might go for your dad!

Hugo Hammond

24, Hampshire, PE Teacher

24 year old Hugo Hammond hails from New Hampshire. He is a P.E teacher and will be the first ever Love Island contestant with a physical disability.

What made you want to take part in the new series of 'Love Island'?

I’ve been single for a while now. With the current climate, it’s been really hard to get back into dating. I saw it as an opportunity to have an amazing fun summer and put myself back out there.

Tell us about your job.

I teach secondary school PE. Absolutely love my job. I love all my sports. It’s great to be able to pass on that enthusiasm to be physically active to the younger generation and hopefully they feel the same about me teaching them.

How would your friends and family describe you?

Tall, dark and handsome. That was a cliché answer! The real answer is funny, around my friends and family I’m always the one to get things going and to have a laugh. Charming, self-proclaimed charmer. I’ve got the gift of the gab which has put me in good stead when I’ve been single in the past. And I’m a gentleman, my mother raised me well. I’m very respectful.

What do you look for in a romantic partner?

I want someone I can be myself around. I want them to not take themselves or me too seriously. I like having a laugh and a joke. Definitely someone who can be my best friend first and then hopefully that can turn into a
romance. I’m into my sport and fitness so someone who shares similar hobbies and passions. Looks wise, tall and athletic. Hair - I love that balayage look, girls are very impressed when I say that!

How would you normally meet potential dates?

Traditionally, it’s been out and about - clubbing and bars. I quite like that natural progression when you meet someone and have a chit chat. I would rather have that face-to-face interaction and go from there.

Do you have any funny / memorable dating stories?

I can give you the blueprint of my usual date. I’m a big fan of actually doing something rather than just a sit down dinner. Me being a sporty guy, something like mini-golf. I love a cocktail, so a cocktail afterwards. My favourite cocktail is Sex on the Beach, that’s a go-to!

Tell us about your cricket career?

I’ve actually played cricket for England PD (Physical Disability). I’ve been to Bangladesh, Dubai, I’ve been everywhere to play cricket. I was born with clubfoot. I had lots of operations when I was a kid. You can only really tell when I walk barefoot. I’ve got a really short achilles heel. I walk slightly on my tip toes.

What would be your dream date?

Sunshine. Maybe something followed by a picnic. Something scenic, maybe a morning walk on the beach. Have a laugh and go out for lunch. An all day affair. Watch the sunset. Something romantic, I think we’ve all been missing that recently.

Did you learn anything new in lockdown?

I started running in lockdown. Strava was like the new Tinder! Being a teacher in lockdown, I found myself being a bit of a budget Joe Wicks in front of a camera. Different home workouts and things like that.

Jake Cornish

24, Weston-Super-Mare, Water Engineer

Jake Cornish is a 24 years old water engineer from Weston-super-Mare

What made you want to take part in the new series of 'Love Island'?

I was in a relationship for seven years and then when lockdown hit, I was single. The opportunity is there, you might as well take it by the horns and go for it.

What is your job at the moment? Tell us about it.

I’m basically a handyman, a jack of all trades, just not electrics! I don’t go near electrics.

How would your family and friends describe you?

My family would say I’m the one who is always up for a laugh, always having fun. I don’t take anything seriously. The prankster! My nickname is Tigger from Winnie the Pooh because I’m always bouncing all over the place. I’ve always got so much energy.

What do you look for in a romantic partner?

Looks wise, always gone for blondes. But for me, the main thing is having respect and having good fun, and someone who will be loyal to you. I’ve had messages from girls that have got boyfriends and husbands. This is why
I don’t trust anyone. Someone who is loyal really. But when I’m single, I like having a good time!

What will you miss most when you’re in the Villa?

My mum and my nieces. They’re lush. I’ll miss the lads but I’m sure they’ll enjoy watching me making a t*t out of myself.

What are you most looking forward to?

Having a good time! It’s the experience more than anything. It would be nice to meet some good lads there but I think I’m ready, I go to a lot of events and festivals and obviously not having a missus to do it with, it would be nice to have someone to do it with.

Who is your celebrity crush?

My ideal woman is Billie Faiers. She is my dream woman. I think for a laugh once with the boys, I messaged her. I can’t remember what I messaged her. She’s a lady, she’s just lush.

What is your dream date?

My dream date would be on a yacht with a nice crate of beer, or a nice bottle of rum. Something chilled.

Where would you like to see yourself in five years?

I’d like to have a couple more properties under my name, and I’d love to have my own restaurant. That’s an ambition of mine.

Kaz Kamwi

26, Essex, Fashion Blogger

26 year old Kaz Kamwi is a fashion blogger from Essex with a huge 61k following on Instagram

What made you want to take part in the new series of 'Love Island'?

I like meeting new people, I’m ready to be in a relationship. Why not be in a place where people are looking for the same things as me?

Tell us about being a fashion blogger.

I create content on social media for brands and my followers. TikTok is great – so new and fresh.

How would your friends and family describe you?

I’m fun, dramatic, spontaneous. Friendly as well. Light-hearted. Life is a party – I’m not the mum in the group, my friends are not looking at me to look after them!

What are you looking for in a partner?

Looks wise, really well groomed. Someone who is driven, enjoys what they’re doing, has a passion. Someone who is not overly charming, but has enough confidence.

What’s the worst date you’ve had?

A guy asked me out for dinner and he was ‘mystery dining’ the restaurant. I will never get over the fact that he made me pay, while he got to eat for free and he made me sit there while he did his review.

What will you miss most while you’re in the Villa?

Listening to music. I love my family, obviously I’ll miss them, but I really, really like music.

What are you most looking forward to?

The experience. I am quite a daring person. I like to meet new people. And meeting someone I could have a romantic connection with, that would be so nice.

Who is your celeb crush?

Michael B. Jordan - beautiful!

What’s your ideal date?

Sounds so basic, but dinner. If I could have dinner over a sunset or sunrise – I really like them – a lovely view! That’s a dream date.

Did you learn a new skill in lockdown?

How I have a real passion for shopping. I learnt how to edit videos. I didn’t get into the banana bread thing. I learned that I enjoy walking… did a lot of that. I learnt TikTok dances.

Liberty Poole

21, Birmingham, Waitress/Marketing Student

21 year old Liberty Poole is form Birmingham. She is a marketing student and works as a waitress at Nando's.

What made you want to take part in the new series of 'Love Island'?

I've never had that nice, happy relationship so I think it will be nice and something for me to experience. Obviously I want the best summer ever because we have been in lockdown for a year so it would be nice to go away and enjoy the sun and make friends as well. I’m excited, I’m a bit of a social butterfly so I love to meet new people. I’m a girls’ girl as well so I can’t wait for the girly friendships. It’s going to be fun!

Have you seen awkward dates while working at Nando’s?

Yeah, I’ve seen some people walk out on the other person and then it’s just really awkward because the staff are like, ‘Do we clear the plates, do we not clear the plates? Do we ask them if they’re okay? Do we not ask if they’re okay?’ I’ve had people try and rinse me for a date at Nando’s, get the discount and stuff. But I’ve never had a date in one. I’ve had a few things happen at work. I’ve had a napkin shaped as a rose given to me which was cute, that was when I first started working there and then I’ve been proposed to. It was a bit unexpected! He was on his own, he’d come into the restaurant every week and he got down on one knee and was like, ‘Will you marry me?’. But in his hand, it was a charity support badge not a diamond ring or nothing. So I was thinking, that’s one way of saying I’m a charity case when it comes to love!

How would your friends and family describe you?

Oh, definitely cringe. I say a lot of cringe stuff. I like to fill silent gaps.

What are you looking for in a romantic partner?

So I like tall, alpha male, confident, a cheeky chappy sort of guy. But obviously that’s always usually combined with player types, which is where I go wrong. So I am trying to change my ways and go for more of a nicer guy that is going to treat me right.

How do you normally meet potential dates?

I’m a really bad texter. This day and age, it’s all getting to know people like that but I actually am the world’s worst texter, I hate texting people. I’d much rather go on a date and meet the person and I think 'Love Island' is the perfect place to do that. It is all about meeting someone face-to-face.

Have you ever had an awful date?

I don’t know about any bad dates. It’s just more me, doing stuff like clumsy things on dates like I went to kiss a guy and I fell off the stool and stuff like that!

Who would be your celeb crush?

Alex Bowen looks wise but obviously he is with the beautiful Olivia. But celebrities in general, Jamie Dornan or Theo James.

What would be your dream date?

It’s not where you are, it’s who you are with. So it’s the energy or vibe that can obviously make or break a date.

Shannon Singh

22, Fife, Model

22 year old Shannon Singh is from Fife, Scotland and currently works as a model.

What made you want to take part in the new series of 'Love Island'?

It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. If you’re lucky enough to participate in the show, why would you not? And hopefully meet an exciting hunk.

Tell us a bit more about your job.

I used to be a glamour model when I was 18/19. I loved those days, I’ve got nothing to be ashamed of, they were my glory days. Now I’m more on Instagram/ YouTube. I’ve done a bit of commercial modelling. I can DJ as well.

What are you looking for in a romantic partner?

I don’t feed off looks, I feed off energy, I need someone with personality. Just someone I can have fun with. I’m a party girl, I love going out, I’m very social. For me it’s quite hard to find people who are genuine and looking for what you’re looking for. I’m not just going to go with anyone because they’re convenient. I need to make sure they’re for me. Looks – obviously, they’ve got to be handsome, but if he’s a handsome hunk but it’s like talking to a brick wall and I’d rather watch paint dry, it’s not going to be great.

How do you tend to meet dates?

Out and about. I don’t tend to meet up with people through Instagram and things like that. I like more natural settings. I’ve got a whole chunk of my teens and growing up that I’ve been ‘locked in’ relationships. So when I broke up with my ex, I wanted to have a year for me. I’ve ‘seen’ guys, but I wanted a year to myself to make sure I know what I want going forward.

What will you miss most while you’re in the Villa?

My friends, speaking to my mum. I live in London, but I speak to my mum and dad on FaceTime every day. My dog! Speaking to my best friend every day. Not having my phone. I work on my phone, I’m always on my phone, which is annoying, but it’ll be weird, like something is missing. But I’m actually looking forward to not having it.

What are you looking forward to?

Having the summer of a lifetime. I just think it’s going to be jokes. It’s going to be hilarious. I’m not expecting too much, I’m going to take it with a pinch of salt. I’m very easy going.

What would be your ideal date?

Anything near the beach. I’m such a water baby, so I love being near the ocean. I love the moon, I’ve got the moon tattooed on me. The moon, a little blanket on the beach, listening to the waves.

Sharon Gaffka

25, Oxford, Civil Servant

25 year old Sharon Gaffka is from Oxford and works for the Department of Transport.

What made you want to take part in the new series of 'Love Island'?

It's been a bit of a running joke between my friendship group for a while that I should apply, probably because I’m the most outrageous one out of the group. But also because of COVID and the lockdown, I’m the only single one in my friendship group. They’re either married or planning on getting married. I don’t want to be the only one in the group chat that is single anymore!

Tell us about your job. What do you do for work at the moment?

I’ve been a civil servant since I was 18. I’ve worked in lots of different departments. I’ve been doing Brexit policy for the last year, I did a stint during the Coronavirus pandemic in the Department of Health so I was helping deliver testing kits and managing the operations. It’s been an intense year!

How would your friends and family describe you?

My friends usually come to me for advice and chat up lines. Probably quite outgoing, a bit savage and outrageous!

What do you look for in a romantic partner?

I have this thing where if something doesn’t work out with one person, I’ll try and go for the other extreme to see if that works out. I tend to date someone who is taller than me even though my last long-term partner he was actually someone who was shorter than me. I’m quite an intellectual person so I want someone who can kind of match that.

Somebody who can make me laugh and I can be myself around. I’m really clumsy and goofy. On social media, I look really put together but my friends who know me know I’ll fall down the stairs.

You’re a Young Women's Trust Ambassador?

When I went to Japan for Miss International, I became an ambassador against domestic violence of women in Japan. I did a few campaigns on period poverty and worked with a few organisations and charities. I signed up to be one of their sponsors and they approached me to become an ambassador.

What would be your dream date?

Anything with food and drink. Maybe something like Junkyard Golf. Something where I don’t have to take myself too seriously. I’m not really a fan of the whole sit down dinners and talking about stuff.

Toby Aromolaran

22, Essex, Semi-Pro Footballer

21 year-old Toby Aromolaran is a semi-pro footballer from Essex

What made you want to take part in the new series of 'Love Island'?

I’ve never been in a relationship. I thought, ‘If 'Love Island' can’t find me a relationship then no one can’.

What do you do for work at the moment?

I’ve played football since I was about six, but it’s really come into a new light for the past year since I joined a team called Hashtag United. They’re very social media focused. Everything is on YouTube, Instagram and
Twitter. Playing with them has really made me fall in love with the game again.

How would your friends and family describe you?

Optimistic. I always see the bright side in the worst situations. I’m a fun guy when I go on a night out. Responsible guy as well.

What do you look for in a romantic partner?

Looks wise, I’m a sucker for a cute face. Nice feet. That’s a dealbreaker for me. I don’t have a foot fetish but I appreciate nice feet! I think you can judge someone by their feet. Girls who walk around at the club with no shoes on, that’s one of my hates.

How would you normally meet potential partners?

Face-to-face is ideal. Clubs and all that. On Instagram, you only see so much. I don’t like messaging. I’m a bad messenger. I hate FaceTime and phone calls!

What do you think you’ll miss most while you’re in the Villa?

Football! I’m going to miss pre-season. I’ll be missing football for the first time.

What are you most looking forward to?

Seeing unreal girls! I’ve got friends, I can make more friends but my number one is meeting someone. I’m looking for someone to do nothing with. I want to be at home and do nothing with someone.

Are you competitive?

Personally, I’m a winner. I play football, which is a competitive sport. It’s not just a game. It’s for the position and the team. I’ve been competing my whole life. I’m a winner, I don’t like losing. I’m not a sore loser but I like to win.

Have you learnt anything new in lockdown?

I’ve learned in lockdown that we shouldn't take anything for granted and to live your life one day at a time. There is no point tip toeing around everything. You don’t know if you’re going to be in lockdown for a year and lose out on a whole year! We’ve just got to take everything in our stride.

'Love Island' returns to Virgin Media One on Monday, June 28 at 9pm.

All images via Virgin Media.

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