Family & Parenting

This is a not a drill people - Love Island is back

Love Island returns to our TV screens on Monday night
Marie Louise McConville

LISTEN up people.

This is not a drill.

I repeat.

This is not a drill.

Finally, things are looking up... and looking hot.

That's right ladies (and boys I suppose), it's time to book time off work, bagsie the sofa, chill the West Coast Cooler and load up on the cheese toasties because Love Island returns on Monday night and you know what that means - summer is finally here, at long last.

We haven't seen Laura Whitmore and the team since last February, when a winter series was filmed amid the Covid-19 pandemic, but now our much-loved summer version is making a return.

I know the reality show is not everyone's cup of tea but I just love it because there's nothing like being front row for a good bit of drama - especially when it's someone else's.

I know we are not physically there but there's just something about seeing other people having fun in the sun, relaxing in the pool, playing silly games and having a good flirt, that just gives us a lift too.

And with constant football on the telly - messing up our soap schedules and leaving our evenings void of any drama - it's just what the doctor ordered for us ladies.


We're told the contestants for the 2021 series are already in quarantine in Spain, as they prepare to make their grand debuts on ITV in just over 48 hours.

And after the show has come in for some criticism over its duty of care, following the sudden deaths of two contestants and host Caroline Flack, it has revealed that it has enlisted another clinical psychologist to join the team this year.

The process sees comprehensive psychological support, detailed conversations with islanders regarding the impact of participation in the show and a proactive after-care package.

Other measures in place include training for contestants with social media, handling potential negativity, financial management and taking on management.

This week, details of the new contestants were released and it looks like we are in for quite the summer with a fashion blogger, events planner, civil servant, Nando's waitress, financial services marketing executive, semi-pro footballer, water engineer, labourer and lettings manager in the mix.

So, who knows who will be making eyes at who while playing footsie with someone else.

And let's not forget the coupling up ceremonies around the fire pit - will she or won't she?

So as a warning to those around me, do not text me any time between 9pm and 10pm week nights and if you do, do not expect a quick reply - I am busy.

Darren has been well warned not to try to have any meaningful conversation with me at night as I can not guarantee to give him my full attention.

So, there's nothing more to say except - I've got a text!

Bring it on.


With the warmer weather poking its head through the clouds (finally), there's nothing better than a nice ice-cream on a summer evening.

So, it's just as well then that I've found a delightful new little ice cream shop that does the most delicious treats.

Mabel's Ice Cream Parlour on St Patrick's Avenue in Downpatrick is just amazing, selling both hard and soft ice cream with toppings galore - don't get me started on the sensational sundaes - as well as beautiful milkshakes and lots of other treats.

If you're passing, check it out.

Well worth a visit.


Summer is just around the corner and if you’ve pencilled in plenty of chilling out, how do you fancy winning a debut novel by a Northern Ireland author to help you unwind?

False Truth by CD Steele is a crime thriller.

Private Investigator and former MI6 agent Joe Wilde is hired by Sally Devlin to investigate her son’s disappearance.

Liam Devlin was a rising football star.

His car was found abandoned at Lea Bridge in Hackney, a known suicide spot, six weeks prior.

With help from friend and retired MI6 data technician Mark Thompson, Joe uncovers a huge secret in Liam’s life.

Putting the pieces together, he starts to suspect that this case is far more complex than he originally envisioned.

Falling ever deeper into his own investigations, Joe meets with the detective in charge of the case, DI Carl Whatmore, who does not take kindly to Joe getting involved.

Who will crack the case? Only time will tell...

I have five copies of False Truth to give away

If you fancy winning a copy, simply email your name, address and telephone number – along with the answer to the question below – to

Closing date for entries is noon on on Tuesday June 29 2021

(Q) Who wrote False Truth?

Normal Irish News rules apply.


The winners of the Movie House competition are Eileen Stevenson, from Belfast and Sarah Laverty from Armoy

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