Maya Jama on accepting Love Island hosting role: It was a no-brainer

The presenter's first outing as host will be later this month when the reality series returns for another winter series, set in South Africa.

Maya Jama said agreeing to host Love Island was a “no-brainer” as she has been a massive fan of the show for years.

The TV and radio presenter, 28, has taken over the role from Laura Whitmore, 37, who announced she was stepping down in August.

Jama’s first outing as host will be later this month when the reality series returns for its first winter series, set in South Africa, since before the coronavirus pandemic.

She will also present the usual summer edition in Majorca later in the year.

Reflecting on her reaction to being offered the job, she told ITV’s This Morning on Friday: “It was a no-brainer, obviously, because I’m a massive fan of the show.

“I was like, ‘OK, when does it start?’… It’s all a bit of a blur, to be honest. But I found out and said, ‘Yes, absolutely!’ and now we’re off to South Africa.”

Jama revealed she is flying out tomorrow to prepare ahead of the show’s launch on January 16.

“It’s been a massive countdown because you find out ages ago and it’s like ‘not this month’, ‘not the next month or the next’ and now it’s one day away! But I’m really, really excited,” she said.

However, she admitted that not all of her outfits are completely sorted yet, noting her entrance look is the one she has found most challenging.

She said: “The biggest pressure is the slow-motion walk to enter – so much pressure.

“(The outfit) has to look good in the wind, you have to be able to move in it, you’ve got to be saucy but not too saucy.”

In terms of other preparation, Jama said she did not want to do too much research as she feels you need to “still be yourself” in the role.

“You ask the questions you want to know. But as a fan of the show, I feel like I’m just going to approach it how I’ve screamed at the telly for years!,” she explained.

Former Big Brother presenter Davina McCall, 55, has recently called for a middle-aged Love Island, which Jama encouraged.

She said: “I think all ages, get them all in, get the nans and grandads… maybe next time!”

Other new additions to this series include Made In Chelsea star Sam Thompson and Indiyah Polack, who was a finalist on the show last year, joining as regular panellists on Love Island’s Aftersun programme.

Jama said she feels they will bring “new opinions” and that Polack will provide the unique insight of someone who has been through the experience.

For the first time, contestants will this series have to disable their social media accounts during their time on the show in a bid to protect both themselves and their families from online abuse.

Contestants will also receive “guidance and training” around “mutually respectful behaviour in relationships” after the last series prompted thousands of complaints to broadcasting watchdog Ofcom.

Many of the complaints related to “alleged misogynistic and bullying behaviour” by some islanders although they were not upheld.

These are in addition to other duty-of-care measures introduced for previous series.

This Morning airs weekdays from 10am on ITV1 & ITVX and Love Island will return to the broadcaster on Monday January 16.