Love Island's strict new psychological testing should help safeguard the wannabe stars of the future

FOLLOWING the deaths of three of the show’s stars, including host Caroline Flack, Love Island bosses promised to overhaul their duty-of-care arrangements.

Thankfully that vow hasn’t been an empty promise, as I can reveal ITV is to put this year’s contestants through more rigorous psychological testing than ever before.

I’ve seen the new contract drawn up by bosses for the upcoming series of the dating show and they’ve certainly ramped up the rules — with those who now pass the audition stage being made to go through three rounds of testing before being able to move on.

As before, those wanting to appear on the ITV2 series will also have to provide contact details of their GPs in the UK so the show’s chiefs can assess whether they are capable mentally and emotionally of taking part.

Although the measures are not ground-breaking, I’m sure they will go some way towards safeguarding the wannabe stars of the future.

And ultimately, these changes are the only way this show can survive.

The deaths of contestants Mike Thalassitis and Sophie Gradon reminded us all that being thrown into the spotlight can lead to absolute tragedy, especially when they are not being supported by those who propelled them to stardom.

Sophie died by suicide in June 2018, two years after taking part in the second series of the programme.

The following March, Mike, who had been in the third series, also took his life.

Then in February last year, Caroline, the show’s host of five series, also died by suicide.

On the box, all we see is a bunch of very attractive young men and women flirting and fighting their way to the top.

But in reality, once they are inside the villa they are shut off from the outside world, have their emotions and tempers pushed to the limit and — as we all know — are put in situations created for the drama.

That’s what Love Island is really all about.

Of course, most of the applicants know this, but no one truly knows how it will affect you until you give it a try.


EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.

It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.

It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.

And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.

Yet it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.

That is why The Sun launched the You're Not Alone campaign.

The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.

Let's all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You're Not Alone.

If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:

  • CALM,, 0800 585 858
  • Heads Together,
  • Mind,, 0300 123 3393
  • Papyrus,, 0800 068 41 41
  • Samaritans,, 116 123

The show isn’t all bad and it’s well known that a stint on Love Island, no matter how short, can boost your bank balance no end.

But when that influx of cash and fast fame comes at the cost of your life, it is definitely not worth it.

Have they got the formula right this time? I certainly hope so.

No Days Off for busy Maisie

MAISIE Peters is putting the finishing touches to her debut album . . .  although it is unlikely to feature a tune with Sam Smith after the pandemic scuppered their plans to hang out.

The promising singer-songwriter told me: “We met in LA in January 2020.

“We were in the same studio and ran into each other. It was back in the day when you could plan things.

"We spoke about grabbing dinner in London but obviously we’ve not seen each other since.

"I would love to work with Sam, who’s got one of the most iconic voices of our generation.”

She also called Sam “an amazing songwriter”.

Maisie today releases new single John Hughes Movie – a reference to the US director of Eighties teen flicks including The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

It comes in the wake of praise from Taylor Swift for her earlier songs.

And like the US star, Maisie says guys often wonder if her lyrics are about them.

Asked if men quiz her over the inspiration for her songs about heartache, Maisie said with a laugh: “Yeah, of course. I think there’s about 30 boys in my home town who think all of my songs are about them. I love it.”

Mad for Max

AVA Max pulls out her best moves in the video for her single My Head & My Heart, as my behind-the-scenes photo shows.

The singer, who released the video last night, said: “This is hands down my favourite music video I’ve ever done.

"For the first time, I think my fans will see the true me on the screen – and we are just getting started.”

The song, which samples the 2000 tune Around The World (La La La La La) by ATC, has already been streamed a whopping 72million times in the UK alone since it was released in November.

Mufasa and Hypeman will also release the video to their hit single Friday along with Riton and Nightcrawlers today after it climbed into the Top Ten.

And New Zealand band SIX60 have put out their single All She Wrote.

More songs like these will give us plenty to dance to when the clubs finally reopen.

Liam's booze break

LIAM Gallagher and boozing is a combo like salt and vinegar or cheese and biscuits – it just seems to go together.

So you can imagine my shock yesterday when he revealed he has quit alcohol until June 25 – the first Friday after Covid restrictions are expected to be abolished in England.

Replying to a fan on Twitter who asked if he would be “staying dry till pubs open”, the Oasis rocker said: “I ain’t drinking till June 25th.”

He told another follower: “Body is a temple.”

But Liam might not be much fun to be around in lockdown, after saying it was “boring” last time he went teetotal.

He previously said: “I do like a drink. I’m not an alcoholic, but I like talking s*** to people, I like the s*** that comes with drinking.

“But I have been sober for six months before – it’s just boring.

“I felt too good, I was opening doors for people and getting old ladies’ bags of shopping and saying, ‘I’ll help you across the road’. F*** that.”

Those sorts of niceties could be what it takes to win over his brother Noel again.

Non-Brits are up for gongs too

THE Brit Awards have celebrated the best in British music for the past 40 years but in 2021, non-Brits will get a look-in too.

New rules introduced in time for the ceremony on May 11 mean any international act that has been a resident in the UK for five years or longer will be eligible to win a gong.

That might sound strange to some . . . but I’m sure it will be music to Kylie Minogue’s ears, after her record Disco became the nation’s fastest-selling solo album of 2020.

The change means she will go head-to-head with Brits including Dua Lipa and Little Mix for categories including Album of the Year and Song of the Year, as Kylie has lived in London since the early Nineties.

The change was introduced after Japanese-born, London-raised singer Rina Sawayama expressed her outrage at not being eligible for the Mercury Prize last year, despite having lived in the UK for 26 years.

She wrote on Instagram: “I’m over the moon to share the news that following a number of conversations, the BPI has decided to change the rules of eligibility for all nominees for the Brit Awards and Mercury Prize.

“Starting this year, artists (like me) will be eligible for nomination even without British citizenship.

“The rules have been broadened to include those who have been a resident of the UK for five years.

“I’m so proud that I can help make this systemic change for future generations, so that in years to come we can see a more diverse definition of British musical excellence.”

This sounds like the perfect excuse for the Brit Awards to finally give Kylie a well-deserved Outstanding Contribution to Music gong.

Carrying an injury, Jason?

ON Monday Jason Donovan was “devastated and gutted” to pull out of Dancing On Ice with a crippling back injury.

But by yesterday, as this picture shows, he was looking on top form once more, carrying two bags of shopping as well as a rucksack.

Even so, having taken medical advice, the actor and singer will no longer appear in the ITV show, which has now had five couples withdraw with injuries or illness, while only four couples have been officially eliminated.

Previously Denise van Outen and former Towie regular Billie Shepherd were forced to withdraw from the contest with injuries, while comedian Rufus Hound and Emmerdale actor Joe-Warren Plant caught Covid-19.

In a video, Jason told fans: “I am devastated to announce that unfortunately I can’t continue in the competition and therefore have to withdraw.

“We put so much work into getting to this point but I have to respect my health and I have to respect my body moving forward. That is my biggest priority.”

He ought to respect it by getting his shopping delivered next time.

Britney boost

BRITNEY Spears has come up smelling of roses on the back of the new documentary about her.

Sales of her perfumes have soared since Framing Britney Spears aired this month.

The film looks at Britney’s strained relationship with her father Jamie, who legally controls much of the singer’s life.

But the film is proving a boon to her commercial deals, with Fragrance Direct noting a 335 per cent increase in sales of her Fantasy scents compared to two years ago.

Sales of her five best-selling fragrances are up 155 per cent on the same month in 2020.

Kylie feathers her chest

KYLIE Jenner looked like one hot chick – if you will forgive my old-fashioned language – in this feathery top.

The US reality star and cosmetics mogul made a statement in black PVC trousers to go for dinner on Wednesday evening.

She met parent Caitlyn Jenner at swanky Italian restaurant Craig’s in West Hollywood, although I’m not sure she would have wanted to slurp up spaghetti in a nude blouse like this.

Kylie has been living the high life in recent months, having gone on a girls’ trip to Mexico last month and been photographed going out for several dinners since getting back to Los Angeles.

Restrictions have been eased over in California, meaning she can continue to show off with her flashy lifestyle.

Lucky her . . . 

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