The ever-popular Love Island returns to our screens for season nine and, for the second time, viewers are treated to a winter series.
The show is heading for the warmer climes of South Africa in the second January staging of the £50,000 competition.
Everything is in place for this year’s love-seekers as they attempt to follow in the footsteps of last season’s winners Ekin-Su Culculoglu and Davide Sanclimenti.
As Love Island has grown in popularity, the betting on the event has become almost as competitive and interesting as the drama itself.
This year is no different and there are markets available on who will be crowned the top man and woman in South Africa.
Will Young is the 11/4 favourite in the male category, closely followed by chances Kai Fagen and Shaq Muhammad.
Here is everything you need to know in the search for love.
|Where||Cape Town, South Africa|
|When||Starts 21:00, Monday 16th January 2023|
|How to watch||ITV2 and streamed on ITVX|
The curtain will be raised at 21:00 on Monday 16th January 2023.
The show leaves the chilly Balearic Islands for a winter series in South Africa. The drama will unfold at a luxurious villa in Cape Town and South Africa’s oldest city should guarantee some heat.
The drama will be broadcast on ITV2 at the usual time of 21.00. It will also be available on ITV’s new streaming service ITVX and on various catch up shows throughout the series.
Laura Whitmore has stepped down from hosting duties and she will be replaced by Maya Jama in South Africa.
The 28-year-old has presented a whole host of television shows and is well known to listeners of Radio 1.
Jama has previously hosted Walk The Line, The Brits Are Coming and Crouchy's Year-Late Euros: Live and the keen West Ham fan will be hoping for a stronger performance than that of the struggling Hammers.
This will be the ninth series of the love-seeking show. The competition first aired in 2015, with Jess Hayes and Max Morley crowned champions. There have been various spin-offs, with The Reunion, Aftersun and The Weekly Hotlist all emanating from the original drama.
The dating game show became ITV2's most watched show in the network's history in 2018 and in 2019 peaked with an average viewership of 5.61million.
Davide Sanclimenti and Ekin-Su Culculoglu walked away with the prize in Mallorca last year and the show's alumni includes Chris Hughes, Tommy Fury and Amber Gill.
Last year’s champions Davide Sanclimenti and Ekin-Su Culculoglu are still an item and the couple recently sparked engagement rumours. Indiyah Polack and Dami Hope and Tasha Ghouri and Andrew Le Page, who also found love on the show last year, are still in relationships together.
Molly-Mae Hague and Tommy Fury have kept the flame burning since hooking up in Mallorca in 2019, and going further back, Dom Lever and Jess Shears, who found love in 2017, are now married.
It will be interesting to see if any of the relationships formed in South Africa this year stand the test of time.
There is betting available on both top man and top woman. Will Young is the 11/4 market leader in the male category and the 23-year-old farmer is closely followed by shots Kai Fagen and Shaq Muhammad.
As always, it’s a competitive betting heat and things are likely to heat up in South Africa over the next couple of months.