Miss Great Britain loses title after having sex on ITV2's Love Island

Organisers say Zara Holland has been ‘de-crowned’ after scenes showing her getting intimate with Alex Bowen

The reigning Miss Great Britain, Zara Holland, has been stripped of her title after having sex on ITV2 reality show Love Island.

Beauty pageant organisers said they had “no problem with sex” but said they could not condone Holland’s relationship with 24-year-old scaffolder Alex Bowen.

Wednesday’s episode of the show, watched by around a million viewers, featured the two in bed together and what one insider described as a “look of delight” on Bowen’s face.

Although no explicit scenes were shown, it was readily apparent what had happened from comments that were featured in the following night’s programme.

Love Island presenter Caroline Flack criticised the decision, saying Holland was a “very sweet girl. What even is Miss GB? Are we living in the dark ages?”

Feel even more sorry for Zara now she's been de-crowned. She's a very sweet girl . What even is 'miss GB' ? Are we living in the dark ages ?

— caroline flack (@carolineflack1) June 16, 2016

In a statement, Miss Great Britain organisers said they had taken the decision with “deep regret”.

“We pride ourselves on promoting the positivity of pageants in modern society and this includes the promotion of a strong, positive female role model in our winners,” they said.

“The feedback we have received from pageant insiders and members of the general public is such that we cannot promote Zara as a positive role model moving forward.

“We wholly understand that everyone makes mistakes, but Zara, as an ambassador for Miss Great Britain, simply did not uphold the responsibility expected of the title.”

To be clear we have no problem at all with sex-it is perfectly natural.We simply can't condone what happened on national tv

— Miss Great Britain ® (@Official_MissGB) June 16, 2016

A spokesman for the programme said Holland had been informed about the decision and had chosen to stay on the show.

The current series of Love Island, which first aired on ITV in 2005, has featured a penis moulding contest and a “girl on girl sock wrestling championship” in a paddling pool of jelly.

Love Island girl on girl sock wrestling championship - in full(ish) https://t.co/ylpGViFWxd

— John Plunkett (@johnplunkett149) June 17, 2016

The now former Miss GB told fellow contestants on Thursday she regretted her decision to sleep with Bowen, the former boyfriend of Loose Women star Vicky Pattison, the winner of I’m a Celebrity in 2015.

She told the cameras: “You know when you’re in the moment and it just happens. That’s really not like me at all. Why couldn’t we have just gone to sleep?”

Around 70 cameras follow the contestants’ every move, with a reputed 1,000 condoms placed strategically around the villa.

Contestants face a “race against time” to couple up, with anyone who stays single in danger of being eliminated from the show and missing out on the £50,000 cash prize.

New features on the show this year include an outdoor gym and a redesigned hideaway for couples’ “one-on-one action”.

Presenter Flack said the sex on the show sometimes made her cringe. “I had to have my fingers in my ears for certain parts,” she said, before the current series’ transmission.

“I could watch it, no problem, but I preferred watching it to listening to it. I don’t like hearing those noises!”

Holland will be replaced by runner-up Deone Robertson, who had been crowned Miss North Lanarkshire.

The organisation said they would meet Holland on her return to the UK from the house in Majorca “to fully explain our decision and will wish her the very best going forward”.

● This article was amended on 17 June 2016 to remove a reference to the Miss World competition. Miss World is open to Miss England, Miss Wales, Miss Scotland and Miss Northern Ireland, but not Miss Great Britain, which is a separate event.


John Plunkett

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Love Island becomes ITV2's most-watched show ever
Show that counts George Osborne among fans is huge success for the broadcaster

Jim Waterson Media editor

08, Jun, 2018 @4:13 PM

Article image
ITV2's Love Island to be investigated over sex scene
Viewers complained after Emma-Jane Woodham and Terry Walsh were shown having sex soon after the 9pm watershed

Mark Sweney

18, Jul, 2016 @10:12 AM

Article image
Laura Whitmore replaces Caroline Flack as Love Island host
Dublin-born presenter steps in after predecessor was charged with assault this month

Hannah J Davies

20, Dec, 2019 @12:10 PM

Article image
Miss Great Britain leaving Love Island gives ITV2 ratings boost
Sunday’s episode of the series was watched by 1.13m people, beating Channel 5’s Big Brother for the first time

John Plunkett

20, Jun, 2016 @10:34 AM

Article image
ITV2’s Love Island cleared over sex scene
Watchdog says viewers would have had an ‘expectation of sexual activity’ after complaints about episode featuring Emma-Jane Woodham and Terry Walsh

Jasper Jackson

12, Sep, 2016 @10:03 AM

Article image
Love Island and Matt Hancock top list of 2022 Ofcom complaints
Many objected to I’m a Celebrity appearance but regulator found neither reality TV show breached broadcasting code

Jim Waterson Media editor

21, Dec, 2022 @1:35 PM

Article image
ITV considers filming Love Island in Cornwall or cancelling series
Reality show has already been delayed, while soaps could soon run out of episodes

Jim Waterson Media editor

30, Apr, 2020 @2:58 PM

Article image
Love Island final attracts more than 4 million viewers
Record audiences for ITV2 watched Dani Dyer and Jack Fincham win hit reality show

Jim Waterson Media editor

31, Jul, 2018 @11:45 AM

Article image
Love Island cancelled after move from Mallorca to Cornwall ruled out
ITV says ‘safety is our prime concern’ during coronavirus pandemic, as it announces ratings hit will not return until 2021

Hannah J Davies

04, May, 2020 @10:46 AM

Article image
'Disrespectful and even dangerous': what a relief Love Island has finished
The dating show proved harder and harder to watch as it progressed towards the final, and not only because of the tragedy of Caroline Flack’s suicide

Yomi Adegoke

24, Feb, 2020 @10:04 AM