Maya Jama is to succeed Laura Whitmore as the host of Love Island, it has been announced. ITV said Jama would take over when the reality TV show returns for its ninth series early next year.
“I’ve always been such a massive Love Island fan and I’m so excited to be hosting one of the nation’s favourite shows,” Jama said. “I can’t wait to get into the villa to meet all of the islanders.”
She was initially touted as a potential host after it was confirmed Caroline Flack would be stepping down as host in 2019, but the role was given to Whitmore.
In an announcement video on the programme’s official Instagram account, Jama can be seen scrolling through articles suggesting she would be the next host of the show, before picking up a personalised Love Island water bottle as the camera pans out to also reveal a branded suitcase with “Maya” embossed on it in pink.
There will be two series of Love Island in 2023, the first in South Africa early in the year, and the second once again in Mallorca during the summer.
Paul Mortimer, the director of reality programming and acquisitions and controller at ITV2, ITVBe and CITV, said: “Finding a new host to follow the wonderful Laura Whitmore was never going to be easy.
“In Maya Jama though, we have another high-profile fan of the show who’ll be a great addition to the Love Island family. Cool, charming and charismatic, I speak for us all when I say Maya will also bring a unique presenting style to the show, as did Laura and, of course, the very much missed Caroline Flack. We’re very pleased to have her on board.”
Jama began her broadcasting career co-hosting Trending Live on 4Music and Cannonball on ITV, before moving to present her BBC Radio 1 show on Fridays and Saturdays.
At 23, she became the youngest person to co-host the Mobo awards on Channel 5 in 2017, alongside the JLS star turned presenter Marvin Humes.