Love Island is set to run for two series next year

Photos - ITV

The hit ITV2 show, now in its fifth season, has been watched by a record-breaking six million-plus people during its peak this year.

A new Love Island villa will be based in South Africa for a winter show in early 2020, the broadcaster has confirmed, before filming returns to Majorca for the original summer programme.

Host Caroline Flack has also posted about the announcement on social media, saying she is "so chuffed" to be taking part.

"It's going to be a long, hot winter," she said on Instagram.

Paul Mortimer, head of digital channels and acquisitions at ITV, said: "Off the back of a record-breaking year, we're delighted to be bringing an extra series of our biggest and sunniest show to the 2020 schedule.

"Love Island has proven yet again to be the perfect format that engages younger audiences.

"In response to this viewer appetite, a new batch of young singletons will deliver some highly anticipated post-Christmas romance and drama from our new and luxurious location."

The show, which relaunched in 2015 following two celebrity series in 2005 and 2006, has increased in popularity year-on-year, but faced criticism ahead of this latest series over the efforts made to support contestants' welfare.

Before the start of this series, ITV announced an enhanced duty of care process for participants on the show, including a minimum of eight therapy sessions, following the suicides of former contestants Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis.

The contestants' families are also offered counselling.

Ofcom has received hundreds of complaints relating to several episodes this year.

Earlier this week, the broadcasting watchdog confirmed that it would not be investigating an episode in which former villa resident Lucie Donlan was left in tears, which received more than 700 complaints.

In a statement, the watchdog said: "While we understand some viewers were concerned for her well-being, we think most viewers would expect to see emotionally charged scenes in a programme which shines a light on people's relationships."

Ofcom is currently still assessing complaints about an episode showing the fallout from an explosive recoupling.

The news of the winter series came as ITV reported a fall in revenues and earnings for the past six months, with advertising revenues falling by 5% in the six months to June.

Total revenues also fell by 5% to £1.75bn, although Love Island helped to boost the figure towards the end of the period.

ITV chief executive Carolyn McCall said the flagship reality TV show has made an extra £8m on last year's series, due to boosted merchandising and advertising.

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