Laura Whitmore opens up Caroline Flack’s Love Island support after replacing her in ‘sad circumstances’

With more than a decade’s TV experience and her boyfriend Iain Stirling already established as the show’s narrator, Laura Whitmore was a natural fit to take over from Caroline Flack as Love Island host.

Her signing followed Caroline’s shock assault charge in December. But despite the unfortunate circumstances surrounding her new role, Laura insists she’s been blown away by the positive reaction. “Everyone has been so lovely online,” she tells OK!

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Relishing every second spent at the Love Island location in South Africa, she suddenly squeals with delight mid-chat as a random tortoise strolls by. “I’m sure the locals are used to these kind of sights, but I’m still shocked by it,” she says, giggling.

While the dating show may be famed for its break-ups and heartache, Laura’s romance with comedian Iain, 32, is stronger than ever. The pair, who live together, started dating in 2017 and she has previously declared him the “best person I know”.

Here, Laura, 34, chats about her experience on the dating show, Valentine’s plans with Iain and the lessons she’s learnt about love…

You’re doing amazingly well on Love Island. How are you finding it?

"I’m really enjoying it. It’s very exciting, but the circumstances were sadly not the best so I have to remember that it’s a show I was a fan of. I feel very lucky and everyone has been so lovely online. I saw previous contestants like Molly-Mae Hague and Olivia Attwood at the NTAs last week and they told me how much they’d been loving this new series. It was great to hear."

Has Caroline been supportive?

"Yes, she has. Caroline decided to take time off and before I even got asked to do this series, she messaged saying she hoped I got the role. I spoke to her after I did the first show, but I wanted to leave her to have her space. I didn’t want to be annoying her too much."

You’re in a happy relationship. What advice would you give to this year’s contestants?

"Oh wow, I think I’m still learning about love, even at this age. I would say, be open. Sometimes you end up with someone you didn’t think you ever would. Something changes. I knew Iain for years as a friend before we got together. Sometimes you just see them in a different light. So yes, in love, you have to be open to things."

If you had been a contestant on Love Island during your twenties, what kind of guy would have caught your eye?

"Well, I think when we’re younger we always like a bad boy. So 10 years ago I would have gone for a bad boy! But what people love about Love Island is the journey. You see people physically attracted to someone and then it fizzles out because there’s nothing else there. We’ve all been in that situation. You meet a gorgeous guy and then you’re like, ‘Oh no, there’s nothing there!’"

Valentine’s Day is approaching. Do you and Iain have any plans?

"I think I’ll be back in London so we’ll be apart. That’s always the case with us! For our first Valentine’s Day I was filming Survival Of The Fittest in South Africa so Iain posted a video on Instagram holding up cue cards with romantic messages written to me – like the scene from Love, Actually."

That was so romantic…

"It was. But in reality I think he realised it was too late to send a card or organise anything. So it was romantic, but I also think he thought, ‘S**t, I have no other choice.’ Thankfully he’s a man who thinks on his feet."

You’ve teamed up with TK Maxx for its Give Up Clothes For Good recycling scheme. Is this an important issue for you?

"Yes, the aim is to encourage people to donate a bag of their pre-loved, quality clothes, accessories and homeware at special donation points. I try to recycle my clothes as much as I can. If you have something in your wardrobe you no longer wear, donate it and give it a new home. It’s a wonderful campaign and it’s all for an incredible cause too, Cancer Research UK."

Laura is supporting TK Maxx’s Give Up Clothes for Good in support of Cancer Research UK for Children and Young People. Visit for more information.

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