The new series of Love Island is set to kick off on Monday, with the ITV2 reality series returning to screens for the first time since January 2020.
And former contestant Megan Barton-Hanson – who reached the final in 2018 – has revealed that she hopes this year’s newcomers ‘don’t hold back’ when it comes to on-screen romps, saying: ‘I hope they just go out there and enjoy themselves.’
Offering up her advice for contestants hoping to bag both a new beau and the £50,000 prize money, Megan, 26, insisted frisky encounters would ‘make great viewing’ adding: ‘I think we’re in for a good series.’
Love Island 2021: Megan Barton-Hanson, 26, has revealed that she hopes this year’s newcomers ‘don’t hold back’ when it comes to on-screen romps
Speaking to The Sun, the blonde beauty – who famously bedded both Eyal Booker and Wes Nelson during her time in the villa – suggested contestants will be more frisky than ever following a year of social distancing.
‘The rest of us can live through them because there’s not much chance of us getting a holiday,’ she joked.
Speaking of her excitement over the new season, Megan added: ‘I’m super-excited for it. I’ve just missed it so much.
‘It’s part of everyone’s summer. From your nan to the married man who insists he only watches it because his wife has it on, everyone deep down secretly loves it.’
Enjoy it: Megan – who reached the final in 2018 – said: ‘I hope they just go out there and enjoy themselves’
She also urged the new set of Love Islanders not to play it safe.
‘You’ve got to be a bit selfish,’ she said, encouraging contestants to take risks and not worry so much about being disliked that they miss out on opportunities to form romantic connections.
Addressing her relationship with Wes – who she hooked up with despite him being coupled up with Laura Anderson at the time – Megan said that despite people’s ‘strong opinions’ about her behaviour, she chose ‘not to hold back’.
The social media sensation joked that she had kissed ‘half the boys’ in the villa before realising that Wes was the one for her.
Risqué: Megan insisted frisky encounters would ‘make great viewing’ adding: ‘I think we’re in for a good series’ (pictured kissing Wes Nelson in 2018)
Megan also told the paper that negative comments don’t matter as much if you are with someone you really care for.
Touching upon the fact that she had sex on television, Megan revealed that after leaving the villa, she was asked often during interviews about her decision to go all the way in front of cameras, however such questions were never put to Wes.
Megan said it highlighted the fact that there is ‘so much stigma around women enjoying sex’, adding that she wasn’t ashamed of her choices.
However, Megan did try to hide their bedroom antics by covering up microphones that had been placed in their bed’s headboard, before being quickly told by producers to stop fiddling with equipment.
One of the only times that contestants aren’t filmed is during meal times, when they were chaperoned by ITV2 staff and had dishes cooked for them.
Megan joked that contestants were only allowed to have ‘s**t chat’ while eating, so that producers didn’t miss any juicy moments.
Megan also said producers preferred that conversations between castmates didn’t take place in the villa’s large swimming pool, as mics could not be worn in the water.
If particularly romantic moments weren’t caught by cameras, contestants would be asked to ‘do them again’ for the cameras, which Megan said was always awkward.
Phones, social media and even clocks are banned in the Majorcan villa, with contestants only allowed to have one or two glasses of wine a night, which Megan said is a ‘good thing’.
Excitement: Speaking of her excitement over the new season, Megan added: ‘I’m super-excited for it. I’ve just missed it so much’
While many apply to be on the show in the hope of finding fame and millions of social media followers, Megan insisted it’s easy to spot those that have entered the villa for the wrong reasons, recalling a time she heard a fellow Love Islander ask a member of ITV2’s crew how many social media followers previous cast members had gained.
The blonde beauty insisted anyone that enters the competition with a game plan will be found out.
She also revealed that her time on the show was one of the happiest stints of her live, adding that she’d head back to Majorca in an instant if given the opportunity to appear on the show again.
No game plan: The blonde beauty insisted anyone that enters the competition with a game plan will be found out
LOVE ISLAND 2021: MEET THE CONTESTANTS
Sharon Gaffka, 25
Name: Sharon Gaffka
Occupation: Civil Servant – Operations Lead for Department of Transport
Who is their type on paper? ‘I tend to date someone who is taller than me, even though my last long-term partner, he was actually someone who was shorter than me.
‘I’m quite an intellectual person so I want someone who can kind of match that.’
Aaron Francis, 24
Name: Aaron Francis
Occupation: Luxury Events Host
Who is their type on paper? ‘I need someone that is passionate about what they are doing – from scientist to anything – you can tell when someone is speaking about something and they are actually smiling while they are talking. I love that.
‘I don’t like when people are doing a job just to make money and then they kind of just live for the weekend. Especially because I work on the weekends.’
Liberty Poole, 21
Name: Liberty Poole
Occupation: Nando’s Waitress and Marketing Student
Who is their type on paper? ‘So I like tall, alpha male, confident, a cheeky chappy sort of guy.
‘But obviously that’s always usually combined with player types, which is where I go wrong. So I am trying to change my ways and go for more of a nicer guy that is going to treat me right.’
Hugo Hammond, 24
Name: Hugo Hammond
Occupation: PE Teacher
Who is their type on paper? ‘I’ve been single for a while now. With the current climate, it’s been really hard to get back into dating.
‘I saw it as an opportunity to have an amazing fun summer and put myself back out there.’
Name: Shannon Singh
Occupation: Glamour model
Who is their type on paper? ‘I don’t feed off looks, I feed off energy, I need someone with personality. Just someone I can have fun with.
‘I’m a party girl, I love going out, I’m very social. For me it’s quite hard to find people who are genuine and looking for what you’re looking for’
Name: Jake Cornish
Occupation: Water Engineer
Who is their type on paper? ‘Looks wise, always gone for blondes. But for me, the main thing is having respect and having good fun, and someone who will be loyal to you…
‘I’ve had messages from girls that have got boyfriends and husbands. This is why I don’t trust anyone. Someone who is loyal really. But when I’m single, I like having a good time!
Name: Kaz Kamwi
Occupation: Fashion Blogger
Who is their type on paper? ‘I like meeting new people, I’m ready to be in a relationship. Why not be in a place where people are looking for the same things as me?’
Name: Chloe Burrows
Occupation: Financial Services Marketing Executive
Who is their type on paper? ‘I like a good build. I go to the gym. I want someone who is funny. Really funny and caring and will do nice little things for you.
‘And then obviously someone who you can depend on to not ditch you. Because I am quite a big character and quite loud, they would have to be as loud, if not more.
‘I could never be with someone who is quiet. Someone that gives you a bit back’
Name: Faye Winter
Occupation: Letting Manager
What is her type on paper? ‘Someone that will put me in my place. Someone that makes me laugh. But also someone that takes my banter. I’m like a five-year-old in a playground, if I like you, I will make a mockery of you and laugh and joke. That is my really terrible flirting skills. I need someone who can take that.’
Name: Brad McClelland
Who is their type on paper? Sommer Ray from Instagram. Zara McDermott, she’s a good-looking lass. Or Megan Fox.
Name: Toby Aromolaran
Occupation: Semi-pro footballer
How would he describe himself? ‘Optimistic. I always see the bright side in the worst situations. I’m a fun guy when I go on a night out. Responsible guy as well.’