It’s the most anticipated home makeover of the summer. A crack team of construction crew and set dressers were spotted descending on the stone-walled Majorcan villa that has been a stalwart backdrop to reality television’s most cheerfully horny festival of British heterosexual mating rituals since 2015.
Grainy long lens footage revealed… not much. There were shipping containers and lorries and heavy machinery in attendance. A lot of blue tarpaulin was tossed about.
The first cohort of islanders, who have been in quarantine in Spain, are due to enter the villa today and —ahead of the first episode which airs at 9pm this evening — new images of the redesigned villa have been released.
Expect a pleasingly familiar cheugy look, with pink neon slogans and prints.
Outside, there are plenty of seating areas and a cosy firepit setting almost identical to that of series six which was filmed in South Africa.
This week the Majorca villa walls will reverberate once again with the joyful cries of ‘I’ve Got A Text’ and ‘Can I Pull You For A Chat’.
Love Island fans were rocked a few weeks ago by a redesign of the show’s hallowed official water bottle merchandise.
Much like the rest of the world, the Love Island Villa had an unplanned off season in 2020.
Usually filled with impossible spray-tanned and lithe bodies vying for true love and sponsorship deals (not necessarily in that order), the villa lay empty for a long, unloved summer, colourful bean bags packed away, neon signs in storage.
The infamous bedroom, full of wall-to-wall double beds – definitely not Covid-safe – and pervy night vision cameras, was shuttered.
No one spent a night revelling in the furry splendour of the Hideaway.
Cobwebs (metaphorically) gathered Miss Havisham-style over the outdoor kitchen where once upon a time Tommy Fury learned to make an omelette and Curtis Pritchard made endless cups of tea. Like a cursed castle in a fairy tale, the villa slept.
As we forgot how to have normal human interactions and wear constricting garments, rumours swirled that the villa – owned by German millionaire Nikolaus Broschek and leased to ITV2 for the series each summer – could have been unceremoniously dumped at its own firepit, usurped by a more glamorous model in Crete.
But the original villa came through, like a stalwart couple reuniting after the traditional Casa Amor test, where one half of the contestants are shipped off to a rival villa to be tempted by a bevvy of sirens of the opposite sex.
The villa last got a makeover in 2019, which added more blue and pink and the playful neon signage. But a lot has happened in the intervening time.
In previous years the personalised, recently-redesigned water bottle has been reflective of the show and the set design: fun and transparent. The redesign is slick and a bit sexier.
The bouncy clear plastic bottle has been replaced by a slimmer, double-walled model with a matte white body and a carabiner hook for your gymming convenience.
It can also go both ways when it comes to hot and cold drinks – a courtesy not available to villa contestants after ITV bosses claimed a queer free-for-all would be a “logistical nightmare”.
The water bottle redesign could herald a shift in terms of aesthetics. With clothing brands vying to dress the contestants a lifestyle diffusion range could even be in the making – think throw pillows with catchphrases.
Of course, the new pictures suggest the colourful beanbags and astroturf have been put right back where we left them pre-pandemic.
After so much disruption it will be a comfort and a balm to see the place once again decked out like a daycare centre for sunburned adults.