Maya Jama has been confirmed as the new Love Island host, replacing Laura Whitmore.
The TV presenter, 28, is begin hosting the first of two series which will be filmed in South Africa, from early 2023.
Maya said in a statement: ‘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! I can’t wait to get into the Villa to meet all of the Islanders.’
Maya Jama is the new Love Island host! The presenter, 28, took to Instagram on Wednesday to announce the happy news – she will replace Laura Whitmore who quit in August
Maya said: ‘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! I can’t wait to get into the Villa to meet all of the Islanders’
Both Maya and Love Island shared a video of herself scrolling through stories about her being the rumoured presenter on various media outlets.
The Love Island account shared: ‘Okay, the rumours are true Say hey to your brand-new #LoveIsland host @mayajama!’
Maya wrote in the comments section: SO BLOODY EXCITED. GET ME ON THAT ISLAND. ❤️’
Fans seemed to think she was the perfect choice to replace Laura.
They took to Twitter straight away and wrote: ‘Maya Jama will be a great love island host.’
‘Maya Jama hosting love Island is excellent news!’
‘Maya Jama hosting Love Island and she’s gonna be hotter than any of the girls on the actual show.’
‘I love how the whole of Twitter asked for Maya Jama to be the new host of Love Island and ITV delivered.’
‘Maya Jama being the new host of Love Island! Our prayers have been answered!’
Director of Reality Programming & Acquisitions, Paul Mortimer said: ‘Finding a new host to follow the wonderful Laura Whitmore was never going to be easy.
Farewell: Laura Whitmore (pictured) announced in August this year that she was quitting Love Island and will not be returning to host the next series of the ITV2 dating show
Leaving: She took to her Instagram to confirm that she would be leaving the show, saying she has found flying back and forth from the villa ‘very difficult’
‘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.’
Laura announced in August this year that she was quitting the show and would not be returning to host the next series of the ITV2 dating show.
The Irish presenter, 37, joined back in 2020 and has hosted the hugely popular reality programme and its spin-off Aftersun for three series.
She’s right to be excited! Maya took to the comments section of the announcement to express her joy
Perfect replacement: Maya looked stunning in the new video of herself she shared along with the announcement
It’s all going on: Maya shared this screengrab of the MailOnline’s announcement story
Laura – who is mother to a 16-month-old daughter with Love Island voiceover star Iain Sterling – took to her Instagram at the time to confirm she would be leaving, saying she has found flying back and forth from the villa ‘very difficult’.
The broadcaster’s stint on the ITV2 dating show received mixed reviews this season; some viewers praised her handling of sensitive topics, while others criticised her for ‘encouraging slut-shaming’ in a segment which sparked 427 Ofcom complaints.
Laura replaced Caroline Flack as the presenter of Love Island when she stood down in December 2019. Caroline tragically took her own life aged 40 in February 2020.
Checking out the gossip: Shortly after the announcement was made, Maya shared a video of herself scrolling through stories about herself on various media outlets
In her statement, Laura said she was only planning to fill in for Caroline for one series, emotionally saying that she hope she did her late friend ‘proud’.
Taking to Instagram, Laura said: ‘Some news! I won’t be hosting the next series of Love island.
‘There are certain elements of the show I’ve found very difficult that cannot be changed some due to the format, including the flying back and forth to South Africa along with my new conflicting projects.
‘I wish it was still possible but know you’ll be in safe hands. I was only planning to fill in for Caroline for a series and it turned into 3 series. I hope I did you proud Caroline.’
Speaking of Laura’s exit, an ITV spokesperson said at the time: ‘Laura has been a fantastic host across the last three series of the show.
‘We are so grateful for everything she has brought to the programme but understand and respect her decision, and we look forward to working with her on upcoming ITV projects.’
Maya has presenting experience on shows such as Walk the Line and Soccer Aid.
Happy days: Fans of the show gave a wholly positive reaction to the news
Fellow presenter Vick Hope had also been in the running for the show.
Laura’s exit from the show came after she opened up about the ‘exhausting’ and ‘tough’ aspects of hosting Love Island.
She told the Distraction Pieces podcast: ‘With stuff with Love Island, it’s just a bit exhausting sometimes because some of the stuff is just mental.
‘As a host, this takes up not a huge amount of my time compared to my other work. It’s over eight weeks.
‘The host only comes on three or four times, it’s always been the way, but it gets the most attention. It’s a bit exhausting and it’s tough.’
Bye: Irish TV star Laura (pictured) revealed her shock decision to quit her job after three years this summer – blaming, in part, the format of the show for her career choice
Who is Maya Jama?
Maya Jama, 28, is a presenter of Somali and Swedish descent.
Her parents named her after poet Maya Angelou because her mother read the famous poem, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, during her pregnancy.
Maya grew up in Bristol, along with her brother Omar, but moved to London aged 16 to pursue her broadcasting career.
Her father was in prison for most of her childhood, for violence-related crimes such as pub brawls and fights – she stopped speaking to him aged 12 but remains incredibly close to her mother.
Maya’s parents named her after poet Maya Angelou because her mother read the famous poem, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, during her pregnancy
She set up her own YouTube channel as well as landing a gig as a presenter for JumpOff TV.
Her first big gig was as the host of MTV’s The Wrap Up, before moving on to host MTV Essentials and MTV News.
She co-presented Trending Live! on 4Music from 2015 until 2017, Cannonball on ITV in 2017, the MTV show True Love or True Lies in 2018, and the first series of The Circle with Alice Levine on Channel 4.
In November 2017, she became the youngest person, then aged 23, to co-host the MOBO Awards on Channel 5 with fellow presenter Marvin Humes.
She became the team captain on ITV2 rap panel show Don’t Hate the Playaz presented by Jordan Stephens.
Maya has enjoyed a successful radio presenting career. She hosted #DriveWithMaya on Rinse FM from 2014 to 2017, and co-presented Radio 1’s Greatest Hits and presented her own show, Maya Jama on BBC Radio 1 from 2018 to 2020.
In 2020, she announced she was leaving BBC Radio 1, a station she has hosted on for two years.
In an Instagram post, she said at the time: My loveess, I’ve made the very difficult decision not to continue my Radio 1 contract from June.
‘As you know I have been juggling & There are a lot of exciting commitments happening that would mean I’m not able to dedicate the time needed to my weekly radio show.
‘I’ve loved every moment of my time at Radio 1 and I would like to thank the team for their hard work and friendship during the last two years. It’s been a JOURNEY.’
In September 2021, it was announced that Jama would be the host of Simon Cowell’s new music competition gameshow Walk The Line.
As far as her personal life goes, Maya famously dated rapper Stormzy in 2016. They split three years later but remain friends.
Stormzy seemed to address rumours he had strayed in his subsequent music releases – with his song Lessons said to be about the heartbreaking split and lyrics confessing that he had ‘done the dirt’ on the TV star.
However, the award-winning musician later revealed he hadn’t been unfaithful throughout his relationship but instead, admitted to showing ‘disrespect’ to his famous ex.
In August, she split from her fiancé Ben Simmons six months after getting engaged, due to long-distance.