Love Island sees drop in viewers after its return to ITV2

Love Island sees drop in viewers after its return to ITV2 following death of Caroline Flack with 1.9m tuning in compared to series high of 2.4m – as inquest into ex-host opens tomorrow

  • Average audience of 1.93million tuned into ITV2 to watch Love Island last night
  • It was only 14th most watched episode out of 35 broadcast in series six so far
  • Current record audience for series was 2.4million for first show on January 12 
  • Inquest opening tomorrow morning at Poplar Coroner’s Court in East London 

Viewers deserted the first episode of ITV2’s Love Island since the death of former presenter Caroline Flack last night, with less than two million people tuning in.

The average audience of 1.93million recorded by Overnights.TV means it was only the 14th most watched episode out of the 35 broadcast during series six so far. 

Last night’s viewing figure was also down on the audience for the previous two episodes last week, which was 1.98milion on Friday, and 1.97million on Thursday. 

The current record audience for this series was 2.4million for the first show on January 12, and it regularly pulls in more than two million people to ITV2. 

It comes as it was revealed the opening of the inquest into Miss Flack’s death on Saturday will take place tomorrow morning at Poplar Coroner’s Court in East London.

Iain Stirling (pictured above with Caroline Flack in London in 2017) opened the show last night

Iain Stirling (pictured above with Caroline Flack in London in 2017) opened the show last night

The dating programme, which has been running for five years, was not broadcast on Saturday or Sunday following Miss Flack’s death in Stoke Newington, East London.

The show returned last night with a tribute to Miss Flack from narrator Iain Stirling, who remembered his friend’s ‘passion, warmth and infectious enthusiasm’.

Love Island’s viewing figures for series six on ITV2 (in 000s) 

  • Mon 17 Feb: 1926.9
  • Sun 16 Feb: No programme
  • Sat 15 Feb: No programme
  • Fri 14 Feb: 1981.9
  • Thu 13 Feb: 1965.6
  • Wed 12 Feb: 1885.0
  • Tue 11 Feb: 2000.1
  • Mon 10 Feb: 1862.9
  • Sun 9 Feb: 2173.2
  • Sat 8 Feb: 507.0
  • Fri 7 Feb: 2357.2
  • Thu 6 Feb: 2169.7
  • Wed 5 Feb: 1958.4
  • Tue 4 Feb: 1860.7
  • Mon 3 Feb: 1946.8
  • Sun 2 Feb: 2079.8
  • Sat 1 Feb: 400.5
  • Fri 31 Jan: 1721.0
  • Thu 30 Jan: 1804.3
  • Wed 29 Jan: 1791.7
  • Tue 28 Jan: 1576.9
  • Mon 27 Jan: 1852.4
  • Sun 26 Jan: 1904.7
  • Sat 25 Jan: 294.6
  • Fri 24 Jan: 1563.6
  • Thu 23 Jan: 1665.0
  • Wed 22 Jan: 1771.0
  • Tue 21 Jan: 1892.1
  • Mon 20 Jan: 1981.8
  • Sun 19 Jan: 1773.9
  • Sat 18 Jan: 503.5
  • Fri 17 Jan: 1776.2
  • Thu 16 Jan: 1856.1
  • Wed 15 Jan: 1870.4
  • Tue 14 Jan: 2193.4
  • Mon 13 Jan: 2123.0
  • Sun 12 Jan: 2393.3

Many fans said they did not feel right watching the programme after the TV star’s death on Saturday, with some saying they felt too ‘raw’ to tune in.

One person posted on Twitter: ‘I can’t bring myself to watch Love Island tonight. Feel like I’m doing Caroline and her family a disservice. It’s too soon and raw.’

‘I’m going to be honest. I couldn’t watch Love Island. Felt weird,’ said another. One tweeted: ‘Couldn’t even watch Love Island properly today, need to wrap it up.’

Another viewer said: ‘Couldn’t watch Love Island, it didn’t seem right and I’m not the sentimental type, but I personally don’t think the show will ever be the same. It’s tainted, it will always be, associated with tragedy from now on.’

And another posted: ‘Genuinely don’t think I can watch any more Love Island. I don’t know if it’s a case of it’s back on too soon or what. Kinda lost its appeal to me.’

Others watched Mr Stirling’s tribute to Flack before switching off.

‘After Iain’s intro I couldn’t watch Love Island, it just feels too raw,’ said one, while another fan said they ‘sobbed’ at Stirling’s words.

‘I can’t watch the rest tonight, it doesn’t seem right. I’ll watch it tomorrow,’ added the viewer.

Another upset fan tweeted: ‘I switch off Love Island, I couldn’t watch it. It didn’t feel right to watch it. After the beautiful tribute to Caroline flack.’

Love Island continues on ITV2 and in Ireland on Virgin Media Television.

Prior to her death, ITV said the door was open for Flack to return to Love Island and that its production team ‘continued to offer her support’.

Flack stepped down from presenting the current winter series of the ITV2 dating show after an alleged assault.

The TV star pleaded not guilty to assaulting boyfriend Lewis Burton at a flat in North London during a court hearing in December.

The shock news prompted a flood of tributes from celebrities, but it also brought questions about the decision to persist with prosecuting Flack for the alleged assault, and about the pressures faced by TV celebrities from the press and social media.

Her management company criticised the Crown Prosecution Service for pressing ahead with what it called a ‘show trial’ even after her boyfriend said he did not support it.

The tragedy has put the spotlight back on the pressures that come with TV celebrity, with Flack the fourth person linked to Love Island to have killed themself.