'Boarding school meal-times', unsociable smoking and condoms on tap – Olivia Attwood reveals Love Island secrets

AFTER being cancelled in 2020, due to the pandemic, Love Island is finally returning to our screens again.

The cast are already in quarantine in Spain, and the Mallorca villa is nearly ready as builders are rushing to get it finished in time for the June 28 start date.

And ITV2 bosses have promised "more texts, fire pit gatherings and challenges" with "lots of twists and turns along the way, with shock recouplings, unexpected splits and dramatic exits".

There’s even reportedly going to be the show’s first ever disabled singleton, as well as cheating footballer Aaron Connolly’s ex entering the Love Island villa.

But a lot goes into the making of our favourite reality TV show – and there are many secrets from behind the scenes.


Here, with the help of series three Islander Olivia Attwood, we reveal all the parts of Love Island that viewers DON’T get to see, including meal times.

And, yes, there really are hundreds of condoms scattered around the villa…

McDonald’s on demand

In the Love Island villa, the outdoor kitchen is constantly restocked with snacks and drinks, ensuring the Islanders are never hungry or thirsty – and they can request what they want.

After coming off the show in 2019, Anton Danyluk confessed they’d been getting McDonald’s McFlurries delivered by producers on a weekly basis.

Anton told Heat magazine: “We needed that. We really did. I think it was about once a week we were getting them. 

“I had a few chicken nuggets here and there.”

‘Boarding school’ meal-times

While the Islanders have to make their own breakfast every morning, lunch and dinner are a different matter.

A catering station is set up in the grounds of the villa with chefs on hand to make food – usually consisting of salads and barbecued meats – for the contestants, as well as all the production team.

But even though these meals aren’t filmed, Olivia Attwood – who came third with Chris Hughes in the 2017 series – has insisted nothing juicy ever happens during them, as producers insist conversation is kept to a minimum.

Exclusively speaking to The Sun, she explains: “We eat with the producers but it runs like a boarding school.

“When we have dinner, it's like them telling us we need to clean the bedroom, that laundry day is tomorrow and asking us what we want for our breakfast the next day, all just things that make the house run smoothly.

“So it's nothing really exciting. It's quite mundane stuff!”

Cast are often head-hunted

While Amy Hart from series five of Love Island released her hilarious audition video for the show, not all the cast apply for the show desperate to find love.

In fact, Olivia told us she was approached by producers on Instagram for series two, and hadn’t ever watched the show.

She even almost ended up in the series with now-married Olivia and Alex Bowen – but pulled out right at the last minute.

“I was doing modelling at the time, travelling and really loved my job, and I hadn't watched series one. Producers had just approached me on Instagram,” she told us.

Olivia continued: “I got right down to the last hurdle, and suddenly thought, ‘Oh, I don't know, I've not watched it, what if I hate it? And what if  my modelling agency dropped me and I've got no work? 

“So I panicked and I dropped out.”

However, after watching series two, Olivia got back in touch with ITV and got herself on the show.

She explained: “I was like, ‘Oh, f**ks sake, this is a really fun show. I should have done this.’

“And then when I saw the applications were open for series three, I had the number of someone from ITV in my phone still, so just  brazenly rang them back up and asked for a second chance.

“And then the rest was history!”

The unsociable smoking area

For the first three series, Love Islanders would often be seen puffing away on a cigarette. 

However, that all changed in series four, when producers decided to make a designated smoking area, after 50 percent of the complaints made about the show in 2017 related to how much the contestants smoked.

The smoking area is situated at the front of the villa, and Islanders must go out for fags separately and one at a time.

They’re still filmed, in case something vital happens, but they don’t have any interaction with other Islanders.

And, those wanting a cigarette have to queue up on the stairs inside the villa and wait until the person in front of them has finished.

Self-isolation

Many people wonder how the Islanders never know who’s going into the villa with them, especially as they must all have to make similar journeys from the UK to Spain around the same time.

For this reason, producers make sure the cast are all on separate flights, and Olivia tells us that they have to go into isolation for 10 days prior to the show.

She explains, “There's a weird lockdown you go through before you go into the villa where you live with a chaperone for 10 days.”

At least they’ll have had a lot of practice with that over the past year!

Saturdays off

According to Kem Cetinay, who was on the show in 2017, the reason Love Island doesn’t air on a Saturday is so that the cast can “get a day off” and head to the beach, while the cleaners come in and tidy up the villa.

"They get one day off a week," he said on This Morning. "What happens is it gives them a day to clean the villa and you take your mics off and normally we go to the beach and we just chill out.”

As with the meal times, the cast aren’t filmed and they are chaperoned by producers making sure they aren’t talking about anything integral to the show.

“What happens is when you take your mics off, you’re not allowed to talk about anything to do with the show,” he continued to a shocked Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield. "You’ve got to talk about home life.

“ You’re being watched by an evil hawk, by the producers, because they don’t want you to talk about what’s going on.

"You can all sit and chat but they are quite careful about what you talk about because they want to keep it so everyone at home can see and get it on video. 

“It’s more a day off from all the intense games, all the intense dates, deciding who you like and don’t like."

No set limit on alcohol

While some Islanders have said they’re only allowed two drinks a night while in the villa, producers have insisted there’s actually no set limit on alcohol.

However, contestants still can’t get as drunk as they want!

Producers tend to judge the amount of alcohol consumed “on a case-by-case basis”.

They told the Huffington Post: “We’re really careful they don’t have too much to drink. 

“We’re responsible about it.”

Condoms on tap

There are over 200 Love Island-branded condoms scattered all over the house.

Last series’ winner Finnley Tapp even confessed he’d stolen some to use with his girlfriend Paige Turley after the show!


The Islanders can request more whenever they want – and bosses are very keen they use them.

In fact, in 2017, after Kem and Amber Davies romped without a condom, producers warned the randy singletons they could face getting axed from the show if they had unprotected sex.

Psychologist on hand

After two former Love Islanders tragically died by suicide – series two’s Sophie Gradon in 2018 and series three’s Mike Thalassitis in 2019 – ITV bosses upped the psychological help available for the cast.


From the 2019 series onwards, the production team assured there would be enhanced psychological support and more detailed conversations with potential Islanders regarding the impact of participation on the show.

They also now offer bespoke training for all Islanders on social media and financial management, as well as a proactive aftercare package which extends support to all Islanders following their participation.

Secret hair and beauty treatments

Every year, viewers wonder how the girls look so perfectly preened after weeks in the villa without a hairdresser or nail technician on hand.

And, during series four of Love Island, many noticed that Dani Dyer’s hair suddenly changed colour halfway through the series.


The truth is the girls do secretly leave the villa for beauty treatments but are forced to do their own waxes!

Pamper sessions and hair fix-ups are performed off site and are booked in for Islanders as and when they need a freshen up.

Ex-Islander Georgia Steel – who was in series four – told Heart: "The girls needed the hair and nails doing, we needed our hair cutting, so they had to schedule that.

"We were given a day where everyone could do everything, but it wasn’t treated like a day off."

Meanwhile, Kady McDermott from the 2016 series thinks the budget allocated to hair and make-up has been given a boost since she starred in the show.

In 2019, she told OK!: "They’re definitely getting it done more this year.

"I reckon they’re getting their nails done every two weeks, they always look so fresh. I think the budget has gone up!"

Yet it's not all free and fabulous for the reality stars, as Olivia told how during her time on the show they had to wax each other to maintain their perfect bikini looks.

She said: “In our series we did a lot of waxing each other and nails."

Free clothes and makeup

The Love Island dressing room has loads of makeup for the girls (and guys) to use as and when they want, provided by Love Burst – the show’s own makeup range.

And ISAWITFIRST, which Olivia has just launched her second collection with, available here, offers clothes for the whole cast to wear.


However, they don’t have to wear any of them if they don’t want to – and can keep on whatever they’ve brought with them.

Secret texting

Although they have no access to the internet or their phones the entire time they’re in the villa, the islanders are given phones connected to an internal server that allow them to message each other. 

Adam Collard and Zara McDermott – from series four – would use these phones to communicate with each other in bed without producers of their housemates hearing.

However, of course, the producers have access to all the messages.

“We used to write messages to each other when we were in bed so other people couldn't hear what we were saying,” Adam told OK! “We deleted our messages but the producers told me that they still have them all."

No concept of time

There are no clocks in the villa, so the Islanders never have any idea what time it is.

This means they won’t care when Laura Whitmore struts in at 1am to tell them she’s sending someone home – and that happens very often!

No privacy

Although they’re mainly used for health and safety reasons, there are cameras in the toilet, as well as the shower.

There are also microphones in both of these rooms – just in case any of the Islanders try and get away with hiding anything from the producers!

Love Island starts on ITV2 on 28 June.

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