Children as young as FOUR are tuning in for racy Love Island

Thousands of children as young as FOUR are tuning in for racy Love Island, shocking new figures reveal

  • First winter series of show is due to air on ITV2 is set in Cape Town, South Africa 
  • Emerged on average 250,000 children aged 15 and under watched last summer 
  • This included 4,000 four-year-olds and more than 13,000 five-year-olds

Love Island is attracting growing numbers of children as viewers – with hundreds of thousands tuning in each night, figures have shown.

As the first ever winter series of the show is due to air on ITV2, it has emerged that on average, nearly a quarter of a million children aged 15 and under watched the most recent series.

This included almost 40,000 children aged between four and eight. Despite the post-watershed show’s raunchy reputation, TV ratings figures show how more than 226,000 under-15s watched the show last summer – up from the 180,000 that watched in 2018.

This included more than 4,000 four-year-olds, more than 13,000 five-year-olds and more than 9,000 six-year-olds. Around 165,000 of those aged between 11 and 15 watched.

The show garnered 709 complaints over the ‘predatory’ behaviour of contestant Maura Higgins, who was accused by viewers of ‘sexually harassing’ boxer Tommy Fury after she straddled him on a sofa and tried to kiss him

Almost time: The beauty said that the new group of 12 Islanders (pictured) set to enter the South African villa would now be on lockdown ahead of the show starting on Sunday night

The figures raise concerns about parents allowing their to children watch post-watershed shows, which are clearly aimed at an adult audience. Love Island airs at 9pm, which means the content is not meant for children. The last series of the reality show featured three of the top ten most complained about TV moments of 2019 in a list published by media regulator Ofcom.

Laura Whitmore, 34, replace Caroline Flack, for the new series of Love Island and will join her comedian boyfriend Iain Stirling, who narrates the show

Among these, it garnered 709 complaints over the ‘predatory’ behaviour of contestant Maura Higgins, who was accused by viewers of ‘sexually harassing’ boxer Tommy Fury after she straddled him on a sofa and tried to kiss him.

The Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB) figures, provided by overnights.tv, are based on the number of youngsters who watched Love Island on either ITV2, its time-shifted channel ITV2+1, and those who recorded the programme and watched it later.

To gather this data, BARB monitored the viewing habits of a sample of homes representative of the population using meters fitted to their TVs. Viewers register who is watching using a handset and the meter detects what the programme is.

The new series of Love Island, set in Cape Town, South Africa, sees Laura Whitmore, 34, replace Caroline Flack, 40, who stepped down as host after being charged with assault in December. Miss Whitmore will join her comedian boyfriend Iain Stirling, who narrates the show.

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