'Love Island' may be affected by new health rules issued by Ofcom

Albertina Lloyd
Entertainment reporter, Yahoo UK
'Love Island' is among the reality shows that me be effected by Ofcom's new rules (Credit: ITV2)

Love Island and other reality shows could be forced to change after Ofcom issued a new set of guidelines to protect the “wellbeing and dignity” of TV participants.

Last night saw Amber Gill and Greg O'Shea crowned the winners of the fifth series of Love Island and the show is due to return with a winter edition filmed in South Africa in January next year.

Ofcom, the UK's media regulator, has put forward two new rules for makers of reality TV following "growing openness and concern in society about mental health and well-being".

Read more: Danny Williams plagued by death threats since 'Love Island'

The proposed rules are that due care must be taken over the welfare, wellbeing and dignity of participants in programmes.

And participants must not be caused unjustified distress or anxiety by taking part in programmes or by the broadcast of those programmes.

Amber Gill and Greg O'Shea were the winning couple of Love Island 2019 (Credit: ITV2)

Ofcom also suggests that reality TV contestants should be advised to minimise or limit social media usage after a show has aired.

During her time in Love Island 21-year-old beauty therapist Gill gained 1,513,400 new followers on Instagram.

This series of Love Island also saw contestant Amy hart, 26, quit the villa after having her heart broken.

She said: “I feel a million times better now I've left, but I defy anyone not to fall apart and be completely heartbroken.

“I chose my mental health over the reality show. It’s not nice. I have to put myself and my sanity first.”

Tony Close, Ofcom's director of content standards, said: "People who take part in TV and radio shows must be properly looked after by broadcasters, and these rules would ensure that happens.

Amber Gill and Greg O'Shea were the winning couple of Love Island 2019 (Credit: ITV2)

"These new safeguards must be effective. So we're listening carefully to programme participants, broadcasters, producers and psychologists before we finalise them."

The new guidance follows the controversy surrounding ITV's The Jeremy Kyle Show and Love Island.

Read more: 'Love Island' star Amy Hart on why she quit the show

Mike Thalassitis - who took part in the ITV2 dating reality show in 2017 - took his own life in March this year aged 26. His death followed the suicide of 2016 Love Island contestant Sophie Gradon aged 32 in June last year.

Jeremy Kyle guest Steven Dymond was found dead aged 63 from a suspected suicide in May this year, leading to the ITV show being axed.

If you’ve been affected by this story and want to talk to someone, you can call the Samaritans free on 116 123 or at jo@samaritans.org