Love Island viewers urge show to impose a minimum age restriction after ‘mad’ age gaps in first episode

Michael Owen’s daughter Gemma is currently the youngest in the villa

Meet every contestant from this year's Love Island

Love Island viewers have criticised the age gaps between contestants on this year’s series.

ITV’s hit dating show returned for its eighth season on Monday night (6 June) with 11 new singletons entering the villa for their shot at finding love (and £50,000 in prize money).

Several talking points emerged from the first episode, with one surrounding the age gap between the islanders.

Currently, Michael Owen’s 19-year-old daughter Gemma is the youngest in the villa. The second youngest is Liam at 22 years old.

Fans on Twitter started to discuss the topic of ages, particuarly when Gemma said she was interested in newcomer Davide who is 27. Many called the eight-year age gap “mad”.

One person wrote on Twitter: “19 and 27 is a mad age gap,” with another writing: “Nah, Gemma’s age means I can’t see her with any of them. Just feels wrong.”

Many fans have now suggested that Love Island impose a minimum age requirement on contestants.

“Please please please have a minimum age requirement of 21. I don’t want to see a 19-year-old kissing someone who’s pushing 30,” said one person.

“Needs to be an age limit on Love Island cos 19 is f***ing weird when there’s people in there touching 30,” said another.

Someone else wrote: “When taking into account the potential risks to the mental wellbeing of contestants on Love Island as demonstrated through past events, it strikes me as utterly bizarre and irresponsible that the producers would this year decide to throw a teenager into the mix.”

The Independent has contacted a representative of ITV for comment.

You can read The Independent’s review of the first episode of Love Island here. In response to the conversation surrounding age-gaps on the programme, The Independent’s Laura Hampston has researched into when age-gaps in relationships become inappropriate.

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Also following the episode, many viewers were left in hysterics over new contestant Liam’s ridiculous Elton John blunder as well as Swansea paramedic Paige’s remarks about “the mafia” to Davide.

You can find all the up-to-date details for what time Love Island starts daily here and the current odds here.

Tuesday night’s episode (7 June) will see newcomer Davide picking which girl to couple up with, leaving one of the boys single.

Love Island continues on ITV2 at 9pm every night except Saturdays.

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