Love Island Australia to film full season within 30 days

Despite a mayor withdrawing local support, Love Island is proceeding with filming as it races to meet a premiere deadline.

EXCLUSIVE: Filming of Nine reality series Love Island by ITV Studios Australia will proceed, despite a local mayor withdrawing support, and wrap within a tight 30 day period.

Byron mayor Michael Lyon has written to NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes to advise the council no longer supports filming after a crew member from I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, also an ITV Studios production, tested positive to COVID.

Minister Stokes is not expected to approving filming any longer than the 30 day period. But producers ITV Studios Australia have a 30 day window in which to legally shoot from the start of filming, and are proceeding to meet a premiere deadline.

ITV Studios Australia CEO David Mott told TV Tonight, “Following recent discussions with the Byron Shire Council we are excited to confirm that we are moving forward with Love Island Australia. We will be working within the parameters of our approvals that we have in place at the moment.

“I understand the environment in which we’re in. I am very grateful for the continued support of the Byron Shire Council, Create NSW and the New South Wales government.”

Council had previously approved a lengthy COVID-safe plan but withdrew support following the positive case.

The crew member from I’m a Celebrity undertook PCR testing prior to travelling from Sydney to Ballina with further rapid antigen tests and PCR with production. Whilst ITV has denied any production wrap party taking place, a result ultimately identified a positive case.

“That was picked up from our own COVID safe protocols. Not by New South Wales Health. It was by our own, and we are doing that to all employees on these shows.

“But we were clearly disappointed at what took place, given our COVID-safe plan was, incredibly comprehensive and arguably a leader in Australia when it comes to being a safe television environment,” says Mott.

“It was unfortunate, with this incident that took place with the one individual that was only filming a satellite shoot after the main show had finished. However, it happened. I’m disappointed it happened and I’m also disappointed for the local community that there had to be a lockdown. Clearly, we all have gone through lockdowns, and we know how challenging they are. It was very disappointing for us to see that occur.”

The crew member is now facing charges over allegedly breaching health orders.

It’s been a long road for the production of some 200 personnel, originally announced for the Gold Coast, before switching to Port Douglas and ultimately a 10ha property, Amileka in Federal.

“We can with confidence film the series and that’s what we’re doing. Our protocols will be very much a buttoned-down production, where no one from from the crew will be mixing with the public,” added Mott.

The show on air will be almost identical to what was proposed for Nine.

“I’ve got every confidence that will deliver (the show) to Nine pretty much in line with our original plan and schedule,” he explained.

“We’ll make a few pivots in a few areas but we are very excited. From the point of view of the viewer at home, you won’t see any difference at all to the show. In fact, wait until you see the Villa.”

Updated: Love Island is due to premiere on Monday October 11 on Nine.