Davina McCall to host new ITV dating show for ‘grown-ups’ after calling for ‘middle-aged Love Island’

Davina McCall has been announced as the host of a new ITV dating show for single parents.

The former Big Brother host has been a public supporter of a “middle-aged” alternative to Love Island, saying in January that she’d asked ITV to create such a programme.

On Thursday (16 March), McCall revealed that her hopes had been answered, as she announced that she was the host of ITV’s new dating show The Romance Retreat.

In a video posted to Instagram, McCall said: “I manifested and I made it happen. I willed there to be an amazing new dating programme for grown ups… and it’s happening.”

Encouraging people to sign up for the show, she continued: “Do you want to find love? Do you have a parent you think, if you’re over 18, deserves to find love?... I am gonna help you.”

In the caption, McCall, 55, wrote: “This is a show for single parents who have lived a life, have stories to tell about their dating pasts and deserve another chance at love and I’m gonna help you.”

The presenter said that the show will take place in “the most romantic countryside location” and that they are particularly looking for men to apply.

The application page describes The Romance Retreat as “the ONLY dating show where single parents can search for love, by spending time in a luxury retreat, where all the parents have been nominated by their grown up children”.

Applications are open now and close on Friday 31 March at 11.59pm. You can apply here.

While appearing on The Diary of a CEO podcast in January, McCall said that she’d spoken to ITV about her ideas for a Love Island-esque dating show for older people, who had told her that they already had a show in the works and would consider her.

“I could fill a villa in Love Island with middle-aged people with the best backstories you have ever heard in your life,” she said.

“They’ve lived a life, they’re widows, they’re people who have been through horrific divorces. They are people who have split up with somebody and decided they want to try and go out with somebody of the same sex as them, like interesting people.”

Love Island host Maya Jama backed the calls, saying that she thought there should be an “all-ages” version of the show.

“Get them all in, get the nans and grandads… maybe next time,” she said.