'Love Island' contestant Marcel Somerville reveals 'strict testing' for STIs before show begins

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Watch: Trailer for Love Island return in summer 2021

Love Island contestants all have to undergo "strict testing" for STIs before they can enter the villa, according to former Islander Marcel Somerville.

Somerville told the Mirror that, although the show is less focused on whether the participants have sex than it used to be, ITV bosses still take sexual health very seriously.

Read more: Laura Whitmore says Love Island is not about appearances

The 35-year-old former member of Blazin' Squad said he chose not to go all the way during his time on the show in 2017, but that the show takes the necessary measures.

"There'll always be members of the cast who are more outgoing than others, and there'll be people who don't mind doing it," he said.

Marcel Somerville said he chose not to have sex during his time in the 'Love Island' villa. (David M. Benett/Getty Images for Mike's Hard Sparkling Water)
Marcel Somerville said he chose not to have sex during his time in the 'Love Island' villa. (David M. Benett/Getty Images for Mike's Hard Sparkling Water)

Somerville added: "It's definitely down to the cast members. If you do want to do it, then by all means do it. The show provides the necessary protection, so just be safe.

"The show does do strict testing beforehand just to make sure that everyone going on there is clean. They do quite a few tests to make sure you're clean and safe."

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Somerville said Love Island has "toned down" its content in recent years, cutting down on both sex and smoking due to awareness of the show's younger audience since it exploded in popularity on ITV2.

He said the series before his own featured "people doing it constantly" and that alcohol definitely played a part in that aspect of the show.

Marcel Somerville coupled up with Gabby Allen in the 'Love Island' villa. (ITV)
Marcel Somerville coupled up with Gabby Allen in the 'Love Island' villa. (ITV)

"In the early seasons people were drinking a lot more," said Somerville. "They changed it to a couple drinks per night so people weren't getting wasted and it wasn't like Ex on the Beach where people were drunk all the time and doing things they'd regret the next day.

"They wanted to make it so people's choices weren't being blurred and they've made it open to a wider audience because of that."

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Despite this, some former Islanders have suggested that there's a lot more sex in the villa than audiences are able to see, with Montana Brown — who appeared in the same series as Somerville — saying couples on the show have sex "genuinely everywhere".

2018 contestant Megan Barton Hanson echoed Brown's comments, revealing: "What's cheeky is if you had sex but denied it to production, they can't air the footage.

"So I would have had an easy life if I pretended that I didn't, like other girls. But I love sex and it was pretty obvious."

Megan Barton Hanson says there's more sex in the 'Love Island' villa than TV audiences are able to witness. (ITV)
Megan Barton Hanson says there's more sex in the 'Love Island' villa than TV audiences are able to witness. (ITV)

Somerville's comments come ahead of the highly-anticipated return of Love Island to TV screens, with the latest series due to commence on 28 June.

Last year's winter series was the last to air, with the summer run of the show cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more: Amy Hart ponders swapping Love Island for politics

Host Laura Whitmore and her husband— the show's voice-over guy Iain Stirling — announced on social media earlier this month that they have arrived in Mallorca ready to get things started.

The show has also revealed enhanced protocols to ensure the mental health of contestants, including a medical history report submitted by their GP and "comprehensive psychological support".

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