British presenter Maya Jama will take over for Laura Whitmore as Love Island host when the reality TV show returns for its ninth series early next year.
Following the retirement of Laura Whitmore, the much-loved personality will take over as Love Island presenter in January, when the new winter season debuts in South Africa.
Whitmore, 37, was announced as a temporary host for both the show and its spin-off series Aftersun in 2020. The change was made permanent after the death of the previous presenter, Flack.
Maya is a rising TV star
There was a lot of presumption regarding Maya maybe winning the presenting role before the announcement. The presenter, at the age of 23, became the youngest person ever to co-host the MOBO Awards alongside Marvin Humes, a role she reprised in 2020. This year, she also co-hosted the BRIT Awards.
Although Maya, who is of Somali and Swedish descent, is most recognized for her on-screen work, she has also had a successful modeling career, having worked with labels such as Kurt Geiger, Gap, and Adidas.
Maya shares the news on her Instagram
Finally, Maya broke the news on her Instagram profile in a joint post with the official Love Island account, posting a video of herself browsing through her phone that panned out to show a backpack and a water bottle. She captioned the video:
‘Okay, the rumours are true. Say hey to your brand-new #LoveIsland host @mayajama!’
When she grinned brightly for the camera, people could hear the Love Island theme song in the background.
As Maya Jama was announced as the new Love Island presenter, people called her the new ‘Queen of TV’. The ITV2 dating show's winter series begins filming in South Africa in January, as reported by the Mirror.
She shared regarding the news:
‘I've always been such a massive Love Island fan and I'm so excited to be hosting one of the nation's favourite shows! I can't wait to get into the villa to meet all of the islanders’.
Below that post on social media, Maya commented: ‘SO BLOODY EXCITED. GET ME ON THAT ISLAND’.
Her famous friends, including previous presenter Laura Whitmore, rushed upon her to offer their congratulations on the new presenting position.
‘Yes girl!! So delighted for you! You’re gonna be fab’, the 37-year-old noted.
Radio 1 DJ Melvin Odoom also said: ‘Congratulations miss could only have been you, this is great news!’
Jama, an one-time Radio 1 DJ who has previously been on TV programs including Glow Up and Save Our Summer, will begin hosting the ninth season of the ITV2 reality dating series of Love Island early next year.
It will be the first of two series in 2023, the second of which will take place in Majorca once more during the summer and the first in South Africa.
Paul Mortimer, who is the ITV2's head of acquisitions and reality show, shared: ‘Finding a new host to follow the wonderful Laura Whitmore was never going to be easy’. He said:
‘In Maya Jama though, we have another high-profile fan of the show who'll be a great addition to the Love Island family.’
He continues praising Maya's attributes and claims she will 'bring a unique style' to the show:
‘Cool, charming and charismatic, I speak for us all when I say Maya will also bring a unique presenting style to the show, as did Laura and, of course, the very much missed Caroline Flack. We're very pleased to have her on board’.
Fans' reaction to Maya's new role
Fans appeared to be similarly pleased with ITV's choice of presenter, and many were quick to remark on the post.
‘IT’S ONLY RIGHT Queen of TV’, one Instagram account commented.
‘They couldn’t have hired someone better!!!!’, another posted.
A third complimented: ‘Love her in glow up! Going to love her in Love Island’.
‘Gna have to watch it now for this babee’, a fourth joined in, while a fifth said: ‘A hot new bombshell entering the villaaaaaaa @mayajama’.
Prior to Love Island, Maya, a TV, radio, and DJ, presented the MTV show True Love or Lies. She also took over as host of BBC Three's Glow Up: Britain's Next Make-Up Star from Stacey Dooley.
Aside from her career, Jama is also famous for her past relationship with American basketball star Ben Simmons this year, following a high-profile romance with Stormzy that came to an end in 2019. However, the couple divorced in September, citing incompatible work timetables.