Love Island bosses warned Ofcom could axe the show over unsatisfactory duty of care

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Love Island bosses have been warned the show could be axed if they fail to care for the show's cast by broadcast watchdog Ofcom.

The hit ITV2 show has put in place a lengthy new duty of care programme after the tragic suicides of two former contestants, Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis, and former host Caroline Flack.

But the watchdog's director of broadcasting standards, Adam Baxter, has warned ITV2 they are being scrutinised "harder than ever" during its current season.

The warning comes after viewers were left heartbroken for Hugo Hammond, who was the only male Islander not selected during a recent challenge.

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Adam said: "We're talking about shows like Love Island that attract a high level of media or social-media interest, involve conflict, emotionally challenging situations, or require a person to disclose life-changing or private aspects of their lives.

"We have the power in the most serious of cases to fine broadcasters or take away their licence to broadcast."

He continued that Ofcom would only stop a channel from broadcasting "in the most exceptional of cases" to protect "freedom of expression."

However, he added that they were expecting to be hit with "high volumes" of complaints regarding Love Island and other ITV reality shows.

Adam finished: "While we cannot guarantee true love for the cast of Love Island, we can assure viewers that each and every complaint is carefully looked at."

Ofcom's new warning for Love Island comes weeks after former contestant Niall Aslam slammed the show's bosses, and claimed they were responsible for his psychotic episode.

The 26 year old starred on the 2018 series of the hit ITV2 dating show but left shortly after spending a week in the villa, later revealing he has autism and had suffered a psychotic episode.

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He alleges he wasn't given the help he was promised before appearing on the show, which included being given plain food at mealtimes and having music that calmed him down played to him on request.

Speaking to the Mirror, Niall claims the food he had asked for didn't appear for four days and a crew member played him one song from his phone during a period in which he was stressed.

Niall acknowledged ITV's aftercare package for Islanders but says there isn't enough support for stars of the reality show before they enter the villa.

He continued: "It isn't necessarily aftercare [that’s the problem], it's pre-care. No-one talks about this. It's the before-care, it's the transparency and things like this that people don't actually talk about.

"It's the stuff they go on and during, it's not the after. Once it's done it's done, it's got to be hard regardless. it's the during and before that needs looking at."

A spokesperson for Love Island told OK!: "We fully supported Niall during and after he left Love Island and in line with his and his family's wishes. Our medical suppliers are contracted to look after the health and wellbeing of our Islanders.

"Welfare and duty of care towards our contributors is always our primary concern, and we have extensive measures in place to support the islanders before, during and after their participation on the show. We have continued to evolve our process with each series, as the level of social media and media attention around the islanders has increased, which includes enhanced psychological support, more detailed conversations with potential Islanders regarding the impact of participation on the show, bespoke training for all Islanders on social media and a proactive aftercare package."

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