Laura Whitmore said she was “super excited” to be a part of Love Island and not just a viewer, as she prepared to jet to South Africa for the new series.
The former MTV host is fronting the winter series of the ITV2 dating show, after regular presenter Caroline Flack stepped down following an assault charge.
She said: “It’s the biggest and best TV show.
“Normally I’m sitting on my sofa watching it, which I’ll still be doing when I’m not out in South Africa, but I’m so glad to be a part of it too.”
“I can’t wait to meet the Islanders too,” she added.
Whitmore’s new role means she will be able to join her boyfriend Iain Stirling, who is currently the narrator for Love Island, in South Africa, where the new series gets under way on Sunday.
“I couldn’t possibly let him go out there and have fun without me,” said the 34-year-old.
“It will be nice. I’ve always said it, he’s one of the best things about the show. As the voiceover, he is the heart of it and he’s saying the things that people at home are thinking, but in a funnier way.
“He’s brilliant, the show is the way it is because of him and I feel lucky to now be a part of it.”
Whitmore believes the show’s success is due to its “human side”.
“Even though it might seem more dramatic in the villa at times, it’s still relationships, and everyone can find a connection in that,” she said.
“From my experience, and talking to my mum and my aunties and friends, Love Island is at the heart of the country, it’s what unites people.
“There is so much pessimism in the world and we are bombarded with negative things, especially in the winter time when it’s dark and cold.
“It’s nice to have this entertainment show that’s positive where we can watch these relationships progress.”
The new series will see 12 singletons, seven women and five men, enter a new luxury villa in Cape Town in the hope of finding a partner – and winning the £50,000 prize money.
The main show airs every night at 9pm on ITV2, apart from Saturdays, when Love Island: Unseen Bits airs instead.
Whitmore will also host Love Island: Aftersun, which will air on Monday nights at 10pm.
Flack has denied assaulting boyfriend Lewis Burton in an incident that allegedly left them both covered in blood in scenes likened to a “horror movie”.
She is alleged to have hit Burton over the head with a lamp, causing a head injury.
After entering a not guilty plea to the assault charge at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court, Flack was released on bail with conditions that stop her having any contact with Burton ahead of a trial on March 4.
Love Island starts Sunday at 9pm on ITV2.