A record 3.63 million people tuned in to watch as Amber Gill and Greg O’Shea were crowned the surprise winners of this year’s Love Island, ITV has said.
Monday’s episode was also streamed by a further 400,000 fans on non-TV devices such as phones and tablets.
The TV viewing figures were up slightly from 3.56 million for the climax of the 2018 series, won by Dani Dyer and Jack Fincham, making this year’s the most-watched Love Island final ever.
It was also the most-watched episode of the series, which has been a ratings triumph for ITV2 as fans follow the couplings, dumpings, snogs, fights and all the drama from the Majorcan villa.
Amber and Greg were the surprise winners, beating favourites Molly-Mae Hague and Tommy Fury, who had been together for most of the two-month series, to take home the £50,000 prize.
Greg only entered the villa in the 16 July episode, as the very last “bombshell” – Love Island lingo for the contestants added in after the originals.
He said: “I never thought this was going to happen at any stage. I wasn’t even in the villa two weeks ago, I wasn’t here two weeks ago and obviously the public saw us kick it off and it just went from there.”
Amber said: “It’s amazing, I have no words.”
Viewers watched as Greg helped make Amber “smile again” after she was dumped by former contestant Michael Griffiths for Casa Amor newcomer Joanna Chimonides.
After Joanna was axed, Michael attempted to revive his romance with Amber – but she was having none of it, instead chose to pursue her blossoming relationship with Greg.
One of this year’s most popular contestants, Amber already has 1.8 million followers on Instagram, while Greg has 587,000, and the pair now stand to rake in a lucrative income in endorsements and appearances.
The show, now in its fifth year, has proved such a hit that it has been confirmed to run for two series in 2020, with a winter show in South Africa.
Earlier this year, ITV announced an enhanced duty of care process for participants on the show, including a minimum of eight therapy sessions, following the deaths of former contestants Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis.
On Monday, Ofcom announced proposals for new rules to ensure people who take part in television and radio shows are properly looked after by broadcasters.
The Commons digital, culture, media and sport committee has also launched an inquiry into reality TV following the deaths of Gradon and Thalassitis, and The Jeremy Kyle Show participant Steve Dymond.
Ofcom received a total of 3,094 complaints about this series of Love Island, with Maura Higgins’ attempts to kiss Tommy sparking 709 of these, the highest number.
The watchdog said it assessed the allegations of “sexual harassment” but that they did not warrant investigation.
Separate complaints about “abusive behaviour” and “bullying” have also been assessed but will not be investigated.
Ofcom said that complaints regarding Michael’s treatment of Amber during two separate episodes are still being assessed.
courtesy of Sky News