Love Island 'signs first blind contestant' for ground-breaking new line-up

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Love Island
Love Island 'signs first blind contestant' for ground-breaking new line-up

Love Island has signed its first ever partially sighted contestant as part of its new winter series starting next week.

Ron Hall, 26, from Essex lost the sight in his right eye as a child playing football.

The finance worker is said to be already in South Africa to join the starting line up of this year's winter Love Island, as it returns after a three-year hiatus.

The latest ITV series will also feature a new presenter with Maya Jama taking over from previous host Laura Whitmore as well as new rules for contestants around social media and guidance to support contestants wellbeing and to have 'mutually respectful behaviour in relationships'.

Love Island 'signs first blind contestant' for ground-breaking new line-up rridqziqtqitinvRon will join other singletons looking for love on this year's series (ronhall__/Instagram)
Love Island 'signs first blind contestant' for ground-breaking new line-upThe new series will air on Monday 16th January (ronhall__/Instagram)

Sport-loving Ron will join a host of other eager singletons looking for love as the new series is filmed from a luxury £1.2 million villa in South Africa.

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A source on the ITV2 show told The Sun : "The casting team are excited by the signing. It’s a really positive move to have more diversity on-screen, especially as there are so few blind people on telly.

"Ron is great guy, he’s got loads of mates and is sports mad, he loves golf and has recently taken up boxing.

"He’s keen to meet new people and, hopefully, find love.

"He’s also really open about his disability and is hoping to raise awareness and help others by discussing it on screen."

Love Island 'signs first blind contestant' for ground-breaking new line-upRon Hall, 26, will be the first ever partially sighted contestant on Love Island (ronhall__/Instagram)
Love Island 'signs first blind contestant' for ground-breaking new line-upMaya Jama is hosting the latest series of the hit ITV dating show (Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Ron isn't the first contestant on Love Island with a disability, as last year featured deaf model Tasha Ghouri. Whilst filming in the series last summer, Tasha didn't let her disability hold her back and instead defines her hearing loss as "a superpower" instead.

The 24-year-old blonde model and dancer went on to find love with Andrew Le Page.

The move to include a more diverse range of contestants in this year's Love Island series comes after the series made some significant changes ahead of airing in 2023.

Love Island 'signs first blind contestant' for ground-breaking new line-upITV bosses are hoping to make the next series more diverse (ITV)

The ITV2 show announced that the new stars must agree to pause their handles for the duration of their time on the show.

Islanders’ accounts will remain dormant while they are in the villa and nothing can be published on their behalf.

In the past contestants' family or friends have been responsible for sharing content on the stars' social media accounts while they're on the show.

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New Islanders will also be receiving training and guidance 'around mutually respectful behaviour in relationships.'

Not only will the contestants receive training, but they will also be given advice on how to deal with being constantly filmed and social media trolling.

Last season saw the programme break records with its viewing figures as the series become the most-watched series ever on ITV Hub, amassing over 269 million streams.

Niamh Spence

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