Maya Jama: who is new Love Island host, is Ben Simmons her boyfriend - Laura Whitmore‘s replacement in profile

The TV presenter has previously fronted shows including BBC series Glow Up and Peter Crouch: Save Our Summer

Maya Jama has become the new Love Island host, following the surprise departure of Laura Whitmore in August. It comes after weeks of rumours, including this piece from The Sun.

The former BBC Radio 1 DJ will link up with the hit ITV show for its winter edition in South Africa in January 2023. She will then host its summer edition on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca.

Ms Jama, 28, has become the third host of Love Island since it launched in 2015. Caroline Flack hosted the show until her death in February 2020.

So, who is Maya Jama - and what’s the latest news about her unveiling as the TV show’s new host? Here’s everything you need to know.

Maya Jama is rumoured to be the next host of Love Island (image: Getty Images)

Who is Maya Jama?

Maya Jama, 28, is a radio DJ and TV presenter from Bristol.

She started her career at several small TV channels and media organisations, before getting her first major break on ITV in 2017 when she co-presented Saturday night game show Cannonball.

In 2018, she joined BBC Radio 1 and hosted her own show on Fridays and Saturdays until 2020. The BBC then made her a co-presenter of Peter Crouch: Save Our Summer - a show that was originally meant to accompany Euro 2020 but became a standalone show when the football tournament was delayed for a year due to the Covid pandemic.

Jama currently fronts up BBC reality show Glow Up: Britain’s Next Make-Up Star and regularly appears on panel shows and on BBC coverage of major public celebrations.

Maya Jama has previously fronted BBC series Glow UP (image: Getty Images)

Is Maya Jama’s boyfriend still Ben Simmons?

Maya Jama’s love life has been the focus of tabloid attention for several years as a result of a high-profile relationship with the rapper Stormzy. The couple were together between 2015 and 2019.

In 2021, it was reported she was dating Australian basketball star Ben Simmons, 26. Simmons is a member of NBA team the Brooklyn Nets.

After getting engaged on Christmas Day in 2021, it was confirmed the pair had split in September 2022 as a result of their busy schedules and the distance between their homes - Jama being based in London.

Sources described the split as amicable but “heartbreaking” for the pair..

Will Maya Jama be new Love Island host?

Laura Whitmore said she was leaving Love Island in August due to elements she found “very difficult” as well as diary clashes. The Irish presenter stepped in for Caroline Flack in 2020 after the 40-year-old committed suicide.

Several names had been in the hat to become the show’s third presenter, including Inbetweeners star Emily Atack, presenters AJ Odudu and Vick Hope, and former contestant Maura Higgins.

Love Island is one of ITV’s most popular TV programmes (image: PA)

But Maya Jama has won the race and was confirmed as the show’s new host on Wednesday (12 October). A contract to front the series was on the verge of being signed weeks ago, according to an ITV source quoted in The Sun. The source described Jama as the broadcaster’s “dream option”.

Reporting by the tabloid also quoted the source as saying Jama had been considered as a replacement for Caroline Flack in 2020.

Responding to the announcement, Maya Jama said: “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.”

Paul Mortimer, director of reality programming and acquisitions and a controller at ITV2, ITVBe and CITV, said: “Finding a new host to follow the wonderful Laura Whitmore was never going to be easy. In Maya Jama though, we have another high-profile fan of the show who’ll be a great addition to the Love Island family.

“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.”