Love Island: What time does it start tonight and how is the winter edition different from the summer series?

The new season of Love Island is back, with the reality show’s winter edition returning for the first time since 2020.

While the show usually airs during long, light-filled, sweltering summer evenings, this time viewers might be watching it under a blanket with a warm brew.

A whole new batch of singletons have entered the villa, including the show’s first partially sighted star, a contestant with Vitiligo, and one who has been a body double for Emma Watson.

This is only the second-ever winter edition of the ITV2 show, which hasn’t aired since 2020 due to Covid restrictions. It is also the first series with Maya Jama as the show’s new host.

See all the talking points from season nine’s first episode here.

Here’s everything you need to know, from when the new season is airing to how it will be different from the summer version…

When does the winter edition of Love Island air?

The new season of Love Island kicked off at 9pm on Monday 16 January 2023 on ITV2.

It will air nightly at 9pm on ITV2 from Sunday to Friday, with an Unseen Bits episode airing every Saturday, and spin-off series After Sun following the show each Sunday.

How long will the series go on for?

The winter edition is expected to be roughly the same length as the summer series – usually eight weeks. This means we can expect the final to air in mid-March.

‘Love Island’ villa in Cape Twon (ITV)
‘Love Island’ villa in Cape Twon (ITV)

How is the winter edition different to the summer series?

The big difference about the winter edition of Love Island is that it’s filmed in Cape Town, South Africa, instead of in Majorca, Spain.

According to reports, the property – which has views of Table Mountain – is worth more than £5m, and has an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a rugby pitch, a zip line, a 400m running track, and a private lake.

It is said to have 17 bedrooms and is named Ludus Magnus after Rome’s ancient gladiator school.

This season also happens to be the first one in which Maya Jama is the host (taking over from Laura Whitmore).

For the first time, contestants’ socials will be dormant while they’re in the villa in efforts to prevent the “adverse effects of social media”.

And in another unprecedented move from show bosses, viewers have the chance to choose the first male or female bombshell to enter the villa.