Love Island: An interview with Ian Stirling


When Love Island UK was revived in 2015 after two celebrity seasons in 2005 and 2006, Ian Stirling signed up to host the legendary dating reality show. The narrator’s job is the most important of all, as he acts as a Big Brother-like figure and chronicles the couples’ actions in the series. As the fans said, there wouldn’t be a Love Island in the UK without Ian’s brilliant comment. Whether he shows up on intimate dates to make witty jokes about co-stars on set, or informs viewers about who’s dating whom, a dating reality show definitely wouldn’t be the same without Ian’s clever comedic skills.

The Scottish comedian became famous as a comedy genius long before he settled in the Love Island villa in the UK. Ian studied law at Edinburgh University, but found his place in comedy and changed careers after winning several comedy competitions in his final year of university. The Voice of Love Island, UK, started on the CBBC program with Hacker T Dog, a border terrier puppet, but soon Ian reached great comedic heights. The BAFTA winner has also toured as a comedian and even filmed his own comedy Failing Upwards on Amazon Prime.

When the premiere of “Love Island in the USA” took place in July 2019, Ian, unfortunately, did not go to the United States. Instead, TV host Matthew Hoffman took charge of the show’s narration. However, on June 15, it was announced that Ian would be the narrator of the fourth season of the American version, and fans can’t wait to see what the comedian has prepared. Screen Rant had the opportunity to talk to Ian about his iconic role on Love Island in the UK as he prepares to take on the role of narrator in the Western Hemisphere.

How does the storytelling process work? Do they show you fully edited episodes or do they show you certain clips that you can tell?

No, we get completely edited, full of junk. So, we’re coming in pretty late. We’ll come in at about two o’clock in the afternoon, and then, in fact, the show will be almost over, and then we’ll just watch the episode as a viewer, you know? And then we decide what we think about it and, you know, all these little things and little things, and then we just write it all down. This means that our day is quite short, which is very nice. I intentionally don’t watch any excerpts, excerpts or anything like that because I don’t really want to know anything that the viewer doesn’t know. I think it’s easier for me.

Do you watch episodes when they air and do you like to hear the sound of your own voice telling the show?

I’m going to be completely honest with you here, okay? In the beginning I was really reviewing it. Eight episodes? I don’t review it very often. But my wife watches it, and sometimes I watch it with her. It’s weird to hear my own voice, but it must really annoy my wife, because obviously she has to react to all the jokes because I’m sitting with her. Maybe it will be easier if we don’t watch it together, because then she won’t try to pretend to laugh at something, you know?

Do you have certain seasons or actors that you really loved watching?

Yes, I have some absolute favorites from the British TV series 1, which, if you’ve never seen it, is absolutely wild, and you should see it. John and Hannah from the first season are one of my favorite couples of all time. And that includes the royal family and all that. They’re just the best couple. So yes, I really like them from the first series. They were like my cream. I know it was kind of the first series that really got us all excited, and all that stuff.

Do you think that the success of “Love Island” served as a source of inspiration for other dating reality shows, such as the reboot of “Temptation Island”?

Yes, one hundred percent, they are all trying to copy us. But they can’t be us because we are originals. Are you talking OGs in America? Yes, I say it then. We are OG.

You’ve said in the past that Margot Robbie is a big fan of the series. Do you know other celebrities who are fans and who was the most shocking?

Amy Schumer was a huge shock to me. I used to live with a comedian named Phil Wang, he has a special stand-up on Netflix, and when he first met Amy, since he and Amy are pretty friendly now, he first met her when she was watching “Love Island”, so he had this weird thing, like he met Amy Schumer, which is obviously crazy, because comedian Amy Schumer looks like one of our heroes. We all worship Amy Schumer, and she watched a TV show that talked about his former roommate (roommate, I think, in America). Amy Schumer and Margot Robbie are probably the biggest. Barack Obama is one of them. I could have made up the latter.

The British version of the show has some kind of iconic language, and I, as an American, usually have to watch with subtitles.