It’s me again girlies, and this week, we’re talking about one of my personal favourite subjects: reality TV. While I’m not one to usually complain about getting to see Maya Jama on my screen every night, it is now starting to feel as though Love Island is just perpetually on the TV. First, we had Love Island Games and now with Love Island: All-Stars on, it seems like we simply can’t escape that bloody firepit. So, while we’re stuck watching Georgia Steel do the most on our screens, let’s at least try and work out how much these people are actually getting paid. More specifically, are the All Stars cast getting paid more than the normal contestants are?
Despite the show having been around for almost a decade—mad, right?—there’s still a lot of confusion surrounding the compensation contestants receive and the actual financial pros of going on the show. It might appear as though it’s a gig that’s going to easily lead to massive brand deals and easy income, but in reality, it’s a lot more difficult than you think. Trust me, I’ve been chronically online enough to know these things.
First things first, normal contestants who compete in the annual summer and winter series allegedly get paid approximately £375 a week, which basically rounds out to about £2.23 an hour.
This has been criticised by a lot of the former islanders for being too low. In fact, one contestant, Coco Lodge who was on the show in 2022, has been very vocal about the difficulties she faced coming out of the villa and the social stigma she felt after she returned to her day job, which was working in a nightclub.
Of course, it’s unrealistic to think that everyone who goes into Love Island is going to come out with a PrettyLittleThing (PLT) brand deal and a Boots collaboration. That being said, it definitely has worked out for certain islanders.
Molly-Mae Hague, who appeared on season 5 of the show and ended up going on to have a baby with her match Tommy Fury, has undoubtedly been one of the most financially successful Love Island contestants. Hague is reportedly worth an impressive £6 million—presumably due to her lengthy collaboration with PLT, one so monumental that it even resulted in the reality TV being hired as the fast fashion’s Creative Director.
Another islander who absolutely put their stint on the show to good use is Amber Gill, a contestant who also starred on the show during season 5 and actually went on to win the show. In fact, Gill’s collaboration with Boohoo-owned label MissPap reportedly helped drive annual sales to £1 billion for the first time.
Some contestants have complained that the current social media ban that’s been put in place to try and protect islanders’ families from online abuse has negatively impacted potential brand opportunities. Their understandable argument is that they’re being less exposed to the public, gaining less of a following, and subsequently not getting as many deals post-show.
Now, there’s also been quite a lot of controversy over how much the All Stars cast is getting paid—and the argument is twofold. For context, the Love Island: All-Stars contestants are supposedly getting paid £2,000 a week—working out at about £11 per hour in the islanders’ blissful 24-hour day.
This is, of course, much more than the average islander. While the argument can be made that the All Stars are already recognisable figures and therefore automatically draw more interest to the show, there’s also something to be said about the massive disparity between the two pay tiers.
There’s not a human in the UK who doesn’t bloody love The Traitors. I mean, I could stare at Claudia Winkleman’s fringe all day long if she’d let me. So, I thought it was only fair we include them in the research. Plus, we all know Harry’s walked away from season two absolutely rolling in it, but how did the other cast members do?
Just for comparison, according to 2023 season one winner Aaron Evans, The Traitors cast members are also compensated for appearing on the show. While the exact figure isn’t known, Evans revealed to Capital London that the cast were paid around £100 per day.