Laura Whitmore overtakes Maura Higgins as favourite to replace Caroline Flack on Love Island
Laura Whitmore has emerged as the hot favourite to take over as the new presenter of 'Love Island.'
The first winter edition of the hit show is due to air on January 8 as it films from South Africa.
But the programme has been thrown into chaos after regular host Caroline Flack was charged by police in London in connection with an alleged assault during a row with her partner Lewis Burton.
Flack confirmed on her social media yesterday that she will not present the next series of the show.
"Love Island has been my world for the last five years, it's the best show on telly," she said.
"In order to not detract attention from the upcoming series I feel the best thing I can do is to stand down for Series 6.
"I want to wish the incredible team working on the show a fantastic series in Cape Town."
A spokesperson for ITV said that they will keep in touch with the well-known presenter.
"ITV has a long standing relationship with Caroline and we understand and accept her decision. We will remain in contact with her over the coming months about future series of Love Island," they said.
Now show insiders say that former MTV host Laura, who's in a relationship with Love Island's voice-over star Iain Sterling, has been in talks to front the next instalment of the dating show as bosses start casting for the new presenter.
Laura has been installed as the 11/8 favourite to take up the reins following Flack's shock decision to stand down.
Longford reality star Maura Higgins was also linked with the gig before boyfriend Curtis Pritchard said there was no truth to the rumours of her fronting the show.
Also in the running this week is radio and TV presenter Maya James at 11/4 alongside 'I'm a Celeb' star Emily Atack, Emma Willis and Holly Willoughby.
Boylesports spokesperson Lawrence Lyons said that Whitmore has stayed the strong favourite to step into Flack's stilettos on the show.
"Maura Higgins was the lead contender before Caroline Flack's announcement, but that money has dried up in the last couple of hours with Curtis Pritchard insisting that it's not going to happen," he said.
"As a result, we have to make Laura Whitmore the new frontrunner and with, links to the show already, she looks well positioned to land the gig."