ITV’s ‘lockdown Love Island’ The Cabins will include same-sex couples and queer contestants

LGBT+ stars of the cabins Sarah and Charlotte chat about their dating and relationship past

ITV2’s lockdown Love Island replacement The Cabins starts Monday (4 January) – and already it’s more LGBT-inclusive than its predecessor.

With Love Island off the cards this year due to the pandemic, ITV2 is debuting a brand-new format which sees paired-up singletons move into a cabin together for 24 hours (sans social distancing), before being given the choice to pair up or check out.

Where Love Island has been criticised over the years for failing to include LGBT+ contestants, with producers claiming the format wouldn’t allow for it, The Cabins’ very first episode treats viewer to a prospective lesbian romance.

In episode one, contestants Charlotte and Sarah are put in a cabin named “Otter’s Pocket” together.

Charlotte, 29, is the operations manager for a coffee company and only started dating women 18 months ago.

Discussing her preferences, she says: “I feel like I’m still learning my type. I definitely like the more alternative girls. Tattoos, piercings… and more tomboy than really girly.”

The heavily tattooed Sarah seems like the perfect match. The 26-year-old actress identifies as a lesbian but says: “If I fall for a guy I’ll give them a chance.”

At the start of the show, she adds: “Being gay, but not like your typical lesbian, I do often get girls that are kind of like intrigued. I don’t want to be experimented on any more, people quite evidently just want to get you into bed.

“I’ve never had something real. I’ve never had something where I’ve thought, ‘I’m going to be able to marry you.'”

Charlotte admits she thinks Sarah is “probably a bit out of my league” – but viewers will have to wait and see how their cabin date ends.

The Cabins was filmed in the UK earlier in 2020, and was able to go ahead after ITV put strict coronavirus safety protocols in place for filming.

All contestants had to isolate at a hotel and receive negative COVID test results before filming. The minimal crew all had to wear face masks and were regularly temperature checked during production.

The Cabins starts Monday at 9pm on ITV2.