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Maya Jama steps out in NYC amid claims she's 'a frontrunner to take over as Love Island host'


She’s reportedly one of the frontrunners to replace Laura Whitmore as the host of Love Island.

So it was no surprise that Maya Jama had a spring in her step as she headed out for a stroll in New York City on Tuesday.

The presenter, 28, opted for baggy blue jeans and an oversized white shirt as she emerged in the city, following reports bosses hope she could bring a ‘cooler edge’ to the ITV2 show.

Casual: Maya Jama, 28, cut a relaxed figure as she stepped out in New York City on Tuesday, following reports she's one of the frontrunners to replace Laura Whitmore as Love Island host

Casual: Maya Jama, 28, cut a relaxed figure as she stepped out in New York City on Tuesday, following reports she’s one of the frontrunners to replace Laura Whitmore as Love Island host

Maya cut a relaxed figure in loose-fitting boyfriend jeans and a baggy shirt as she headed into the Big Apple.

The DJ sported comfy white sandals and a black handbag as she enjoyed the New York sunshine.

Following Laura’s announcement that she would be stepping down as Love Island’s host, it was reported that Maya and Vicky Hope are the frontrunners to replace her.

Irish TV star Laura revealed her shock decision to quit her job after three years on Monday – blaming, in part, the format of the show for her career choice. 

Out and about: The presenter opted for baggy blue jeans and an oversized white shirt as she emerged in the city, teamed with matching white sandals and a black handbag

Out and about: The presenter opted for baggy blue jeans and an oversized white shirt as she emerged in the city, teamed with matching white sandals and a black handbag

Career move: Following Laura's announcement on Monday that she was quitting Love Island, Maya (pictured) and Vick Hope are reportedly the frontrunners to replace her

Career move: Following Laura’s announcement on Monday that she was quitting Love Island, Maya (pictured) and Vick Hope are reportedly the frontrunners to replace her

A TV source told The Sun of Maya and Vick: ‘They’re viewed as two glamorous, fun figures who would also bring a slightly cooler edge to the format.

‘Over the past three years they’ve both seen their careers go from strength to strength, and have the high profile to match that of the hit ITV show. 

‘It’s going to be a close call who ITV bosses will pick in the end.’

Representatives for Maya, Vick and ITV have been contacted by MailOnline for comment.

Stars: According to The Sun, presenter Maya, 28, and TV and radio star Vick, 32, (pictured) are reportedly being considered first by ITV bosses for the role to bring a 'cooler edge' to the show

Stars: According to The Sun, presenter Maya, 28, and TV and radio star Vick, 32, (pictured) are reportedly being considered first by ITV bosses for the role to bring a ‘cooler edge’ to the show

Maya has presenting experience on shows such as Walk the Line and Soccer Aid while Vick has fronted spin off shows for The X Factor, The Voice and I’m A Celebrity.  

Laura may have only announced she was quitting as Love Island host on Monday evening, but already fans are speculating as to who will take over.

Lovers of the show have thrown other big names from British telly into the mix, including AJ Odudu, Emily Atack and this year’s winner Ekin-Su Culculoglu.

Fans of the hit show took to Twitter within seconds of the announcement to share who they hope will take over from her – with Bristol born beauty Maya a runaway favourite with fans. 

Bye: Irish TV star Laura (pictured) revealed her shock decision to quit her job after three years on Monday - blaming, in part, the format of the show for her career choice

Bye: Irish TV star Laura (pictured) revealed her shock decision to quit her job after three years on Monday – blaming, in part, the format of the show for her career choice

‘So Laura Whitmore is stepping down from #LoveIsland – can someone clear @MayaJama ‘s diary for the winter and summer please,’ one said. 

Another wrote: ‘Maya Jama should host love island. She was in the line up of who would host it when Caroline flack left before the first winter one started #loveisland.’

A third suggested: ‘Petition for @MayaJama to be the new love island host #loveisland.’

Another contender among fans is Emily Atack, who stars on Celebrity Juice with Laura, with one fan declaring ‘she is definitely going to be in the running’ as they pointed out her long history with ITV. 

Popular choice: Another contender among fans is Emily Atack, who stars on Celebrity Juice with Laura

Popular choice: Another contender among fans is Emily Atack, who stars on Celebrity Juice with Laura

Another runner for the coveted title was AJ Odudu as one fan tweeted: ‘Also please add in @AJOdudu as an option to present #LoveIsland thanks. I can already imagine her strutting into the villa ready to unleash the DRAMA.’ 

One AJ fan pointed out the presenter has experience hosting live reality TV shows as she hosted the Married At First Sight UK spin-off last year.

‘I would love AJ Odudu to do it. She’s brilliant on MAFS after show.’ Another simply stated that the beauty ‘would kill the slow mo walk’.

Meanwhile, this years winner Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu was also a firm favourite, a social media user commented: ‘I would love Ekin-Su or Maya Jama to host love island. #LoveIsland.’

Contender: Meanwhile, this years winner Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu was also a firm favourite for the role among fans

Contender: Meanwhile, this years winner Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu was also a firm favourite for the role among fans 

Another echoed: ‘Is Ekinsu coming? Laura is leaving #LoveIsland.’

Mentioning another former contestant, a user wrote: ‘Top 3 to be in the running to replace Laura whitmore… @ekinsuofficial @MayaJama and @MauraHiggins #loveisland.’ 

Other fans even petitioned to get Ekin’s boyfriend Davide Sanclimenti to co-host. ‘Ekin-Su to present with Davide taking Stirling’s job! Can you even imagine his one liners.’ 

Others though were keen to see Love Island superfan Sam Thompson get a chance at the hosting gig.

Host: Laura, 37, joined Love Island back in 2020 and has hosted the hugely popular reality TV show for three series

Host: Laura, 37, joined Love Island back in 2020 and has hosted the hugely popular reality TV show for three series

The former Made In Chelsea star famously shared his love for the show this year when he watched along with his Instagram followers, and his ex Love Island contestant girlfriend Zara McDermott. 

‘Get an ACTUAL Love Island fan who enjoys to host the show like Sam Thompson’ tweeted one viewer.

‘I’m sorry but Sam Thompson should be the new host of Love Island!! I crack up at his videos every night whilst watching it and he would 10000% give it his all!’ agreed another.

Leaving: But on Monday, the star took to her Instagram to confirm that she would be leaving the show, saying she has found flying back and forth from the villa 'very difficult'

Leaving: But on Monday, the star took to her Instagram to confirm that she would be leaving the show, saying she has found flying back and forth from the villa ‘very difficult’

Sam’s girlfriend Zara seemed to back Sam when she posted on Instagram on Monday: 

‘Massive respect to you @thewhitmore a wonderful host with gorgeous energy! I wonder who will host it next though?’

Ladbrokes has opened betting on who will replace Laura with Maya chalked up as the early favourite at odds of 3/1, ahead of Emily at 4/1. 

Former Love Island contestant Maura Higgins is also high on the list at odds of 5/1 to land the high profile gig.

Other names include Rylan Clark at 8/1 and Mo Gilligan at 14/1, with Vicky Pattinson a 25/1 outsider.

In her statement, Laura said she was only planning to fill in for Caroline for one series, emotionally saying that she hope she did her late friend ‘proud’.

The TV presenter’s stint on the ITV2 dating show received mixed reviews this season; some viewers praised her handling of sensitive topics, while others criticised her for ‘encouraging slut-shaming’ in a segment which sparked 427 Ofcom complaints. 

Taking to Instagram, Laura said: ‘Some news! I won’t be hosting the next series of Love island. 

Huge fan: Others though were keen to see Love Island super fan Sam Thompson get a chance at the hosting gig

Huge fan: Others though were keen to see Love Island super fan Sam Thompson get a chance at the hosting gig

‘There are certain elements of the show I’ve found very difficult that cannot be changed some due to the format, including the flying back and forth to South Africa along with my new conflicting projects.  

‘I wish it was still possible but know you’ll be in safe hands. I was only planning to fill in for Caroline for a series and it turned into 3 series.

‘I hope I did you proud Caroline.’

Speaking of Laura’s exit, an ITV spokesperson said: ‘Laura has been a fantastic host across the last three series of the show. 

‘We are so grateful for everything she has brought to the programme but understand and respect her decision, and we look forward to working with her on upcoming ITV projects.’

ITV have not announced who will be replacing Laura as the show’s host for the upcoming winter series of Love Island at the start of 2023. 

Laura – who shares daughter Stevie Ré with Love Island narrator husband Iain Stirling – took over as Love Island host for the 2020 winter series in South Africa.

She has since hosted series seven and eight of the ITV2 dating show, with the latest series seeing Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu and Davide Sanclimenti crowned as winners earlier this month. 

Tribute: Laura said she was only planning to fill in for former host Caroline Flack - who took her own life in February 2020 - for one series, saying she hope she did her late friend 'proud'

Tribute: Laura said she was only planning to fill in for former host Caroline Flack – who took her own life in February 2020 – for one series, saying she hope she did her late friend ‘proud’

The presenter previously hosted I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! NOW! for five series starting in 2011 while she was also a Eurovision commentator in 2014.

Laura also competed in Strictly Come Dancing in 2016 with professional dancer Giovanni Pernice, but was the fifth celebrity to be voted out.

The model is making a change in her career as she is set to make her West End debut as Jenny in 2:22 A Ghost Story in September.

Lily Allen, Tom Felton, Mandip Gill and Giovanna Fletcher have previously starred in the popular theatre production, with Laura set to perform alongside Felix Scott, Tamsin Carroll and Matt Willis.

Couple: Laura shares a daughter Stevie Ré with her husband Iain Stirling (both pictured in November), who is the Love Island narrator

Couple: Laura shares a daughter Stevie Ré with her husband Iain Stirling (both pictured in November), who is the Love Island narrator 

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