CONTESTANT Ollie Williams has quit Love Island after just three days amid outrage over photos that exposed him as a big game trophy hunter.
The Cornish aristocrat, 23, insisted he was flying home from South Africa because he had realised he was still in love with his ex-girlfriend.
It came as an online petition calling for him to be removed from the ITV2 reality show over the animal killings passed 40,000 signatures. TV watchdog Ofcom said it had received 467 complaints about his appearance on the programme.
Some fans of the show expressed scepticism as it emerged he was quitting, with one claiming on social media: ‘He was pushed — they don’t want the complaints to tarnish their Love Island brand.’
It is the latest controversy to hit the show after host Caroline Flack quit over assault charges, which she denies, and was replaced by Laura Whitmore. Viewing figures slumped for Sunday’s launch of its first winter series, with 2.5million tuning in. Last summer’s opener drew 3.3million.
Williams had been paired up with music star Lewis Capaldi’s ex, Paige Turley. But she said she did not fancy him and viewers will tonight see him explain his exit in the ‘beach hut’, where contestants can confide their feelings. The heir to the Lanhydrock estate told the cameras: ‘I have to be honest with myself, and everyone, that I do still love someone else. This is Love Island and it’s about finding love. If I carried on anything with Paige, or any other girl that might come into the villa, it wouldn’t be fair on them.’
It was unclear which of his exes Williams was referring to. He split up last year with Laura Nofer, 23, after they dated for 18 months. And he confided to Turley, 22, that he cheated nine times on a girl he was with for four years.
Williams runs a hunting firm, Cornish Sporting Agency. Photos on Instagram showed him in Africa with prey such as warthogs. Deleted ahead of his debut on TV, they surfaced at the weekend as the petition was launched.