love island
Love Island's third season debuted on 5 June ITV

It is official, the Love Island vibe is sweeping the country. Every night, millions are tuning in to ITV2 to watch a group of young, gorgeous but vain singletons battle it out in search of what is loosely said to be "romance". Critics may have initially turned up their noses at another dating show but, frankly, Love Island 2017 has proved to be a massive guilty pleasure - and addictive reality TV at its finest.

So what is the big obsession?

All of the romantic action takes place in a beautiful sun-kissed villa in Spain, reported to be located in the small town of Ses Salines along the east coast of Majorca. Hosted by Caroline Flack, Love Island is a reboot of the original noughties series which returned in 2015. Its third season is currently airing.

Hopefuls like Marcel Somerville, Camilla Thurlow, Kem Cetinay and Olivia Attwood have won over a TV audience this series with their saucy shenanigans. Basically, TV producers are keen for contestants to "get it on" and many already have. But apart from the main action, what has also been essential viewing is Twitter as a second-screen device by your side: a nation has laughed, guffawed and cried over 140 characters while the scantily-clad wannabees pour out their hearts to each other.

Why is Love Island so addictive?

The current season of Love Island has attracted thousands of new viewers but also, rather surprisingly, many male fans who begrudgingly tuned in to the guilty pleasure.

Matthew Thompson, 28, is a regular viewer of Love Island and told IBTimes UK why he thinks an increasing amount of men are tuning in.

Thompson said: "Personally I watch it because I think 80% of the people on it are ridiculously overdramatic and I love all the tears, tantrums and disbelief when people get pied [dumped] off.

"I think the initial attraction for men was all the memes about Marcel who's actually turned out to be a quality guy. But for me the star of the show is Kem who's hilarious with his one-liners. As for how realistic it is to dating in real life, I think it's pretty accurate. The sad truth is that a lot of people date until the next best thing comes along and, like I said, then there are a lot of tears and tantrums."

Love Island Marcel
gabby allen
The nation is rooting for Love Island season three's first official couple, Marcel and Gabby

How does Love Island work?

The objective of Love Island is simple – to find "the one". But, as they say, the path of true love never runs smooth and the islanders spend weeks couple-swapping until they are either dumped from the island or have sailed to the finale with their partner.

Each week, Flack visits the villa for the nerve-wracking recoupling session where the boys and girls take it in turns to pick the partner they wish to share their bed with. New singletons arrive throughout the series to throw a spanner in the works and test the durability of the existing couples – while of course keeping the show fresh. Viewers can get involved by voting for the most compatible couple on a weekly basis – the pairing with the lowest vote gets dumped from the island.

The end game is a £50,000 prize fund for the winning lovebirds – but in a twist, they can either choose to split the money or one partner can claim it for themselves.

camilla thurlow
Camilla Thurlow has become a favourite with viewers ITV

Biggest dramas so far?

Of course, it would not be an entertaining reality show without some fireworks – and it's fair to say there have been plenty.

Among the major talking points so far is the love triangle between Camilla, Jonny Mitchell and Tyla Carr. Undoubtedly the classiest islander, Camilla wanted to take her romance with Jonny at a slow pace but the young man got impatient and chose to dump the Scottish bomb disposer for Tyla, leaving his former love in tears.

Olivia was also embroiled in her own menage-a-trois of sorts alongside Chris Hughes and Mike Thalassitis. After endless arguments and sneaky bed-hopping, it came to a natural end when Mike was eliminated and Olivia chose to couple up with Chris.

Loveable Marcel and his partner Gabby Allen won the nation's hearts when the Blazin' Squad rapper asked her to be his girlfriend. Plus, there is Jess Shears who may have cheated on Dom Lever with Mike and the 11 new contestants who have arrived on the island.

Love Island
Love Island introduced 11 new contestants to shake-up the villa ITV

Which celebrities are watching Love Island?

He may be a tough-as-nails rocker but even Liam Gallagher has revealed himself to be a fan. The Oasis singer tweeted about snubbing Glastonbury: "I've gone to the dark side and Love Island it is." Even football pundit Gary Lineker was persuaded to tune-in, telling his Twitter followers with a joke: "Talked into watching #loveisland by @GeorgeLineker. Definitely not his greatest television recommendation. In fact, it might be his worst."

Are the ratings high?

Simply put, Love Island is smashing it in the ratings battle with Big Brother. On 26 June, the Monday night episode pulled in a staggering 2.2 million viewers tanking Channel 5's BB which has struggled to reach the 1 million mark this series.

Love Island is clearly the hottest destination this summer.