Love Island launch episode - with Blackpool beauty queen Kendall Rae Knight - smashes viewing record

This year's the line-up sees Kendall Rae-Knight fromNewton, near Kirkham, joincontestants as they battle to be crowned the winning couple in the competition.
This year's the line-up sees Kendall Rae-Knight fromNewton, near Kirkham, joincontestants as they battle to be crowned the winning couple in the competition.
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The launch episode for the new series of Love Island, featuring local beauty queen Kendall Rae-Knight, scored ITV2 its biggest overnight viewing figures since records began, ITV has said.

The episode, which aired from 9pm until 10.35pm on Monday, was watched by an average of 2.9 million viewers with a peak of 3.4 million, according to overnight ratings.

This year's the line-up sees Kendall Rae-Knight fromNewton, near Kirkham, joincontestants as they battle to be crowned the winning couple in the competition.

This year's the line-up sees Kendall Rae-Knight fromNewton, near Kirkham, joincontestants as they battle to be crowned the winning couple in the competition.

Read more at: ​ Former Blackpool beauty queen to join Love Island 2018 line-up

This is more than double the launch episode for last year's series of the reality dating programme, which had an average of 1.3 million viewers.

Kendall Rae Knight from Newton, near Kirkham, was one of the first contestants to arrive at the island and quickly stepped forward to couple up with new boy Niall Aslam.

Niall, who is 23, said that the girls were the hottest girls he'd ever seen: "Like the girls of Instagram, but they actually look like their pictures in real life."

Kendall, 26, wore a shiny rose gold bikini, and was one of the first contestants to step forward for tatoo'd Niall making them the first couple on the island.

The episode surpassed ITV2's previous overnight rating record holder - the finale of the Love Island 2017 series, which drew an average of 2.6 million viewers.

ITV has also said the broadcast was the highest-rated programme at 9pm across all channels, and won its time slot with a 16.4% audience share.

Kendall, who until recently worked as a retail manager, was crowned miss Blackpool in 2013.

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