The team behind ITV2 hit Love Island discussed their work as casting professionals on some of TV’s top entertainment shows at an RTS Futures session in late February.
“‘You’re only as good as your last cast’– that’s the mantra we use every year on Love Island,” said Lewis Evans, one of the series producers on the show, which is currently casting for its next run. He has been part of the Love Island casting team since the first series.
He added: “The key to working in casting is that you’ve got to like people… I love chatting and I am incredibly nosey – casting gives you the opportunity to go and talk to anyone.”
“You need to have an ear and an eye out for [potential] contributors. They might not be right for what you’re working on at the moment, but it’s worth storing them up for when you’re working on another show,” added casting producer Henry Byrne.
Fellow casting producer Mo Mohsin said that “generally, you know when someone walks in by the way they carry themselves and their personality” whether he or she is right for a show. Although, added Evans, there are “slow burners” who develop during a show, “a grower, not a shower”.
Casting assistant producer Bianca Clayton explained that “diversity is always important – you need a mix of people that represent the UK”. She added that “casting is a numbers game”, which means she has to cast her net wide. “You need to think of creative ways of reaching people.”
Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, casting has become less London-centric. “We all work from home now and I would love nothing better than to have someone on the team who lives in [say] South Wales or Scotland… We can cast from anywhere.”
The RTS Futures event, “All about TV casting”, was held on 22 February, and was chaired and produced by ITV entertainment talent manager Lauren Evans.