Love Island participant Ollie Williams’ Twitter account caused fury among viewers of the show when it claimed the 23-year-old has ‘better legs than a gazelle’, a day after it was revealed Ollie has taken part in big game hunting.
This came hours before the announcement on Tuesday that Ollie has quit the ITV2 series.
Photos surfaced over the weekend of him posing with various dead carcasses, guns rested against the corpses, supposedly to promote his hunting business.
Tactless: Love Island participant Ollie Williams’ Twitter account caused fury when it claimed the 23-year-old has ‘better legs than a gazelle’, a day after it was revealed Ollie has taken part in big game hunting
Following the publication of these pictures, Ollie’s Twitter account – run currently by his friends – re-tweeted a GIF of him leaning against the villa breakfast bar in swim-shorts, with the caption ‘Alexa, play Hips Don’t Lie by Shakira’, as Ollie swung back and forth.
Ollie’s Twitter then captioned the re-tweet ‘Better legs than a gazelle’.
Many saw this as disrespectful, given the revelations that Ollie hunts big game.
Reactions to this tweet began appearing. One person tweeted: ‘How would the gazelle feel if she was hunted?’
Another, referring to Ollie being filmed from afar, posted: ‘The view through the gazelle’s rifle scope…’
Bad taste: Ollie’s Twitter account – run currently by his friends – captioned a tweet ‘Better legs than a gazelle’
Inappropriate: Many saw this as disrespectful, given the revelations that Ollie hunts similar animals
Someone else posted: ‘Killed a few of them have you, murderer.’
A fourth posted, ‘Revolting. The animals are worth more than him,’ as a fifth added: ‘Murdered any animals recently?’
Ollie has cited unrelated reasons for quitting the show, however.
In a scene believed to be aired on Tuesday night’s show, he said in the Beach Hut: ‘I have to be honest with myself, and everyone, that I do still love someone else… I have to follow my heart in this scenario and it would be wrong for me to ignore these feelings.
‘At the end of the day, this is Love Island and it’s about finding love. If I carried on anything with [current partner] Paige [Turley], or any other girl that might come into the villa, it wouldn’t be fair on them.’
Wrath! Love Island viewers flocked to Twitter to slam the ill-timed tweet
A rep for Love Island simply told MailOnline: ‘Ollie has made the decision to leave the Love Island villa.’
Love Island bosses previously told MailOnline that they have ‘no intention’ of axing Ollie, with a further source saying producers of the ITV2 series refuse to ‘bow down to the public on a moral issue’ as they don’t believe keeping Ollie on the show will affect viewing figures.
An insider told MailOnline: ‘It is highly unlikely Ollie will be booted off the series. He’s part of the lineup and already filmed the first episode – bosses see no reason to kick him off.’
The source continued: ‘Love Island cast Ollie out of thousands of applicants and are sticking to their decision.
Controversy: Love Island viewers have been in uproar after photos of the heir to the 2,000-acre Lanhydrock estate in Cornwall emerged of him proudly posing beside a warthog, water buffalo and giant eland to promote his hunting business
Denial: Sources close to the contestant previously denied any suggestion that he has hunted for sport after pictures emerged of Ollie posing alongside a variety of dead animals
‘They’re hoping this will all blow over once the audience gets to know Ollie after seeing him on screen.’
But it’s thought that Ollie’s time was running out, as he was set to become the most complained-about contestant in the show’s history.
Having only appeared on screens for the first time on Sunday night when the show returned, the Cornish land owner received a slew of hate after the photographs of him hunting were unearthed.
This has led to nearly 500 complaints over the course of the one and a half days since the premiere episode aired on January 12.
At the time of writing, Ofcom has tallied 467 complaints from disgruntled viewers of the show, calling for Ollie to be removed due to his alleged blood-sport hobby.
Change of plans: Love Island bosses previously said they have ‘no intention’ of axing Ollie after he was exposed as a hunter
Record holder: It’s believed the most-complained about Islander in the show’s history to date is Maura Higgins, who received 709 complaints to the broadcasting regulator last year
It’s believed the most-complained about Islander in the show’s history to date is Maura Higgins, who received 709 complaints to the broadcasting regulator last year due to her behaviour towards co-star Tommy Fury.
Fans of the show were left uncomfortable when newcomer Maura repeatedly attempted to kiss Tommy during the broadcast on June 14 2019, despite the hunk trying to avoid her advances.
But Ollie had been gaining on Maura’s record, after photos surfaced over the weekend of him posing with the likes of a dead warthog, water buffalo, a giant eland and a sable antelope.
In addition to this, bookmakers were placing odds on Ollie to be the first Islander booted off by the public, due to the outrage.
On the chopping block? Bookmaker Coral had Ollie as the odds on favourite, at 10-11, to be the first boy eliminated, while Leanne Amaning was the 10-11 favourite to be the first girl voted out
Bookmaker Coral had Ollie as the odds on favourite, at 10-11, to be the first boy eliminated, while Leanne Amaning was the 10-11 favourite to be the first girl voted out.
‘Ollie has certainly caused a storm, both in the villa and on social media, and we think he’s on borrowed time already. He’s odds on to be the first boy sent packing,’ said Coral’s Harry Aitkenhead.
He added: ‘You can never predict quite what will happen on Love Island and our odds suggest nothing is out of the question.’
Within the hour on Tuesday afternoon, Ollie had quit the show.
Love Island airs on ITV2 nightly at 9PM.