Love Island’s return to TV screens was watched by an average of 3.3 million viewers – the highest for a launch in the show’s history.
Since the reality dating show was revived by ITV2 in 2015, overnight ratings for the first episode have increased every year.
Last year’s launch attracted an overnight audience of 2.9 million.
During Monday night’s episode, hosted by Caroline Flack, the 10 new contestants were paired up for the first time and spent the day getting to know their new “partners”.
The episode was not without a twist as two new islanders – Tommy Fury and Curtis Pritchard – the brothers of former heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury and Strictly Come Dancing star AJ Pritchard – turned up at the villa in the evening.
The group then received a text message saying that within 24 hours the newcomers would each pick a girl, leaving two of the male hopefuls vulnerable.
Firefighter Michael Griffiths said nobody had been expecting to see more contestants, while surfer Lucie Donlan gasped: “It’s been such a full-on day.”
Earlier in the episode, beauty therapist Amber Gill ended up with aircraft engineer Callum Macleod, Lucie was matched with catering company owner Joe Garratt, and air hostess Amy Heart, who said she had never had a boyfriend, coupled up with gym owner Anton Danyluk.
Sherif Lanre was paired with Anna Vakili, while Michael was matched with scientist Yewande Biala.
The series airs for eight weeks and the winning couple stand to pocket £50,000.
Love Island continues on ITV2.