IAN HART: Is Love Island a sad indictment of society?

Ian Hart
Ian Hart

ITV’s latest reality television offering, Love Island, appears to have polarised the nation.

With record ratings for an ITV2 broadcast, the premise of Love Island is a group of under-30, beautiful people effectively acting out elements of an old Club 18-30 holiday for the cameras.

For the winners, estimated potential earnings are estimated to be in the millions of pounds, with personal appearances and TV spin-offs.

It’s clearly very popular with a certain demographic but also it’s not without its detractors.

Official ITV figures reveal that more people applied to appear in this year’s series than applied for Oxford and Cambridge universities combined in the last 12 months – a sad indictment of our society or evidence of the shifting sands of this country?

It has indeed split opinion chez Hart.

My daughter loves it and when she’s off flying it’s on series link.

For my part, I caught a couple of minutes by accident the other night, and while it’s clearly harmless, dare I say it, trash TV, I do have better things to do with my time.

I think if I were to sit through a whole episode it would a classic case of ‘there’s 60 minutes of my life I will never get back’.

Some of its critics have gone for the jugular – one high-profile TV figure described it as TV for morons – but obviously market forces dictate and with those kind of viewing figures it can’t be ignored.

Older readers will recall that it’s actually a rehash of an ITV series from almost a decade ago, Celebrity Love Island.

While it provided some classic car-crash TV, poor ratings saw it axed after two series.

Whether you love it or hate it, I think it represents the direction British television, once the envy of the globe, is moving in.

Modern-day channel hopping reminds me of a late 1980s holiday in Florida, when I was astounded by the amount of rubbish on US TV and Bruce Springsteen’s prophetic composition ‘57 Channels (And Nothin’ On)’.

Then again, if you don’t like football, it does at least offer you an alternative for the coming weeks...

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