As rollercoaster rides go, for us as a family the whole Love Island experience makes The Hulk at Universal Studios Florida look like a trip round the boating lake at Brooklands.
But I’m not looking or even wanting a wave of sympathy, and a frequently asked question over the last month in and around Worthing has been ‘Why did you let her do it, Harty?’. It was never my choice; it was something Amy wanted to do. She had a very successful career with British Airways and aside from the chance of finding love, hence the name of the show, it does have the potential to open up opportunities in a field she has ambitions in.
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In light of the Parliamentary inquiry into the Jeremy Kyle show earlier this week, which had all the ingredients of an actual episode of the now cancelled daytime programme, with the exception of Kyle himself, I have to say that everyone at ITV on the support side, including producers and the press office, has been absolutely superb.
Last week it was death threats, borne out of Amy’s alleged reaction to a integral part of the show (bear in mind that from behind a keyboard, if your spell-check is working, you could effectively start World War Three...) but ITV were straight on it, contacting Instagram and the police and then helping Amy’s social media team with the correct response via a statement which was picked up and covered by the media.
Saturday afternoon, however, brought a whole new experience. So there I was, sat at the Manor Ground watching Broadwater 3s take on Worthing 4th’s, when the phone pinged.
ITV press office again: they’d been contacted by the Mirror, which had learned of an individual saying Amy’s claims of never having had a ‘proper’ boyfriend, despite going out on a number of dates, were lies. Apparently, she’d had four, one of whom she brought home to introduce to the family (I must have been out that day).
ITV again was quick to act, completely pulling the story apart, and the Mirror covered the story as ‘Jealous friend tries to sabotage Amy’s Love Island chances...’
In this whole experience, the positives far outweigh the negatives and I know that in 12 months time Amy will still be on an amazing journey while some will remain bitter and twisted.