Entertainment Television

Wednesday 12 December 2018

Michael O'Doherty: Don't blame Love Island contestants - viewers are to blame for dumbing down of society

Let’s hope idiotic isle sinks out of sight

Love Island's Hayley didn't know what Brexit was.
Love Island's Hayley didn't know what Brexit was.

Michael O'Doherty

Consider the following exchange on ITV’s Love Island last week, between models and social media ‘stars’ Georgia Steel and Hayley Hughes.

GS: What do you think about Brexit?

HH: What’s that?

GS: We’re leaving the EU.

HH: I seriously don’t have a clue.

GS: It would mean, like, welfare and things we trade with would be cut down.

Georgia Steel, Love Island
Georgia Steel, Love Island

HH: So does that mean we won’t have any trees?

GS: No, babe. That’s weather. It’d be hard to go to, like, Spain and stuff.

HH: So it’d be harder to go on holidays? I love my holidays.

Now, you may laugh at the life-sapping idiocy of the participants – and a section of Twitter inevitably did.

However, that very same section stayed glued to the show, and will continue to do so for the rest of the series, resulting in its participants forging careers for themselves promoting junk on social media and guaranteeing the return of the show next year.

Don’t blame the cretinous contestants, who can’t help being terminally dim. Don’t even blame the show’s producers, who are simply supplying a demand.

Young love: From left, Adam Collard, Hayley Hughes, Jack Fincham, Kendall Rae-Knight, Niall Aslam, Samira Mighty, Dr Alex George, Dani Dyer, Wes Nelson, Laura Anderson and Eyal Booker. Photo: ITV/REX/Shutterstock
Young love: From left, Adam Collard, Hayley Hughes, Jack Fincham, Kendall Rae-Knight, Niall Aslam, Samira Mighty, Dr Alex George, Dani Dyer, Wes Nelson, Laura Anderson and Eyal Booker. Photo: ITV/REX/Shutterstock

The people to blame for this relentless dumbing down of society are the viewers, the Instagram-following, attention-deficit generation whose lives are made meaningful only by having something to be inspired by, outraged by or sneer at on their Twitter feeds.

Despairing for the future, I was then caught by something in an interview with Jon Kenny, 50pc of the famous D’Unbelievables, whose life has taken a turn in the last decade.

While the duo’s act could most politely be described as “broad”, Kenny has reinvented himself as an actor of some repute and is due to appear in a one-man play next weekend entitled Crowman.

He plays a character called Dan, who is described as “a late-middle-aged man dealing with isolation, a traumatic past and a disconnected, chaotic and sometimes surreal present”.

Which, to be honest, doesn’t sound like a barrel of laughs.

That’s not meant as a criticism, and the fact that Jon has changed tack relatively late in life is something to be admired.

Even more tellingly, he spoke of his concern for the creative elements among the next generation.

“I worry about younger people getting involved in theatre, mus-ic, art,” he said, “about where they can even find a place to rehearse or start out.

“My daughter has a band and they couldn’t find anywhere to rehearse in Limerick, so they come out to my shed.”

The need to support people like Jon’s daughter is more pressing than ever.

We need to help intelligent, talented, creative people achieve their potential.

Otherwise, our children will grow up in a world dominated by the likes of moronic Love Island contestants and those who follow their every move on Twitter.

Then we might be facing the worst nightmare of all. We won’t have any trees.

Herald

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