WELL, what a “triumph” for diversity and inclusion these new Love Islanders are then.
Short, tall, thin, round, thick . . . thicker.
There’s one girl called Rachel who walks a bit like Groucho Marx, a bloke with a club foot named Hugo and another whose brain can only accept incoming calls.
He is Brad, a labourer from Northumberland.
A rare and genuine Love Island original, who has a square jaw and blue eyes to envy, but a comatosing voice and no interest in anyone else, which means the girls might as well engage one of the bean bags in seductive conversation.
Hours, days, the rest of the series this boy could cheerfully talk about himself and what he’s “ganna do” if ITV2 gave him half a chance.
Fortunately, the Love Island editors seem to be doing a far better job than the show’s bookers, who’ve lumbered viewers with contestants who might look good on paper but are the exact opposite of light entertainment in practice.
A sly, moody, conceited and uptight bunch for the most part, who seem to have come to Love Island for entirely the wrong reasons and are all craving fame, money, attention or, in the case of Faye, a short-sighted colorectal surgeon
“The sort of person I’m looking for,” she explained earnestly, “Is someone who can literally rip me a new ar*ehole.”
I wish her well with the search, obviously and hope that Channel 4 brings back Embarrassing Bodies to cope with the fallout.
But Faye’s probably wasting her time on this series of Love Island, where the tone was set, on day one, by Shannon who described herself as “a slow burner” just 24 hours before she was removed from the show for ever.
The show’s fastest burner ever, ironically.
Though I can’t help thinking Shannon had a lucky escape given the spineless and childish assemblage of blokes who, until the arrival of Millie and Lucinda, all seemed to prefer each other’s company to the actual business of “coupling up” with the girls.
Mind you, it’s hard to be too critical of Brad, Jake, Toby, Hugo and Aaron.
Products of their indignant, over-entitled age, the lads were walking on eggshells with these cosmetically enhanced girls from the start, because they always seemed to be looking for a reason to moan or play the victim and eventually found one when Hugo slightly over-emphasised the word “fake”.
Ugly, tearful scenes and a stern lecture from Sharon followed.
Weirdly, despite all the evidence though, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a group of Love Islanders who remain so utterly convinced of their own charm and beauty.
A huge mistake on their part.
They’re without much of the former and not in the same league as the Too Hot To Handle mob when it comes to the latter.
Some righteous souls will deny appearance matters, of course, but it does on Love Island. A lot.
In fact, laughing at good-looking people making fools of themselves was arguably Love Island’s main attraction.
Laughing at less attractive and slightly unpleasant people isn’t nearly as much fun, which is one of the reasons, along with the show’s tragic recent history, why narrator Iain Stirling is struggling to squeeze any laughs out of this series.
Another is the lack of a well-suited and endearing novelty couple, who normally go on to win the £50,000.
In previous years it produced the likes of Jack and Dani.
In this one, the closest thing it’s got is Liberty and Jake.
Their eyes met. Their lips touched. His cheeks parted. A fart erupted. The swimming pool rippled.
And then he cooed: “You can chew on that.”
But, hey, at least it’s diverse and inclusive.
An Anne of few words
GETTING Anne Robinson to host Countdown is the worst thing to happen to consonants since S4C ditched the Friday episode of Pobol y Cwm.
A week and a half, I’ve been watching her new “death-in-the-afternoon” slot and I think I’ve seen her lips move twice.
Though I wouldn’t take the oath on that one, because the woman is so rigid she makes Davros, The Dark Lord Of Skaro, look like Lee Evans with the caffeine yips.
In fact, I can’t even be sure Anne’s “flirtatious” little wink, at the end of each episode, isn’t generated by an ECT shock from the production gallery.
Under normal circumstances and in simpler times, of course, you’d wonder how Channel 4 could ever appoint someone so obviously ill-suited to the job, or even being seen in daylight.
But after filling the presenter’s chair with six blokes in a row, I’m guessing it came down to a straight coin toss between Gloria Hunniford and Anne who, without twitching a muscle, keeps croaking: “We’ve got three girls doing Countdown.”
How the brilliant Rachel Riley and unflappable Susie Dent feel about this new arrangement and her “gottle o’ geer” delivery is open to conjecture, of course.
They make all the right noises, but to these cynical eyes, at least, they look horribly like women who’ve stumbled into Tutankhamun’s burial chamber to find the only thing it contains is Anna Wintour’s death mask.
Or as Dictionary Corner’s Rory Bremner put it, when the letters board confronted him with IODYGRIAF: “You’re stuck with FRIGID, I’m afraid.”
Answer of the week
BEST quiz show answer of the week, Tipping Point, Ben Shephard: “The team game polocrosse combines elements of polo with which other sport?”
Mike: “Noughts and crosses.”
Which had better be a demonstration sport at the Tokyo Olympics, or I’m boycotting.
Unexpected morons in the bagging area
TIPPING Point, Ben Shephard: “Launched in the UK in 2014, the charity Veganuary encourages people to eat vegan food during which month?”
The Chase: Celebrity Special, Bradley Walsh: “What large Asian country is the C in the acronym B.R.I.C?”
Adam Gemili: “Russia.”
And Bradley Walsh: “Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait With Bandaged Ear was created with what type of paint?”
Dave Johns: “Yellow paint.”
Random TV irritations
KATHY BURKE’S Money Talks swiftly degenerating into exactly the sort of infantile, foul-mouthed political propaganda that deserves to get Channel 4 privatised.
The One Show drowning in woke worthiness.
Comedy Central imagining Yesterday, Today & The Day Before has earned a “Best Bits” compilation.
ITV commentator Sam Matterface sounding hopelessly out of his depth at the regional ball-kicking festival.
And woeful new C4 host Anne Robinson asking a female store detective contestant: “Do you have a nice boyfriend?”
Anne, sweetheart, it’s Countdown, not RuPaul’s bloody Drag Race.
Great Euro 2020 insights
ROY KEANE: “This is a carbon copy of the first goal. It just doesn’t go as wide.”
Eni Aluko: “England had that luck when Muller’s miss went in.”
Steve Wilson: “This game really is all or nothing for Wales, unless it’s a draw.”
(Compiled by Graham Wray)
DEAF subtitle of the tournament. Gary Lineker: “It’s going to be a difficult afternoon for Hungary defending.”
Which became: “It’s going to be a difficult afternoon for hung Gary defending.”
SKY Documentaries’ surprisingly touching Terry Venables: A Man Can Dream.
Sophie: A Murder In West Cork, on Netflix, even though it’s at least an hour too long.
BBC3’s High: Confessions Of An Ibiza Drug Mule, detailing the bewildering stupidity of the so-called “Peru Two”.
Boris Becker breaking off his Wimbledon commentary to denounce tattoos, social media and whatever the hell else is irritating him.
And the highly indignant Sharon coming up with the emptiest-sounding boast in the history of Love Island: “I already stand out in Didcot, thank you.”
Yeah, baby! Today Didcot, tomorrow Abingdon and Wantage as well.
Lookalike of the week
THIS week’s winner is football spin-off host Peter Crouch and Mr Lynch from the Home Movies cartoon. Emailed in by Queen Reenie.
Picture research: Amy Reading
TELLY quiz. Who said the following last week: “One day you want Snickers, the next I want a Twix or a Kit- Kat. I want them all.”
A) Toby from Love Island, describing women?
B) Piers Morgan, describing breakfast?
Lies and delusions
GREAT TV lies and delusions of the week.
Love Island, Aaron,: “Girls often mistake my confidence for arrogance.”
Love Island, Shannon: “I Instagram, I YouTube, I game, I Twitch, I play cards, I DJ. I’m a girl of many talents.” (Details, please.)
And Celebrity Karaoke Club, Tanya Bardsley: “I need fookin’ oxygen or something.”
You’ve stolen enough already.
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