Totally Wicked, totally shameless
Sunday, July 9, 2017 at 13:49
Simon Clark

Love Island seems to have changed from when I watched it on ITV twelve years ago.

When it launched in 2005 it was called Celebrity Love Island and was presented by Patrick Kielty and Kelly Brook.

The first series was won by radio and TV presenter Jayne Middlemiss and an Irish nightclub owner called Fran Cosgrave.

The second – equally cheesey – series was won by Bianca Gascoigne and Calum Best. After that the programme was axed.

It returned a couple of years ago on ITV2 with "twelve single celebrities" spending five weeks on an island in Fiji.

I was vaguely aware of the latest incarnation but I haven't watched the programme and had no interest in it at all until it was reported last week that 'Love Island sparks more complaints about contestants' smoking than for sex scenes'.

According to the London Evening Standard:

More Love Island viewers have complained to Ofcom about contestants smoking than about their saucy bedroom antics, it has been revealed.

A spokesperson for the broadcasting regulator confirmed that it has received 24 complaints about the "portrayal of smoking" to 15 complaints "objecting to the promotion of sexual material/promiscuity".

Although the number of complaints is laughably small the story was enough to spur the tobacco control industry into righteous indignation – and action.

The Sun reported that the British Lung Foundation had criticised the show's producers for "irresponsible broadcasting".

Contestants are "killing themselves" and encouraging others to take up the deadly habit, said the BLF.

But wait, what's this?

A batch of e-cigarettes could be the newest recruits to Love Island, as health experts urge the show's producers to intervene.

In a letter to producers ("seen by The Sun Online"), Fraser Cropper, MD of vaping company Totally Wicked, said:

"We're aware of some of the negative headlines around smoking that the programme has attracted.

"I wondered if you would also consider joining forces with us and the BLF in order to help contestants ditch the habit.

"And also to drive home a positive message to viewers."

He added:

"E-cigarettes have a really exciting potential to reduce the harm done by smoking.

"I am sure you'll agree that we should do all we can to prevent young people from being lured into a killer habit.

"I would be delighted to discuss this in further detail.

"It would be great if we could work together to introduce e-cigarettes to the island."

Hats off, Fraser, fantastic promotion for your brand, applause all round.

And totally shameless. Well done!

Full story: Love Island’s smoking stars are encouraging the deadly habit, warn experts who want to ship e-cigarettes to the villa (The Sun).

Article originally appeared on Simon Clark (http://taking-liberties.squarespace.com/).
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