Two shows in one year? Now is the Winter Love Island of my discontent


ALMOST forgotten, among its many other disappointments, is the fact that ITV once screened two series of Im A Celeb in the same year.

A failure to observe the simple rules of supply and demand, back in 2004, that saw viewing figures drop by millions and not recover for nearly a decade.

Siannisse and Nas, two singletons who are looking for love on the first ever Winter Love Island

It was a stupid thing to do then and an even more unforgivably dumb thing to do now the same headless ITV chickens have got another hit on their hands.

Facts and figures will never trump an overpaid executive with a bad idea, though.

So theyve flown all the way to South Africa for the first Love Island of 2020, which started its latest run on Sunday night.

The only time Ive been remotely excited about this one, though, was on Thursday morning, when GMBs Richard Arnold revealed the production team were worried about baboons breaking into the villa.

Contestant Paige Turner is famous for being the ex of singer Lewis Capaldi

Worried why? Cos Ollie Williams, the posh one, would shoot them? Or a pair of the baboons might go on to win the 50,000 and then host a Dancing On Ice spin-off?

It has to be a possibility, given the quality of the contestants who were led into the villa by the girls.

First to arrive were Lewis Capaldis ex Paige Turley, whos had a song written about her (two, in fact, if you count Christina Aguileras Blank Page), and Siannisse Fudge, which as well as being her name also happens to be the 43rd position in the Kamasutra.

They were followed, sooner or later, by Leanne Amaning, Rochelle Humes sister Sophie Piper, tag-team twins Jess and Eve Gale and democratic services officer Shaughna Phillips, who, wants to end up in Downing Street. And probably will if Boris has got anything to do with it.

First impressions are notoriously unreliable but to these eyes, at least, they seemed neither as likeable nor attractive as standard-issue summer Love Islanders.


If I was disappointed, though, it was nothing compared to the underwhelmed reaction the boys got from the girls, who didnt even budge for a couple of the early arrivals at the Coupling Up ceremony and had to be talked into moving for the remaining three.

The pair who drew a total blank were landowner Ollie and tiny Nas Majeed.

The others, in no particular order of arrival, were Mike Boateng, Callum Jones and coffee-bean salesman Connor Durman, who got his teeth in Thailand, possibly from an elephant sanctuary, thereby putting every serious game poacher in the Western Cape on high alert in the process.

But the most interesting character, professionally speaking, is Mike, whos a policeman, which could suggest the production team were expecting Caroline Flack to attend, as could the lack of table lamps in the bedroom.

But theyve got Laura Whitmore, and some people think this is a change of almost cosmic significance.

The series is also the first to be hosted by Laura Whitmore instead of Caroline Flack

I do, in as much as she also hosted a South African-based ITV2 Love Island sister show called Survival Of The Fittest, in 2018, that was cancelled after one series due to dreadful ratings.

Otherwise, if you had to list the most important things about Love Island, I think Caroline Flack would finish well below the water bottles and only slightly above the bean bags.

The gig belongs to commentator Iain Stirling, who, even if he didnt already sound slightly jaded by the whole repetitive process on Sunday, would certainly be smart enough to know theres little public demand for this extra series.

Theres no telling, of course, exactly how badly the excess will damage the network and the brand, but Love Island deserves to fall hard and fast for ITVs greed and stupidity.

Send in the baboons.

George is full of bull

TELEVISION proves, time and again, the biggest barriers to saving the planet and veganism are those people most in favour of the two causes.

Insufferable, public school smug-nuts, for the most part, like The Guardians George Monbiot who was last seen plotting the overthrow of capitalism on Frankie Boyles New World Order.

The Guardians George Monbiot hosted a Channel 4 documentary with the chortling title Apocalypse Cow: How Meat Killed The Planet.

Thats had to be put on the back burner since the election, obviously, but George is now working on something even bigger, as laid out by a Channel 4 documentary with the chortling title Apocalypse Cow: How Meat Killed The Planet.

Its a radical plan for preventing ecological disaster, apparently, which George intends to enable with a bit of retro-farming and some magic pancake dust hes discovered in a Finnish laboratory.

It also transpired during the course of Wednesday nights show vegan George has written the rulebook on environmentalism.

So its not only OK for him to fly to Helsinki to try some of those pancakes, its also fine for him to shoot and eat a deer because hes decided there are far too many of them in Scotland.

Thats not even the most galling thing about Apocalypse Cow, though.

The real irony is that Channel 4, which financed the two hours covering this show and its accompanying programme Meat The Family with adverts for four car manufacturers, Virgin Atlantic flights, British Gas and Deliveroo (with Burger King and KFC), wants us to give up our addiction to meat eating and all the other carbon-spewing evils killing the planet.

A fair enough position, I suppose.

You first, though.

The mask slips for dim Rita

UNDERNEATH all The Masked Singers trippy outfits and other layers of stupidity, its now clear ITV has the makings of a promising television show.

Not this one, unfortunately.

Rita Ora is The Masked Singers bewilderingly dim detective

Its Im A Celebrity . . . Get Me Out Of Here! a programme that could really use the likes of Alan Johnson, Patsy Palmer and Justin Hawkins, as well as The Masked Singers bewilderingly dim detective Rita Ora, whose long list of men she wanted to find inside the chameleon outfit (Anthony Joshua, Stormzy, Lewis Hamilton etc etc) definitely didnt include the lead singer of The Darkness.

The word crushed doesnt begin to sum up Ritas disappointment at the big reveal and she must now content herself with shouting the first randomly dense thing that enters her head. Miles Davis? Helen Mirren? Heidi Klum? Ray Winstone?

Thats the terrible thing about The Masked Singer, though. If you are naive and desperate enough to watch and I certainly am you will end up giving a damn about their identity and making a fool of yourself.

So lets cut to the chase here. The showboating a*** inside the unicorn outfit is definitely John Barrowman.

Rita seemed crushed when The Chameleon revealed himself to be Justin Hawkins

The duck who once had 850,000 people singing Happy Birthday is probably Kim Jong-un.

Whoevers inside the Queen Bee outfit will end up winning the thing.

At which point Rita Ora will almost certainly rip-off her own head to reveal . . . its Diane bloody Abbott.

Lookalikes of the week

This weeks winner is H, the Rosa Parks of Dancing On Ice, and Melvyn Sneedly, of Captain Underpants

Sent in by Karen Maguire. Picture research Sam Reilly.