ITV boss dismisses record Love Island complaints

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Love Island is one of ITV2’s biggest shows (ITV) (PA Media)
Love Island is one of ITV2’s biggest shows (ITV) (PA Media)

The programming boss at ITV has claimed it is “very easy” to complain about television shows, after a record number of people voiced concerns about Love Island.

Kevin Lygo insisted producers usually “get the tone right” with the ITV2 dating show - which gained 35,500 complaints during the recent 2021 series.

Many of the complaints were about conflicts or behaviour of contestants. Some 25,000 wrote to Ofcom about a row between Teddy Soares and Faye Winter in one episode.

Mr Lygo said at the Edinburgh TV Festival: “The thing about complaints these days is, every week there’s a new most complained about show.

“It wasn’t so long ago that you had to go down to the post office and get a stamp. Now, you know, the click of a button and you’re complaining, so you’ve got to take things at face value.

“I’m not so worried about how many complainers [there are as] what are they actually complaining about and have they got a point and did we overstep the mark or did we not - whether it’s 10 people complaining or 10,000 people complaining.

“With Love Island, it’s very easy to take one episode and go, oh, that’s too much.”

Mr Lygo said there was “conflict” between how viewing figures increase when there is a conflict or row, but insisted producers work hard to ensure the tone is ccorrect.

“The ratings go up when there’s a bit of conflict, and it’s an area where you’ve got to take an editorial judgement, and the producers have to do it in the minute, of how much of that they show.

“You always have to remember, it’s an hour out of a day, so you haven’t seen the build-up [and] lots of stuff that goes on around it which might contextualise it more clearly, but I think generally speaking, they get the get the tone right.

“People do shout out at other people, and as long as it’s not physically threatening and it’s not too inflammatory, it’s OK. But to some people it might just step too far.”

Monday’s final was watched by an average live audience of 2.8 million on ITV2.

It was down some 22 per cent from the last summer series in 2019 - but up from the inaugural winter series broadcast in early 2020.

Mr Lygo said ITV would need to “spice up” the show in the future.

It comes as reports suggest Love Island received 2,022 complaints in its final week on air.

The seventh series of the ITV2 dating show concluded on Monday night with Welsh bricklayer Liam Reardon and Essex-raised fashion buyer’s administrator Millie Court crowned winners of the £50,000 prize money.

Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom said it had received 297 complaints relating to the results of the final vote, which saw Chloe Burrows and Toby Aromolaran named runners-up.

Mr Soares and Ms Winter came in third and Kaz Kamwi and Tyler Cruickshank placed fourth.

There were 1,611 complaints made about an episode on August 17 during which the remaining contestants voted on which couples were least compatible.

The watchdog said it also received 114 complaints about an episode on August 18 relating to the the behaviour of a contestant.

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