UK watchdog receives 650 complaints over ‘Love Island’ episode
Viewers distressed over decision to show contestant a video without providing wider context
Dani Dyer was left devastated by a clip of boyfriend Jack Fincham on Sunday night’s show. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
UK communications regulator Ofcom received 650 complaints after Sunday night’s episode of Love Island, amid suggestions producers unnecessarily caused distress to a contestant by showing her a misleading video.
Dani Dyer, the daughter of the actor Danny Dyer, burst into tears after being shown footage of Jack Fincham, who she paired up with on the dating show, in a different location alongside his real-life ex, a new contestant.
“It always happens to me, as soon as I’m happy with someone, something happens to me, it’s like I’m not allowed to be happy,” she said, apparently convinced he was no longer interested in her. “Imagine it’s some girl that he’s been recently seeing, he clearly has feelings if he was seeing her and now she’s in here.”
Dyer, struggling through tears, said: “I knew it was too good to be true.”
However, the video did not reveal the truth of the situation, which is that Fincham, a stationery salesman from Kent, has in fact stayed loyal to Dyer and has been sleeping outside to avoid sharing a bed with any of the new contestants.
The couple are living in separate villas, after the original group of men and women were split up before the new contestants – including Fincham’s former partner – joined the show.
Ofcom, the media regulator, said the complaints from viewers related to distress caused to Dyer by the producers’ decision to show her the video without giving her the wider context, with suggestions it was too manipulative for a reality TV show.
A spokesperson for the regulator said it would consider whether the programme went too far: “We are considering these complaints against our broadcasting rules, before deciding whether or not to investigate.”
Love Island, which is filmed in Spain, has become a huge ratings success for ITV2, with millions tuning in every night. It is particularly valuable because it attracts a young audience who have become increasingly less likely to watch traditional forms of TV.
Dyer, 21, who was working in a pub before joining the show, is the clear favourite to win the show, which is based on a public vote.
Her father also hit the headlines last week after using an appearance on primetime ITV to call the former prime minister David Cameron a “twat” over his decision to quit after losing the EU referendum.–Guardian