ITV boss defends Love Island against the thousands of complaints it received

ITV boss defends Love Island against the thousands of complaints it received
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An ITV boss has defended its flagship dating show Love Island, against the complaints it receives.

Kevin Lygo, the channel's director of television, reportedly warned making shows like it risk-free would be to stop them appearing altogether.

Speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival, he said the show's duty of care process was "more rigorous than ever", and that: "We are moving into a different era here and we have to be very mindful that there is a certain risk to going on television.

Viewers made 1,509 complaints to the media regulator, Ofcom, over allegedly misogynistic behaviour by male contestants towards their female counterparts.

Lygo added: "It may not be exactly what you think it's going to be as a member of the public, but I don't think we should stop, because the logical conclusion 'you don't allow members of the public on telly'. That's the only way."

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He also argued that some scenes could also help educate young people, saying: "When you see the attitudes of young people and what they say, you could say some of the things that go on in these shows shouldn't be shown.

"But from that comes the debate, the discussion and it's pointed out to contestants themselves and they often later apologise for the error of their ways.

“For example, there was research about why young boys watch Love Island so much. It found they'd never witnessed girls together talking about boys and they found it absolutely fascinating and, hopefully, informative to the fact that muscles aren't everything."

Lygo added: "Broadcasters are now very well informed and impose conditions on commissions that duty of care is uppermost in producers in minds.

"It's come on in leaps and bounds. It got its wake up call a few years ago and now members of the public who are on shows, especially shows that are on for quite a while, are taking through rigorous controls of this is what it's going to be like.

"Their GPs are contacted, psychologist are involved beforehand. During the show there's access to psychologists and counsellors all the time and producers are much more skilled in this as well. Then afterwards there's care for those who've come off television."

Lygo also spoke about Big Brother, which is returning next year. He said: “Big Brother is arguably the most extraordinary thing that’s ever been on television. With any luck, if we do our jobs properly, you will think I’ve got to watch this for eight weeks now and ruin your lives!”

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