It’s daft to see too much meaning in the show. Just lie back and enjoy it, like the contestants…

On Friday, an evicted Love Island contestant appeared on Daily Politics alongside Nigel Farage and Alastair Campbell to talk about Brexit. Hayley Hughes, from Liverpool, has achieved fame and notoriety beyond the show’s traditional audience for not knowing what Brexit means, before asking on the reality TV series whether it will lead to fewer trees in the UK. But her appearance on Daily Politics had more to do with the fact that, for those in Westminster not preoccupied with the World Cup, a not insignificant proportion of the political class is obsessed with another summer knockout tournament: the grafting, coupling up and mugging off of a group of suntanned under-30s in a villa in Mallorca.

This obsession is not confined to Westminster: this year’s Love Island is bringing in record audiences for ITV2. Its opening programme was watched by a peak of 3.4 million viewers, surpassing the audience for last year’s final by a million and making it the highest-ever for the channel. It is becoming such a hit that people are starting to look for hidden meanings behind its popularity. Love Island has turned into a Rorschach test, revealing to the viewer what they want to see, only maybe with a splodge of Fake Bake fake tan instead of an inkblot.

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Read More Love Island is a Rorschach test: see what you want to see | Jane Merrick

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