ITV’s Director of Tv Kevin Lygo has defended the viewing figures and rejected criticism of its ITV2 jewel Love Island, following the finale of the fifth collection of the present earlier this week, saying claims the present is previous its peak are properly off the mark.
With scores for the finale down on earlier years, Lygo instructed the Edinburgh Tv Pageant: “It is a sample you see when new programmes come alongside they usually’re enormous phenomenons. On catch up, it’s one of the best performing collection ever. Who would suppose you possibly can invent a programme that runs each night time at 9pm for eight weeks and preserve viewers, particularly younger viewers who’re onerous to seek out now? There’s a few years left in it. The problem thrown all the way down to producers is to make some refined adjustments to spice it up a bit and preserve it as recent as you possibly can.”
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The business vet additionally dismissed the 33,000 viewers’ complaints made to Ofcom, most regarding a single incident with a unstable blow-up by villa resident Faye.
“The factor about complaints lately is each week there’s a brand new most complained about present,” mentioned Lygo. “Ashley in Britain’s Received Expertise was probably the most complained about [with Diversity’s performance inspired by Black Lives Matter], then he went on to win a BAFTA, then Piers stormed off [Good Morning Britain], now it’s Love Island. It’s very easy to complain lately.
“You need to take them at face worth. What are they complaining about and have they bought a degree? Did we overstep the mark? It’s very straightforward to take one episode and suppose it’s an excessive amount of, when it’s a long term factor we ought to be involved about.”
Reflecting that the complaints got here on the again of all broadcasters’ tightened duties of care to actuality present individuals issued by Ofcom following incidents together with the suicides of two former Love Island contestants and former host Caroline Flack, Lygo was fast to level out that ITV was main the sector on this regard.
The exec mentioned: “We’re the gold commonplace. Ofcom took all our suggestions and made them what they believed ought to be performed. How individuals are chosen, GPS are consulted, a great deal of individuals don’t make it by means of and discover themselves on different programmes that are possibly not so rigorous. Through the recording of the present, there’s a lot of counselling obtainable. There’s so much happening. Once they come out, they’re handled very properly and plenty of them say that.”
Lygo touched on the balancing act between defending individuals whereas offering leisure for viewers: “The scores go up when there’s a little bit of battle, and it’s an space the place it’s important to take editorial judgment within the minute. It’s an hour out of a day and, typically talking, they get the tone proper. Individuals do shout at different individuals. So long as it’s not bodily threatening or too inflammatory, it’s okay.”
One other controversy Lygo fielded this 12 months was the choice by ITV to air the ultimate episode of week-long primetime drama Viewpoint, following allegations of significant misconduct in opposition to its star Noel Clarke. Lygo admitted it was a “loaded resolution”, reflecting: “Individuals had watched 4 episodes, it was the denouement of a thriller – there was a lot debate and ultimately we thought it was greatest to take it off the primary channel.
“Being a public service broadcaster, you’re uninvited in individuals’s properties. I assumed individuals could be offended, but additionally there have been tens of millions of people that had watched, (plus) the 200 individuals who had labored on that present whose work may by no means be proven. So we made it obtainable on the hub for a brief time period and hedged our bets, actually.”
Since October 2020, Lygo has been ITV’s MD of its new media and leisure division, following the broadcaster’s reorganization.
Of the brand new construction, he defined: “We needed to convey collectively in a single place all elements of broadcasting, the programming and the supply, in order that it’s extra in step with trendy behaviour and tastes. We’ve two outlined objectives right here – one is mass simultaneous attain on linear TV, and (the opposite is) to come back alive with our on demand providing, to adapt the kind of programming we’ll be making.”
Whereas this contains commissioning the primary drama on ITV2 in a decade in addition to offering extra factual on the channel for younger individuals, one huge head-scratching problem stays on the primary channel: find out how to substitute the sound and fury that Piers Morgan dropped at Good Morning Britain. Accepting that “he’s a really troublesome act to comply with”, Lygo mentioned of the short-term replacements which have thus far included Alastair Campbell and Richard Madeley: “Not everyone seems to be auditioning to exchange Piers. We’re seeking to see what one of the best factor is.”
Lygo added his voice to these supporting Jack Thorne’s name for to make TV roles on and off display screen extra accessible for disabled individuals.
“You need to be life like about what you possibly can obtain within the quick time period. TV has been fairly good about responding, it’s been dangerous in not responding earlier. For those who take variety on display screen, all broadcasters have upped their sport, but it surely’s a steady factor. You need to do it on display screen and keep it up; it’s important to do it off display screen which is in some ways tougher.
“Primarily that’s about location and drama, and we have now to make sure now that doesn’t proceed. I’d hope with extra studio based mostly reveals, which we do plenty of, they’d be designed extra appropriately. We’ve bought to do extra.
“There was good intention, but it surely’s been going too slowly. There’s a debate about quotas. I don’t thoughts quotas to drive the behaviour of everyone within the enterprise. This should be a unbroken proposition from everyone.”