TV chef Simon Rimmer has slammed Love Island, branding the ITV2 series ‘cruel’ and antifeminist.
The Sunday Brunch host, 60, revealed that his daughter was asked to star on the dating show, and he was relieved when she turned it down, admitting he thought it was a ‘weird approach’ because she isn’t a ‘Love Island kind of person.’
Simon explained Flo, 25, caught the eye of producers after the pair started doing their own cookery series on social media called Flo and Simon Taste the World and the only reason why she would ever agree to do the reality series is to further her TV career – not to find love.
In an exclusive interview with MailOnline, Simon said he believes Love Island ‘is a massive step back for feminism’ and he finds the show, where young contestants attempt to find romance in a Majorcan villa, ‘hard to watch.’
He said: ‘My daughter got invited to go on it. Basically, they picked her up from Instagram because she has quite a big following because she has done stuff with me online and she turned it down.
TV chef Simon Rimmer has slammed Love Island, branding the ITV2 series ‘cruel’ and antifeminist
The Sunday Brunch host revealed that his daughter (pictured) was asked to star on the dating show, and he was relieved when she turned it down
Simon explained Flo caught the eye of producers after the pair started doing their own cookery series on social media called Flo and Simon Taste the World
‘She’s very much not a Love Island kind of person. But I thought it was a weird approach really. She is so not a Love Island person.
‘I wouldn’t say it would be my dream job for her. But if she decided to do it she would do it for the right reasons, she wouldn’t do it to find love she would be like ‘you know what, this could be a career opportunity,’ she’s quite savvy so she would do it for those reasons rather than thinking, ‘I’m going to find love,’ but I don’t think any of them really think that do they?
‘I find it a hard watch. I find it cruel. I also think it is a massive step back for feminism and women.
‘I don’t think it’s what I want young people to be doing and how I want males to behave or the way females to behave.’
And it’s not just his daughter who Simon would hate to see on Love Island.
The Channel 4 presenter would also be against his son Hamish, 20, joining the line-up of singletons.
He added: ‘It feels a bit weird that we’re still having girls being treated like objects and I don’t like that objectification.
‘As a father of a daughter I don’t think I would want… I don’t want my son to behave in a way like that towards women and I don’t want my daughter to be treated that way by men.’
It’s not just his daughter who Simon would hate to see on Love Island, the Channel 4 presenter would also be against his son Hamish joining the line-up of singletons
Love Island producers often recruit famous offspring for the show including Michael Owen’s daughter Gemma and were hoping to do the same with Simon’s daughter Flo
Simon and Flo star on Instagram and TikTok together, with the chef demonstrating his food prowess, and teaching his daughter the tricks of the trade
Love Island producers often recruit famous offspring for the show including Michael Owen’s daughter Gemma, 20, and Ronan Keating’s son Jack, 24, who both starred in last year’s summer series.
Simon sympathises with the overnight fame contestants can experience after starring on the ITV2 series, saying: ‘If you lead a ‘normal life’ and to be thrown into the world of celebrity and exposure it can be quite hard, I can imagine.’
The restaurant owner, who has fronted Sunday Brunch for 17 years alongside Tim Lovejoy, 55, spoke about cancel culture and how he always tries to be ‘one step ahead’ as he hosts live television.
Reflecting on the demise of former This Morning presenter Phillip Schofield, who last week quit ITV for good after admitting to an affair with a younger work colleague, Simon said that those working in TV for big corporations aren’t the ones in ‘control’ and it’s likely that the bubble will burst.
He said: ‘It is a very fickle bedfellow, telly, and you aren’t really in control of what happens, even now this many years in it might be in two years’ time that Sunday Brunch isn’t commissioned and Channel 4 decide enough is enough so you have to be healthily fatalistic about your TV career and realise that it’s not forever and it will end and that’s the reality of it.
‘Being a live broadcaster gets harder and harder. You are always one sentence away from killing your own career.
‘We interview six people every week on the show and in the last few years I am more aware that we do live in a culture where people want to pick up on things, social media can be quite a cruel place for it.
‘There are times where you are trying to be one step ahead and if you see an interview going a certain way you try and allow for an interview not to go a certain way. We are all so exposed, everyone knows what we’re doing every second of the day, we all know too much now.’