Get LIT: how Love Island Time replaced GMT

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My teenage daughters run their lives by the ITV2 show – as long as it’s on, they are happy

There was a nasty incident in the road where my daughters live last week.

Curtains twitched and ears were cocked in the direction of lots of shouting and screaming. The police were involved. Listening to my girls’ description of all this, I found myself assuming the authoritative and businesslike tone of a crime reporter or private detective.

“What time was it when you were first aware of this commotion?” They gave this some thought before one of them said, with a confirmatory nod from the other, “It was, like, Love Island time.”

Good God, has it come to this? Is it now, like, an actual time of day? Or is it even a time zone of its own? BST, GMT, CET, LIT? Why not? “Lit”, after all, I have recently been told by the above teenagers, is an adjective meaning really great, or something.

I imagined a crime writer setting the scene: “Day hadn’t quite turned into night. A dog barked, a Deliveroo moped shot past at incredible speed. Otherwise all was quiet. It was Love Island time.”

I took my youngest daughter to Spain to mark the end of her GCSEs. We checked into our hotel and were getting on famously until I broke it to her that, by an extraordinary coincidence, my football team, West Brom, were playing a pre-season friendly the following day in the next town. She unleashed a quite fearsome volley of abuse, contending that far from being a coincidence, I had set the whole thing up. The storm raged in that hotel room until it suddenly abated. I asked why she had gone quiet.

“It’s OK, they’ve got ITV2.”

All was forgiven. It was Love Island (Central European) Time, you see. She settled down to watch it, as happy as anything.

Adrian Chiles is a broadcaster, writer and Guardian columnist

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