Love Island – It’s back!

It was the surprise Summer TV hit of 2017, and the viewing figures and Twitter excitement looks set to make the 2018 version an even bigger hit. Yes, I am talking about Love Island, ITV2’s show where a host of beautiful people aim to find love in a gorgeous villa in Majorca. Think inane chatter, lots of fake tan and buff bodies, and not much in the way of clothing. It is gorgeously escapist, full of beautiful blue skies and it is totally addictive – but why?

Sex Sells

I think part of the reason for Love Island’s super popularity, especially amongst the younger generation is down to our attitudes towards sex, and the way that they are changing. I think we can all remember those early days of Big Brother, and the scandals that emerged when a couple of contestants seemed to be having a quick fumble under the covers, but contestants on Love Island have been quite open in having sex on screen, which mirrors what is happening in real life, with the rise of sex sites that cater to no strings dating and are now often free to use. The contestants may say they are looking for love, but the reality seems to be that fame and notoriety will do just as well, and sex seems a great way to achieve that.

Falling in Love

Another reason for the shows popularity could be that, ultimately, we are all romantics at heart and love the idea of watching people fall in love in front of our eyes, watching a relationship develop from tentative steps to full blown romance. Although watching this on TV may have felt strange to our grandparents generation, these days we tend to find love in less traditional ways, ranging from online dating sites, to speed dating and even through meeting people through Twitter, so meeting someone on television is very much par for the course in our digital, reality TV obsessed world.

The Beautiful People

Of course, the fact that the contestants are so good looking is no hindrance when it comes to the viewing figures. Perfect hair, teeth and nails, matched with endless legs and perfect buffed bodies all make Love Island an ‘easy on the eye’ viewing experience. The contestants are an assortment of models, personal trainers and all round gym bunnies, but there are also some endearing characters out there too, and this makes the show all the more compelling. This year Jack and Dani are early favourites with the Twitter crowd for their slightly goofy personalities, especially as Dani is the daughter of Eastenders Star Danny Dyer (yes, Danny did call his daughter Dani…which is the most Danny Dyer thing he could possibly have done.), whilst Jack apparently makes stationery interesting. My personal favourite is Niall from Coventry – gorgeous to look at, but also slightly geeky and down to earth, which makes him adorable and pretty irresistible.

Whether you are a fan of Love Island, or hate it with a passion, one thing is certain. In Summer 2018 it is going to be hard to avoid it.

 

Stylish Television – The Last Post

My Sunday night viewing is currently dominated by ‘The Last Post’ a series set in the mid 1960s in the British territory of Aden (now part of The Yemen). Aden was a jewel in the British Empire, but this was a time when the Empire was very much in its last throes, and the hidden conflict in Aden very much reflects this. Programmes that are centred around war and the armed forces are not my usual viewing, but ‘The Last Post’ also features on the lives of the army wives, and I am totally in love with their pretty incredible wardrobes.

The key looks are those worn by actresses Jessica Raine and Jessie Buckley. They are the very epitome of chalk and cheese when it comes to their personal style, but still look amazing and have totally covetable wardrobes. Jessica’s character, Alison Laithwaite, is sensuous but unhappy, a free spirit in love with a dead lover who is totally at odds with what an army wife should be like. Her wardrobe reflects this, slinky, fitted dresses which echo the dresses of the mid 1960s in all areas except the length – the mini skirt hasn’t reached Aden, although you can well imagine the non-conformist Alison wearing one.

Jessie Buckley’s character, newly wed Honor Martin, is super pretty, but is also very prim and proper when it comes to style. Her look is actually stuck in the 1950s, even though the series is set in 1965, with full skirts teamed with crispy white shirts, pretty prom style  dresses and sensible shoes. She looks pretty incredible, cool and crisp in that intense desert heat.

The Last Post is definitely gets my vote for the most stylish series on television this Autumn, a total feast for the eyes for those who love vintage fashion.

Are you an Alison or a Jessica?

Alison


Narissa Jacquard Dress £140.00 Click to visit Phase Eight


Honour Jacquard Dress £130.00 Click to visit Phase Eight


Naomi Notch Neck Dress £99.00 Click to visit Phase Eight


libby black cocktail dress £195 Click to visit Coast


layla lace pencil skirt
£95
Click to visit Coast

Honor


Nanette Jacquard Dress £275.00 Phase Eight

hamal jacquard full midi dress £169 Click to visit Coast

grove scuba midi dress £129 Click to visit Coast


azure marble jacquard skirt £149 Click to visit Coast


Liberty Floral Jacquard Dress
£165.00 Click to visit Studio 8

An evening with Mary Berry at Birmingham Town Hall

Mary Berry is the grand dame of British cookery. The star of the Great British Bake Off, and a face in British television cookery since the 1970s, she is a real icon, has loved for her fashion sense as she is for her slightly naughty personality (soggy bottoms anyone!). Last Thursday a packed Birmingham Town Hall sat enthralled as Mary talked all things cooking and family in her own inimitable way. Here are some of the highlights of a fascinating evening with the woman rightly described as ‘one of the most important voices in food in this century and the last century.’

On the National Television Awards

I didn’t think I was going to win, I went to see all the cast of ‘Call the Midwife’. I didn’t think I would win best judge, Len Goodman was retiring and there was Simon Cowell who was bound to win, so I didn’t do a speech. I hadn’t even worked out how to get on the stage. But I was very honoured because it’s the viewers who vote, not a team.

School Days

At school I went to the back of the class so I wouldn’t be asked any questions. My best subject was domestic science or break.

Ski Days

I went to be a chalet girl in Gstaad.  We invited guests over from the UK and charged them £22 a fortnight, and we did all the cooking and skied all day.

Pigs!

I used to smuggle piglets into my bed. My dad loved animals far more than us children. I always loved the runt of the letter. I used to nip in and fetch them, wrap them in a towel and take them to bed. There was nothing nicer to take to bed.

1960s

I worked for the Ideal Home Magazine. There were only two pages of colour in magazines in those days, and the recipes were very classic. I was one of the first people to go to celebrities to get their recipes. Mary Quant was one of the first, she did a sausage risotto. She got a local restaurant to make her recipe, but she dressed the room so beautifully – she was a designer not a cook. But the recipe was delicious.

Early Television

I wrote a book on freezing for M&S at the time when people were just starting to freeze things at home. It was picked up by producers looking for a cooking segment for a Judith Chalmers  programme. I was asked if I would be interested in television and I jumped at it. They created me a kitchen in the studio from scratch – non of the cupboards opened and the sink was actually from a hose and a bucket – but it was really good fun.

Bake Off

‘There’s going to be a new TV series about cakes and baking – would you like to be considered as a judge?’ Liked to, I’d love to. I got the job but then they said you’ll also be doing bread. Now, I wasn’t very good at bread so they brought in four bread experts and asked who I would like to work with. I chose Paul Hollywood and we has seven fabulous years together, such terrific fun. I love that the format got Britain baking, particularly children. I always had a hot water bottle under my coat on Bake Off. A hot water bottle is such an old fashioned thing isn’t it.

Bake off Mantra

My Mantra is to get people to enjoy baking, to always find something good about the creation. So even if it sinks or falls apart you need to say something nice, like that it has good flavours.

Pizza!

I’ve never had a pizza delivered, and this is thought to be rather odd, but I’ve just never got around to it.

Herbs

I love growing herbs, everybody can do it whether you have a big garden and a window box. When I started cooking it was all dried herbs, now you can get so many fresh and they add so much flavour to cooking.

Finally…

I like to do a recipe, do a few things with it and suggest a few different ingredients you could use, and then suggest what to do with the leftovers.

Selfie with my Sister in Law