What am I going to do with my life now that Love Island is over?

The ITV2 reality show has become an integral part of my daily routine, says Paul Jones. What do I do when it's gone?

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We complain about the daily grind but in the last couple of months there’s been an addition to my routine that has made me happy to be stuck in a rut.

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Six days a week, I no longer have to worry my pretty little head about what I’m going to do with my evening – at 9pm I’ll be watching Love Island. That is the law. And before that I’ll be planning how dinner and the rest of my life (who am I kidding?) will fit around Love Island, and how my wife and I (yes, amazingly, I am a heterosexual man) can make sure we’re firmly ensconced on the sofa, preferably with a G&T to hand, by the appointed time.

During the day, I will be thinking about Love Island – wondering what tonight’s ‘challenge’ for the Islanders will be (building an orphanage? Tackling a really tough sudoku? Or squeezing as many hotdogs as possible into a girl’s bikini?), tactically voting on the Love Island app and wondering what a Chris and Stormzy collaboration would really look like.

Yes, I write about TV for a living and I do like proper telly, honest. I love Game of Thrones and am massively excited that it’s back. I’m a big fan of Twin Peaks too, so having a new episode of that each week has been awesome. But nothing on TV right now has become such an integral part of my life as Love Island.

It’s the metrosexual equivalent of football – something that (after subtly sounding them out) you can bond over with a stranger even if you have nothing else to talk about. There are so many questions: why do you never see the Islanders putting on sun cream? Have they stopped exercising or did the producers just stop showing it? Are Montana and Alex real? Will there really be a Chris and Stormzy collaboration?

And yes, perhaps that suggests that I should a) get a life and b) think about something that’s actually important. And yet, in these often dark days, maybe there’s a reason so many of us are passionate about a programme that injects a regular dose of of sunshine into our lives each evening with some genuine real-life romance – #ChrisandKem – and where the biggest issue anyone has to deal with is how to get all that glitter out of their bum crack.

On Monday night we say goodbye to the villa for another year and it’s going to be like coming home after a long holiday. We’ll have to re-calibrate, remember how real life works and what we did with ourselves each evening after work (and on Sundays) before we went to Majorca for two months.

There are going to be a lot of downbeat people shuffling into work on Tuesday morning wondering what they’re going to do with their lives now Love Island is over – but at least we have that Chris and Stormzy collaboration to look forward to.

Who is going to win Love Island? Listen to the RadioTimes.com podcast ahead of the final… 

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Love Island: the Live Final is tonight at 9pm on ITV2