OH, poor old Michael Owen.
The former England player can’t go anywhere these days without being asked about Gemma, his daughter who has left for ITV2’s Love Island in search of fame.
He was in Germany last week to commentate on an England game and the first thing he’s asked about is his daughter on reality TV.
How the mighty have fallen.
In short, he will be known as “Gemma Owen’s father” from now on.
Not the guy who used to kick a soccer ball around, but the guy who mostly just, well, bangs around now.
Poor man. It must be absolute hell.
Aside from the public’s apparent empathy for him, what I find most offensive is his own comments that this is “every father’s worst nightmare”.
Granted, the show has its knockers — mostly cheeky, cosmetically enhanced — but I’m pretty sure there are worse things for a dad to endure.
It’s the underlying – or maybe even blunt – implication that because he’s the father and Gemma is his “princess,” seeing her parade in next to nothing, snogging guys, and a bed must be unbearable for him sharing with a guy she’s only known for five minutes.
To me, the suggestion is absolutely sexist.
Why on earth wouldn’t it not be MY worst nightmare as a mother to see my daughter – or son – on screen promoting their wares?
Why is it worse for a man?
Doesn’t this go back to the days when girls were weak, helpless beings who depended entirely on their fathers for their future?
Next you’re going to tell me she’s been sitting at home waiting for her dad to build up a decent dowry before finding a suitable husband for her — but much to his disappointment, she’s opted for reality TV instead.
I could find myself in Michael’s position on every season of Love Island from now on.
I have two daughters: Bo, 21, and Martha, who just turned 18.
Both would be perfectly able – and legally permitted – to tell me that they are going to Mallorca to strip down to their tiny bikinis and fiddle under the covers on national TV.
I wouldn’t see it as a “nightmare”.
But as my youngest daughter points out quite eloquently, she wouldn’t do the show for fear it would limit her future opportunities.
She fears this will hurt her chances of a decent career.
What a refreshing concept.
Especially since we know all Love Islanders are on the show to invent one (a career) and create more life options for themselves.
I am very relieved that this is their attitude.
Maybe my experience of fame put her off, but I think at the core of her being – as has always been the case with me – is the principle that if she wants to make it big, whatever area she chooses to do , it should be their own manufacture and by hard transplant.
And therein lies the catch. I can’t help but totally oppose Gemma’s presence on the show.
Of course, she’s got everything it takes – new teeth, long hair, a pretty face, and a hunky body (sorry Michael, but I won’t be the only one who thinks that).
But this girl is only there for the blood, sweat and tears her father shed on the pitch.
She earned membership in the Love Island Club by proxy.
She basically slid onto the show on the back of someone else’s fame.
Of course, I don’t know if she would have been on the show if her father hadn’t been a famous footballer – but we can all make an educated guess.
In that sense I feel sorry for her.
As a competent dressage rider, you’d think she’d want to stay away from the celebrity world.
But then she’s grown up.
She has the right to make the decision for herself, although I’m pretty sure Michael and I would agree that even though society classifies our children as adults at 18, they’re still very young at heart.
Which is actually another of my objections – her age, at 19.
Is it really wise to put people so young in such an environment?
Shouldn’t there be a minimum age of 21? It makes me feel uncomfortable.
Maybe that’s because I absolutely wouldn’t have gone to Love Island at that age. I would have been too confident – but when I was that age we didn’t even have cell phones.
Before I start sounding like a boring old curmudgeon, I have to admit that the addictive aspect of the show is something I can’t get enough of.
But I still say we need a love island for the forties and fifties. Imagine all the midlife crises, saggy boobs, hot flashes and grumpy old guys.
Come on Michael We should do it together to see Gemma’s reaction.
I love horses, but don’t ask me for a tip
HORSES were my first love.
Until guys showed up, they distracted me and then ruined it.
And I can’t deny that I was overcome with guilt this week as I attended Royal Ascot for the first time.
We’re in the midst of a cost of living crisis and that’s when I got dressed up and put some kind of hat on my head (which had to be over 4 inches in diameter because I was in the Royal Enclosure). Sipping alcohol in the sun – seemingly carefree.
At the moment it felt like everything was fine. It was really a wonderful experience.
The sun was shining. I drank rum. We had great food and laughed like a drain with friends.
Did I have a flutter on the gee-gees?
Well, it would have been rude not to.
But I didn’t win anything.
Because as you know, I only play losers in horses and in men.
Don’t spoil the kids, Peter
PETER ANDRE is a decent guy, chipolata or not.
But I can’t deny that I was a bit disillusioned when I saw he put the money into a very swanky £25,000 Audi for his eldest son Junior, who has just turned 17 and has yet to pass his driving test stuck.
The icing on the cake was a personalized license plate, which must have cost him a few thousand squid.
I get it. In the past, temptation would have overwhelmed me too. I may have been guilty of spoiling my ungrateful with lavish gifts for birthdays or as rewards for the amazing young people they have become.
But not anymore. I’m afraid it’s a big mistake.
Showing financial generosity to our children is something we do because we either have more money than sense or because we mistakenly believe it articulates and communicates our love for them.
We think it shows that we don’t want them to have it as hard as we might have had when we were younger.
In my view, the latter was certainly true.
I had always been a smuggler, and some stupid part of my parenting heart wanted to spare my kids that aspect of life.
To effectively give them something for free.
All it teaches them is to know the cost of everything (£25,000 folks!) and the value of nothing.
Because the gift is not properly earned – it is gratuitous and unnecessary.
And Pete, have you considered the cost of insurance?
Fifty Shades of Yay!
FINALLY some good news about aging.
A poll for a dating app for over-50s claims women feel sexiest at 53, which coincidentally matches Jennifer Aniston’s age.
Not scientifically, but I take this small glimmer of hope anecdotally.
Even though I’m almost 55, that must mean I’m over it.
Almost half of those surveyed said they now feel more confident and comfortable in their own skin.
A fifth claimed their dating life was spicier and more exciting.
I can identify with all of this and have been singing about it for a number of years.
I’ve definitely gotten over a lot of insecurities and inhibitions – and when it comes to sex, I feel like I’m in my prime.
It’s a mix of caring less about what others think and using the experience I’ve gained over the past few decades.
It’s about accepting your body for who it is and what it looks like and what it’s been up to, and realizing that there are a lot of men out there that would value an antique more than they would a new Ikea unit for the DIY.
Age and experience add layers of depth, interest and fascination.
Women don’t age in the same detrimental way they used to, when purple rinses and beige macs made them fade into the background.
Today we choose colour, sound and conviction.
We’re loud and we’re proud – making sure we’re seen, heard and appreciated.
We’re the ones swinging from the chandeliers.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5587851/love-island-gemma-owen-michael/ Sorry but Love Island’s Gemma Owen is only in it because of her famous dad – would she really make it as a nobody?