It’s the news that made many groan, sigh or roll their eyes. The confident multitaskers out there may have even attempted all three simultaneously. After a pandemic year off, Love Island’s back next Monday.

But hang on a second, not so fast – if we let it, this could be the summer holiday the whole nation so desperately needs. To hideously misquote John Lennon, all I am saying... is give Love Island a chance.

We’ve just spent 15 months doing what was previously unimaginable – namely barely leaving our homes – so is opening our hearts and minds to a TV show really out of the realms of possibility? Especially as the ‘minds’ part of that is mostly unnecessary?

Reality TV is enduringly popular for a reason. It’s a little vacation from real life, especially if you’re struggling with something tough.

Follow all the latest Love Island news by signing up to one of the Mirror's newsletters

When my dad was dying, I became addicted to TOWIE. It was pure escapism, the best distraction at the very worst of times. A chance to switch off my brain and exist in a universe where the biggest issue was whether Lucy could forgive Mario for cheating on her.

I still watch TOWIE to this day, even though it’s painfully bad now, out of some weird sense of gratitude. I needed it, and it was there, twice a week, same time, same place. When my world was spinning out of control, it was one certainty I could count on. And if there’s one thing we’re all craving at the moment, it’s certainty.

Love Island gets a terrible rap, usually from people who have never seen it. They imagine it’s an hour of full-on hardcore porn every night.

What is your view? Have your say in the comment section

In truth, I can’t remember any of the contestants having sex for the last three of four series, and even when they have in the past, all you see is a wriggly duvet. And – no disrespect to anyone involved – it doesn’t usually last very long. If you popped out to make a cuppa during those bits, the kettle probably wouldn’t have even boiled by the time it was over.

The only way the contestants are stripped bare is emotionally. They bounce into the villa, full of bravado and catchphrases, but no one can keep up that act for long. Inevitably they show their vulnerability, form connections and enjoy or suffer the consequences.

There have been countless genuinely touching moments on Love Island and, yes, I am writing that with a straight face. Many couples who met on it are still together and there are Love Island babies, some of them on purpose and everything. It can also be funny, providing at least one belly laugh per episode. Who among us couldn’t use that right about now?

It’s going to be an unusual summer. Again. Of course we’d prefer to be on holiday ourselves rather than watching other people on one, but if the last year etc has taught us anything, it’s that we have to make the best of what we have. One hour of sunshine every night, albeit through a TV screen, is still one hour of sunshine.

Pretty little things in brightly coloured swimwear, guaranteed not to be talking about government failures, epidemiology or the scientific likelihood of future variants evading vaccines sounds like a lovely break in itself.

After one of the heaviest times in living memory, here’s a no-strings-attached offer of light relief.

If you don’t take it, you’re a proper mug, mate.