Love Island And Professional Responsibilities

Co-authored by Sophia Steiger

The BAFTA-winning reality show 'Love Island' is back on our screens, generating ITV2's highest ever viewing figures and thrilling fans as unexpected as George Osbourne. Amidst the usual string of personal trainers and models, this year's line-up of singletons included two members of regulated professions who place a high value on acting with integrity and not disparaging the reputation of their professions: Rosie Williams, a newly qualified solicitor, and Alex George, an accident and emergency doctor. As these professionals 'couple up' and exploit their private lives in the hopes of winning £50,000, could they be opening themselves up to professional investigation and subsequent disciplinary action, unfairly or otherwise?

Rosie is no longer a contestant but Alex remains and will undoubtedly need to resort to what could be seen as sharp practice to stay around. This may not be fair: as Alex points out, he's worked since the age of 13 to get to where he is today professionally; could this be thrown away in just eight weeks in Majorca? Just as public opinion shapes the competition as the contestants size each other up as potential rivals to be the final winner, perceptions of Rosie and Alex amongst the more conservative members could negatively impact the public's trust in the respective professions. When Rosie and Alex leave the villa, will the SRA and GMC want to remain coupled up with each or could Love Island lead to professional heartache?

Rosie and Alex would do well to remember that the Solicitors Regulation Authority and General Medical Council set out a strict code of conduct for the behaviour and ethics of their members. These principles emphasise the importance of acting with 'integrity' in a way which maintains the public's trust in both the individual and the profession as a whole. Unsurprisingly, they do not mention appearances on reality dating shows nor do they give much more detail on what is and isn't...

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