Linda Colling: Sun, sex and ... parents?

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CHEAP and nasty. That’s the reality TV show a Sunderland couple allowed their family to be sucked into.

What is the matter with people that they so carelessly expose themselves to being part of such muck?

It’s positively pathetic that any parents would take part in what is all too predictably going to show them and their daughter up by agreeing to spy on her on her first summer holiday abroad without them.

Of course they knew she would make an exhibition of herself and 20-year-old Lyndsey Cooper did not disappoint the programme makers of Sun Sex and Suspicious Parents in Ayia Napa, that hotbed of hedonism.

As sick as it was saddening to see, party animal Lyndsey making a bid to be the slapper of Ayia Napa, getting a vajassle, balloons of laughing gas and so drunk to behave like an alley cat, it was pitiful and so wrong that her parents wanted to set her up and be involved in such a programme.

This BBC 3 show strikes at the very heart of family life – trust. Its cheap and nasty concept is that parents of youngsters follow them abroad and secretly watch their antics. Shock, horror for mothers and fathers.

Lyndsey’s mam Debs and her dad Graham must be regretting ever taking part and exposing themselves and their daughter. “Do you trust your kids?” is what this show trades on. “Do you think I trust you two after this? I don’t f...... think so,” was Lyndsey’s furious reaction when she discovered the deceit. And she stormed off with, “You have made a mug of me in the process.”

Anyone who gets involved in this programme is being made a mug of and a first-rate one at that.

Debs took her daughter’s tirade philosophically, saying “Not going to be trusted again. I can live with that. I’ll have to, until she comes round.” But Lyndsey at that moment was incensed, telling her pals, “Do they really expect me to trust them after this. They’ve got nae chance.”

It’s one thing wanting your children, as Debs does, to be able to stand on their own two feet and quite another following them and spying on them. Whether or not the Cooper’s have “come round” doesn’t change the fact one iota that what they held dear – a relationship of trust - was broken. And for what? Cheap telly.

Knowing her only child so well, Debs quipped as she helped Lyndsey pack her case for the off, “I might even go as far as putting a chastity belt in.” Along with the super noodles and Cup a Soup she wanted Lyndsey to take.

What she wanted most of all for her daughter was this: “I would like her to keep her respect and dignity.”

Sadly that’s what they didn’t put a high enough price on as parents.

They were prepared to risk that which is so precious – the regard your children hold you in. We all have to earn their respect and that comes in keeping our dignity.

What does Lyndsey think today? On Twitter she tweeted “alexstandfordx well hello there my fellow napa slappa!!!!Sun Sex and Suspicious Parents has officially ruined our lives. Laughing my a... off!”

Funny or what? How serious she is, is an open question. But one things for sure, this episode was no laughing matter.