'Age Gap Love' series shows 19-year-old girl married to 47-year-old man, slammed for being 'triggering', 'obscene'
Channel 5 has been the target of fierce backlash after they uploaded a promo clip of their documentary 'Age Gap Love' that featured a man in his 40s who met his wife when she was just 16 years old.
The clip was posted on the broadcaster's Twitter account on May 26 in a bid to promote the return of the documentary series, which first aired in November 2018, this coming June.
The video highlighted the relationship between bus driver Andy Telford and teen Beth Telford.
Andy was reportedly 44 when he started his controversial relationship with the latter when she was just 16, having met her through his friendship with her mother.
"We were all like one happy family," Andy says in the clip. "But, needless to say, I didn't know that Beth was getting these thoughts that she wanted me to be her happy man, forever, sort of thing you know."
Unsurprisingly, neighbors did not take too well to their relationship.
When news about the pair leaked, people branded Andy a pedophile, and the pair soon moved from Llandudno in North Wales to Lancashire to escape the scrutiny.
Now 47 and 19, the pair have tied the knot and even have two children together, Timmy, 2, and Conway, 1.
"Their age gap might make them look like father and daughter, but they are every bit a married couple," the promo announced.
Beth, who instigated the relationship, says, "The age doesn't really bother me. It never has done. I don't see him as an old man, or my dad, or anything like that. He's just sensitive. Like a big teddy bear."
"I was concerned what people would think," Andy admitted. "16. 44... It's a big gap. It's a generation gap, sort of thing. So, it's like, what are people going to think?"
People, especially on social media, did not think it was okay and many directed their anger at Channel 5 for glorifying their relationship.
"It is insane that you are screening this. Normalizing predatory, middle-aged men grooming young girls as a romantic, love-across-the-ages story is reprehensible," one wrote.
"This is not entertainment it is grooming, and reading between the lines, I'm going to suggest he was her 'stepdad' or mum's partner at one point," another posted. "She doesn't seem him as a 'dad' probably because he didn't behave as a dad and groomed a child."
Other responses called the reporters' credibility into question for claiming it was Beth who pushed for the relationship, pointing out that Andy had gotten to know her as a child and terming the reporting "obscene."
Several also called the show "disgusting" and "triggering" and urged commenters to complain to Ofcom, the broadcasting authority responsible protecting the public from harmful or offensive material, to prevent its airing.
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