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Tonight's episode of Love Island cancelled in light of Caroline Flack's death

Love Island presenter Flack was found dead at the age of 40 at her home in east London after taking her own life.

Caroline Flack
Caroline Flack
Image: Ian West via PA Images

Updated Feb 16th 2020, 6:38 PM

LOVE ISLAND WILL not air tonight following the death of its former presenter Caroline Flack, but the current series will continue.

Flack was found dead at the age of 40 at her home in east London yesterday, after taking her own life.

Last night’s highlights edition of the ITV2 dating show was pulled, and there has been speculation about whether the rest of the series would air.

It has now been confirmed that although it will not be on tonight, Love Island will be back tomorrow, with a tribute to Flack.

An ITV spokesperson said:

Many people at ITV knew Caroline well and held her in great affection. All of us are absolutely devastated at this tragic news.
After careful consultation between Caroline’s representatives and the Love Island production team and given how close we still are to the news of Caroline’s tragic death we have decided not to broadcast tonight’s Love Island out of respect for Caroline’s family.
Love Island will return tomorrow night which will include a tribute to Caroline who will be forever in our hearts.

Tweet by @Love Island Source: Love Island/Twitter

Flack’s family confirmed that she died yesterday, adding in a statement: “We would ask that the press respect the privacy of the family at this difficult time and we would ask they make no attempt to contact us and/or photograph us.”

Flack, who was described as “vulnerable” by her management, stepped down from presenting the current winter series of Love Island after she was alleged to have assaulted boyfriend Lewis Burton at her then-flat in Islington, north London, in December.

She entered a not guilty plea to the assault charge at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court and was released on bail, with conditions that stopped her having contact with her boyfriend ahead of a trial in March.

Backlash

By this evening, an online petition calling for a government inquiry into “the practices and policies of mainstream media organisations and social media platforms in their efforts to protect members of the public from harm” had more than 191,000 signatures.

The tragedy has put the spotlight back on the pressures which come with TV celebrity.

Flack is the fourth person linked to the ITV2 dating programme to have died by suicide.

Sophie Gradon, who was a contestant in 2016, was found dead at her home in 2018 at the age of 32.

Her boyfriend Aaron Armstrong, who had found her body, killed himself three weeks later. He was 25.

Mike Thalassitis, who appeared in the 2017 series, was 26 when he was found dead in a park in March last year.

Tributes

Tributes to Flack poured in after her death, with Burton saying that his “heart is broken”.

He said in an emotional message on Instagram that he would now be Flack’s “voice” and would “get all the answers”.

Beside a picture of them together, he wrote: “My heart is broken we had something so special.

“I am so lost for words I am in so much pain I miss you so much I know you felt safe with me you always said I don’t think about anything else when I am with you and I was not allowed to be there this time I kept asking and asking.”

Burton, 27, added: “I will be your voice baby I promise I will ask all the questions you wanted and I will get all the answers nothing will bring you back but I will try make you proud everyday.

“I love you with all my heart.”

Flack’s former X Factor colleague Dermot O’Leary said he had “candles lit” in her memory, and her Love Island colleague Iain Stirling, the programme’s narrator, shared a video of Flack from a performance on Strictly Come Dancing in 2014 and wrote: “Today my friend slow motion walked into heaven. I will miss her always. Thank you for everything x.”

Laura Whitmore, who replaced Flack as Love Island host for the latest series, tweeted “I’m trying to find the words but I can’t”, followed by a broken heart emoji.

An ITV spokeswoman said: “Everybody at Love Island and ITV is shocked and saddened by this desperately sad news.

“Caroline was a much-loved member of the Love Island team and our sincere thoughts and condolences are with her family and friends.”

If you need to speak to someone, contact

  • Aware 1800 80 48 48 (depression, anxiety)
  • Samaritans 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.ie
  • Pieta House 1800 247 247 or email mary@pieta.ie (suicide, self-harm)
  • Teen-Line Ireland 1800 833 634 (for ages 13 to 18)
  • Childline 1800 66 66 66 (for under 18s)

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