Love Island’s Iain Sterling has paid tribute to Caroline Flack following her death over the weekend.
At the start of tonight’s episode, the 32-year-old offered his sorrow at the former host’s passing, praising Flack for her contribution to the show’s success.
In a voiceover, he said: “We are all absolutely devastated by the tragic news that Caroline, a much loved member of our Love Island family, has passed away. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this dreadful time.
“Caroline and me were together from the very start of Love Island and her passion, warmth and infectious enthusiasm were a crucial part of what made the show connect with millions of viewers.
“Like many of you, right now we’re all just trying to come to terms with what has happened. My only hope is that we can all try and be kinder, always show love and listen to one another.
“Caroline, I want to thank you for all the fun times we had making our favourite show together. You were a true friend to me.
“I’m going to miss you, Caz.”
It comes after the news broke on Saturday evening (15 February) that the 40-year-old had tragically passed away after taking her own life.
As a mark of respect for the television presenter, ITV pulled both shows over the weekend.
In a statement yesterday evening (16 February), a spokesperson for ITV 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.
Flack stood down as the presenter of ITV’s reality dating show Love Island in December, following an assault charge.
Laura Whitmore, who took over as presenter, broke down in tears during her radio shows over the weekend as she spoke of her close friend while urging people to be more mindful of the things they say.
She said: “Be kind, only you are responsible for how you treat others and what you put out in the world. I’ve had messages and been harassed for doing my job, and this is where the problem is. And I want to use my platform, this platform, to call people out, because it’s gone too far.
“Your words affect people. To paparazzi and tabloids looking for a cheap sell, to trolls hiding behind a keyboard: enough.
“I’d like to thank BBC and ITV for the support that I’ve had and those who supported my decision to come in today, as I felt it was the right thing to do.”
She continued: “Thank you to my boyfriend, the kindest man I know, and to the whole Love Island family who are in mourning of their colleague and friend and have been a great support over the last few hours. I love you.
“To everyone, be kind in what you say. I’m going to carry on and get through this show, as that’s what Caroline would say to do.
“Caroline, I am so sad for you and your family. I am angry that you saw this as your only option, as I know how much love and support you had, I’m sorry you didn’t know that.”
Whitmore added: “I am not sure when but I know I’ll see you on the dance floor again. And I hope you are at peace and know that you are loved.”
UOKM8? is a campaign by LADbible, featuring films and stories that provide advice and inspiration on mental health. Explore more here and don’t suffer in silence. Let’s talk mental health.
MIND: 0300 123 3393.
Samaritans: 116 123.
CALM: Outside London 0808 802 5858, inside London 0800 58 58 58.
News from Ladbible