Caroline Flack: Love Island to return with tribute to ex-host

Caroline FlackImage copyright

Love Island is to return on Monday night after Saturday and Sunday’s episodes were cancelled following former host Caroline Flack’s death.

ITV said the show would feature a tribute to Flack, who was found dead in her north London home on Saturday.

A lawyer for the 40-year-old’s family said she had taken her own life.

Flack was replaced as host of the dating show after being charged with assaulting her boyfriend last year, and had been due to stand trial.

ITV said it had chosen not to air Sunday’s show “out of respect for Caroline’s family”, adding “all of us are absolutely devastated”.

“Love Island will return tomorrow night which will include a tribute to Caroline who will be forever in our hearts,” the broadcaster added in a statement.

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Media captionCaroline Flack won a British Academy Television Award for Love Island in 2018

Love Island’s sixth season and first winter series, which is being filmed in South Africa, is due to end on Sunday, 23 February.

Flack stood down from the show after she was charged with assaulting her boyfriend, Lewis Burton, in December. She denied the charge.

Her management company said she had been “under huge pressure” since then.

It criticised the Crown Prosecution Service for refusing to drop the charge, even though Mr Burton said he did not want the case to go ahead.

Bail conditions had stopped Flack having any contact with Mr Burton ahead of her trial next month.

The CPS said it would not comment on the specifics of the case “given the tragic circumstances”.

Former chief prosecutor Nazir Afzal said his impression was that the case had been determined to be a serious case, and one which the CPS felt they should proceed with “regardless of what the victim thought”.

On Sunday, Mr Burton wrote an emotional tribute to Flack on Instagram, promising the star he would “be your voice baby” and that he would “try [to] make you proud everyday”.

“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,” the 27-year-old tennis player wrote.

Laura Whitmore, who replaced Flack as Love Island presenter, paid tribute to her “vivacious” and “loving” friend.

Fighting back tears on her BBC Radio 5 Live show, she appealed to listeners to “be kind” to others and said she wanted to use her platform to “call people out” who had criticised Flack before her death.

“Anyone who has ever compared one woman against another on Twitter, knocked someone because of their appearance, invaded someone else’s privacy, who have made mean, unnecessary comments on an online forum – they need to look at themselves,” she said.

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Media captionPresenter Laura Whitmore pays tribute to friend Caroline Flack.

Responding to reports that the ambulance service was called to the star’s address the day before she was found dead, a London Ambulance spokesperson said: “We were called shortly after 22:30 on 14 February to a residential property in north London.

“Crews attended and, following a clinical assessment, the person was not taken to hospital. Due to patient confidentiality we cannot comment further.”

A petition on the online site 38 Degrees, dubbed “Caroline’s Law”, which calls for new laws around media regulation in the wake of the presenter’s death, has attracted more than 420,000 signatures.

Dozens of celebrities and former Love Island contestants paid tribute to Flack, who had also co-hosted The X Factor and won Strictly Come Dancing in 2014, describing her death as “heartbreaking”.

Channel 4 has said it will not broadcast its forthcoming show The Surjury, which was to have been hosted by Flack, following her death.

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