The Love Island family is “absolutely devastated” over the news that Caroline Flack, the former host of the British reality TV show, has died.
Flack, 40, died by suicide on Saturday. She had left the show in December, after she was accused of assaulting her boyfriend, Lewis Burton. However, the loss still very much affected the cast and crew, as evident in a statement that Iain Stirling, the show’s narrator delivered as the show aired Monday. It had been taken off the air over the weekend following Flack’s death, according to CNN.
In the statement, which was also posted on social media, Stirling said the team was “absolutely devastated” by the news. He said they’re having a “dreadful time.”
Then he added a personal note: “Caroline and me were together from the very start of Love Island, and her passion, warmth and enthusiasm were a crucial part of what made this show connect with millions of viewers.”
“My only hope,” he continued, “is that we can all try and be kinder, always show love and listen to one another.”
He thanked Flack for the fun times they shared and for her friendship.
“I’m gonna miss you, Cass,” Stirling said, his voice cracking.
Both Stirling and Flack began working on the show when it launched in 2015.
Stirling’s partner, Laura Whitmore, is the person who replaced Flack as host of the dating show. Whitmore shared her own teary statement about the untimely death on her Sunday morning radio show on BBC Radio 5 Live.
Whitmore explained that she befriended Flack about a decade ago.
“Anyone who knew Caroline knew she was vivacious, loving and had a passion for life, which is why none of this makes sense,” Whitmore said.
She remembered her friend as someone who loved to laugh and loved to dance; in fact, Flack won the Strictly Come Dancing, the U.K. version of Dancing With the Stars, in 2014.
Whitmore slammed the tabloids for “looking for a cheap sell.”
She acknowledged that Flack struggled, too.
“I’m not going to pretend she’s perfect, but she lived every mistake publicly under the scrutiny of the media,” Whitmore said.
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