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  1. ITV Report

Love Island star Dr Alex talks of the pressures of reality TV and how being in the spotlight 'can be challenging'

Love Island star Dr Alex George has spoken of the pressures of reality TV and how being in the spotlight "can be challenging".

Speaking to ITV News, following the death of fellow Love Island contestant Mike Thalassitis, Dr George explained how appearing on television can change your life dramatically.

He said: "I think when you go from life as you know it before to going on the show and afterwards obviously there is a lot of pressure, it's a completely different life that maybe you're not used to and of course it can be challenging."

Mike Thalassitis was known for being a contestant on Love Island. Credit: PA

Mr Thalassitis, 26, who found fame on the 2017 series of the ITV competitive dating show, is thought to have taken his own life after he was found in a park over the weekend.

The NHS doctor also described the wider issue of mental health which is happening nationally and prominently affecting young men.

Dr George said: "There's a national situation where we have a lot of people who need to have mental health support, particularly and commonly young men who don't always reach out for support."

Consultant psychologist Honey Langcaster-James, who has worked on Love Island and Big Brother told ITV News' Nina Hossain there were challenges and stressful elements with reality TV but added most production companies put in place psychological support.

Consultant psychologist Honey Langcaster-James has worked on Love Island and Big Brother. Credit: ITV News

Ms Langcaster-James said: "I think we have to be really careful here that the reality show element of this doesn't become a red herring because we have a national mental health crisis, we know that suicide is the biggest killer for young men, men under the age of 25."

ITV said in a statement: "Care for our islanders is a process the show takes very seriously and is a continuous process for all those taking part in the show.

"We ensure that all of our contributors are able to access psychological support before, during and after appearing on the show."

ITV continued: "The programme will always provide ongoing support when needed and where appropriate.

"We also discuss at length with all of our islanders before and after the show how their lives might change, and they have access to support and advice to help with this."

Despite this the Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he was "very worried" about the mental health support provided to reality TV show stars.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he was 'very worried' about the mental health support provided to reality TV show stars. Credit: PA

Speaking at the Spectator health summit in London, he said: "The sudden exposure to massive fame ... can have significant impacts on people.

"I think that it is a duty on any organisation that is putting people in the position of making them famous overnight, that they should also look after them afterwards.

"I think that people need to take responsibility for their duties to people's well-being very seriously."

  • Samaritans is available 24/7 every day of the year, to listen and offer support to anyone who is struggling to cope. People can contact Samaritans by phone, free of charge, on 116123, via email at jo@samaritans.org or can visit www.samaritans.org to find details of their local branch.