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Laura Whitmore calls for kindness on radio show as she pays emotional tribute to 'vivacious and loving' Caroline Flack

Laura Whitmore spoke of her 'vivacious and loving' friend Caroline Flack. Credit: Twitter/@thewhitmore

Love Island host Laura Whitmore broke down as she pleaded for kindness in a moving on-air tribute to her "vivacious and loving" friend Caroline Flack.

The TV presenter was speaking on her BBC Radio 5 Live a day after news broke of the former Love Island host's death.

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

Whitmore said she had been debating whether she "should, would or could come on air" in the aftermath of the tragedy, but said it was "the right thing to do."

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The 34-year-old took over from presenting Love Island after Flack was arrested for allegedly assaulting her boyfriend, Lewis Burton.

In an emotional tribute, Whitmore held back tears as she spoke of her friend who loved to dance and loved music.

Laura Whitmore said her friend had a love for dancing and loved music. Credit: PA

"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.

"Caroline loved dancing, Angels by Robbie Williams always reminds me of her, because she danced so beautifully to it on Strictly.

"I met her just shy of 10 years ago at V festival, and then we became friends, she was bubbly and for someone of such a small stature, commanded a room, she loved to laugh and had the most infectious chuckle."

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She said the show Love Island was so important to her friend, as "Caroline loved to love."

Flack had presented the ITV2 dating show since it began in 2015, and had been due to start presenting a new Channel 4 show, The Surjury, but the broadcaster announced the series will no longer air.

Whitmore said her friend "had many struggles" and had to live every mistake "publicly under the scrutiny of the media."

She pleaded for her listeners to "be kind" - in a nod to Flack who posted a poignant message a few months before her death - writing "in a world where you can be anything, be kind"

Flack was found dead in her east London home. Credit: PA

The radio presenter urged people to refrain from posting "mean and unnecessary" comments online, as "words affect people."

"To the press, the newspapers who create clickbait, who demonise and tear down success, we've had enough," she said.

"I've seen journalists and keyboard warriors talk of this tragedy, who they themselves twist what the truth is, you don't have to tear down someone to feel good about yourself."

She added she wanted to use her radio show "to call people out because it's gone too far."

Whitmore also defended Love Island, saying: "The problem wasn't the show, the show to work on is loving and caring and safe and protected.

"The problem is, the outside world is not."

She continued that she herself has "been harassed for just doing my job and this is where the problem is, and I want to use my 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."

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Whitmore ended her tribute with a personal and poignant message to her friend, before playing Angels by Robbie Willaims.

"Caroline, I'm so sad for you, for your family, I'm angry 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.

"I'm not sure when, but I know I will see you on a dance floor again and I hope you're at peace, and know that you are loved," she said.

  • Samaritans operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year, by calling 116 123. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at jo@samaritans.org.