Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Love Island returns with tribute to Caroline Flack after former presenter's death

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Juliet Bremner

Love Island has returned with a tribute to former presenter Caroline Flack, after the show was not aired on Saturday and Sunday following her death.

The 40-year-old was found dead at her London home on Saturday.

Love Island narrator Iain Stirling paid tribute to Ms Flack at the start of Monday night's episode, saying he and the Love Island team were "absolutely devastated by the tragic news".

He continued: "Caroline and me were together from the very start of Love Island and her passion, warmth and infectious enthusiasm are what made the show connect with millions of viewers."

In a nod to Flack who posted a poignant message on Instagram a few months before her death - writing "in a world where you can be anything, be kind", Stirling said: "Like many of you, we're all just trying to come to terms with what has happened, my only hope is 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.

"You were a true friend to me.

"I'm going to miss you Caz."

Sorry, this content isn't available on your device.

Whilst the main show will return on Monday night, Aftersun, a spin-off series of the dating reality programme, will not air.

Ms Flack stepped down from presenting duties after being charged with the assault of her boyfriend.

She had entered a not guilty plea to the charge of assault by beating during a hearing at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court shortly before Christmas.

Caroline Flack at a Love Island Live photocall, the show she previously presented. Credit: PA

In a statement released earlier on Monday by ITV, the broadcaster's director of television, Kevin Lygo, said: "Everyone at ITV is absolutely devastated and still trying to process this tragic news.

"Caroline was part of Love Island from the very beginning and her passion, dedication and boundless energy contributed to the show’s success.

"After Caroline stepped down from the show ITV made it clear that the door was left open for her to return and the Love Island production team remained in regular contact with her and continued to offer support over the last few months.

"Love Island will return tonight and will include a tribute to Caroline that the team in South Africa and Iain Stirling have put together.

"Caroline loved Love Island and was very vocal in her support of the show.

"Viewers could relate to her and she to them and that was a big part of the programme’s success.

"We will all miss her very much."

Caroline Flack and Iain Stirling pictured in 2017. Credit: PA

Ms Flack's death sparked an outpouring of grief from celebrities and members of the public alike.

Her close friend and current Love Island presenter Laura Whitmore called for people to "be kind" to one another in the wake of her death.

The star's boyfriend, who she was banned from contacting amid allegations of assault, said his "heart is broken".

Lewis Burton vowed he would now be her "voice" and would "get all the answers," in an emotional tribute on Instagram.

Channel 4 has said it will no longer air The Surjury, a cosmetic surgery-based TV series with Ms Flack as its host.

There has been widespread criticism of the trial - which had been due to begin on March 4 - with her management company accusing the the Crown Prosecution Service of pressing ahead with what it called a "show trial" - even after her boyfriend said he did not support the prosecution.

Former CPS Prosecutor Nazir Afzal defended the decision to continue with the trial, despite the lack of support from Mr Burton.

He told ITV News: "When it comes to the police and prosecution service, they just did their job.

"This is what they do in relation to allegations of domestic abuse a thousands times a day, every day of the year."

He continued: "What they found in this case was evidence, which they looked at.

"They made a judgement that there was the right case to bring, additionally when the complainant decided to withdraw his allegation, that happens frequently in relation to domestic abuse.

"Again they looked at the case again and they still decided there was enough evidence.

"The issue around her mental health and vulnerability is one that I know people will be concerned about, but I know from my own experience that prosecutors do look at the vulnerability of the suspect," he 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