Love Island to return on Monday with special tribute to Caroline Flack

16 February 2020, 20:39 | Updated: 16 February 2020, 20:41

Love Island was not broadcast on Sunday
Love Island was not broadcast on Sunday. Picture: PA

ITV have confirmed Love Island will return on Monday with a special tribute to Caroline Flack.

The show's former presenter took her own life in her London flat yesterday at the age of 40.

It was decided that Sunday night's episode would not go ahead on Sunday out of respect for the former host's family.

An ITV spokesperson said: “Many people at ITV knew Caroline well and held her in great affection. All of us are absolutely devastated at this tragic news.

“After careful consultation between Caroline’s representatives and the Love Island production team and given how close we still are to the news of Caroline’s tragic death we have decided not to broadcast tonight’s Love Island out of respect for Caroline’s family.

The presenter was best known for presenting Love Island
The presenter was best known for presenting Love Island. Picture: PA

"Love Island will return tomorrow night which will include a tribute to Caroline who will be forever in our hearts.”

The show was also cancelled last night just hours after the news of Ms Flack's tragic death broke.

Ms Flack had presented the show since 2015, but stepped down after it was alleged she assaulted Lewis Burton 27, at her then flat in Islington, north London, in December.

She entered a not guilty plea to the assault charge at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court and she was released on bail, with conditions that stopped her having any contact with Burton ahead of a trial in March.

The day before her death, paramedics were called to Ms Flack's flat in London.

A London Ambulance Service spokesman said: "We were called shortly after 22:30 on 14 February to a residential property on Northwold Road, N16.

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

Caroline’s death rocked the country with a flood of tributes from celebrities - but also questions about the pressures faced by TV celebrities and about the decision to press ahead with her prosecution.

Mr Burton - who has stood by Ms Flack in the wake of the allegations - wrote on social media today: “My heart is broken, we had something so special.

“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.”

“I will be your voice baby I promise I will ask all the questions you wanted and I will get all the answers nothing will bring you back but I will try make you proud everyday.

“I love you with all my heart.”

Flowers left at the flat where Ms Flack was found on Saturday
Flowers left at the flat where Ms Flack was found on Saturday. Picture: LBC News

In a statement released on Saturday night her management company criticised the Crown Prosecution Service for pressing ahead with what it called her "show trial" even after her boyfriend said he did not support it.

Francis Ridley of Money Talent Management, said: "In recent months Caroline had been under huge pressure because of an ongoing case and potential trial which has been well reported.

"The Crown Prosecution Service pursued this when they knew not only how very vulnerable Caroline was but also that the alleged victim did not support the prosecution and had disputed the CPS version of events.

"The CPS should look at themselves today and how they pursued a show trial that was not only without merit but not in the public interest. And ultimately resulted in significant distress to Caroline."

Talent agent Jonathan Shalit told BBC Radio 5's Stephen Nolan that Flack received "more negative press than a terrorist or a paedophile" over the trial.

Ms Flack won Strictly Come Dancing in 2014 with Pasha Kovalev
Ms Flack won Strictly Come Dancing in 2014 with Pasha Kovalev. Picture: PA

"These people might be famous, but they're still vulnerable individuals," Mr Shalit added.

The tragedy will also put the spotlight back on the pressures which come with TV celebrity.

Flack is the fourth person linked to ITV2 dating programme Love Island to have killed themselves.

Sophie Gradon, who appeared as a contestant in the show in 2016, was found dead at her home in 2018 at the age of 32. Her boyfriend Aaron Armstrong, who had found her body, killed himself three weeks later. He was 25.

Mike Thalassitis, who appeared in the 2017 series, was 26 when he was found dead in a park in March last year.

Following the news of Flack's death, an ITV spokeswoman said: "Everybody at Love Island and ITV is shocked and saddened by this desperately sad news.

"Caroline was a much loved member of the Love Island team and our sincere thoughts and condolences are with her family and friends."

A highlights episode of Love Island, called Unseen Bits, that was due to air on Saturday evening on ITV2 was pulled from the schedule.

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

Burton, a former professional tennis player, had shared a post declaring his love for Flack on his Instagram Stories on Valentine's Day.

Along with a picture of the two of them together, he wrote: "Happy valentines, love you."

Flack had also taken to social media shortly before her death, sharing a collage of pictures of herself with her pet dog on Instagram on Thursday.

Laura Whitmore, who replaced Flack on Love Island for the latest series, tweeted "I'm trying to find the words but I can't", followed by a broken heart emoji.

Dermot O'Leary, who previously worked alongside Flack on The X Factor, posted a picture of the pair of them together on Instagram.

He said: "Just the worst news. Poor soul. Sending love to hers, and yours. Hold them tight tonight people. X Candles lit."

TV presenter Davina McCall also tweeted in reaction to the news of Flack's death.

"I don't even know what to say. But my heart goes out to her friends and family x I might be a bit quiet tonight on social media .. just doesn't seem right."

Flack's TV presenting roles have included Gladiators, I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! NOW!, The X Factor and The Xtra Factor.

She won Strictly Come Dancing in 2014 while paired with professional dancer Pasha Kovalev.

The following year she joined the revival of dating reality show Love Island on ITV2.

She hosted the first five series of the popular programme - one of the most-watched reality shows in the UK in recent years and won a TV Bafta in 2018 - as well as its spin-off programme Aftersun.

Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org in the UK.

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