New Love Island host Laura Whitmore has broken down in an emotional tribute after the death of British reality television presenter Caroline Flack at the age of 40.
Laura, who took over as host of the reality dating show this year when Caroline stepped down after being charged with assault, shared her thoughts on the tragic news on BBC Radio 5 Live saying she wanted to give Caroline the “respect she deserves” that she “didn’t always get”.
Laura Whitmore pays emotional tribute to friend #CarolineFlack— BBC Radio 5 Live (@bbc5live) February 16, 2020
Read more tributes here: https://t.co/mgnB5FK3sl
Listen to the full programme via @bbcsounds: https://t.co/TsoKQAsCvT pic.twitter.com/0T7QEIqtU5
“She loved to laugh and had the most infectious chuckle. She also had many struggles,” she said.
“Caroline loved love, that’s all she wanted, which is why the show Love Island was so important to her.”
Laura goes on to say the show “wasn’t the problem” and working on it they were “safe and protected”.
“The problem is that the outside world is not,” she said.
“Anyone who has ever compared one woman against another on Twitter, knocked someone because of their appearance, invaded someone else’s privacy, who have made mean unnecessary comments on an online forum, need to look at themselves.”
She goes on to ask listeners to ‘be kind’ adding she wants to use her platform to call people out.
Caroline Flack found dead at 40
Caroline’s family shared the tragic news at the weekend, their lawyer confirming the TV presenter had taken her own life.
"We can confirm that our Caroline passed away today, the 15th of February," her family said in a statement that also requested privacy.
"Everybody at Love Island and ITV is shocked and saddened by this desperately sad news," an ITV spokeswoman said.
"Caroline was a much loved member of the Love Island team and our sincere thoughts and condolences are with her family and friends."
Caroline is the third person linked to the reality program to have died, prompting viewers to demand Love Island be axed.
Former star Sophie Gradon took her own life at her parents home in 2018, having opened up about the devastating impact of being trolled online after starring on Love Island UK just months before.
“There would be so many negative comments,” she told Radio Aire. “They are commenting on the way you look, the way you talk. They would come up with an opinion of you on a TV show where they’ve watched you for 45 minutes.”
Her body was discovered by her boyfriend Aaron Armstrong who took his own life 20 days later.
Then in March 2019, UK Love Island star Mike Thalassitis died aged 26.
At the time Caroline shared a tribute writing: “Mike… you were a total gentleman… I won’t forget that… it’s so so sad… you will be missed. RIP.”
Caroline’s partner shares tribute
Caroline’s boyfriend Lewis Burton, 27 has also shared a picture of the couple on holiday together on Instagram saying his 'heart is broken'.
“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,” he wrote.
“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.”