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Caroline Flack death: Former Love Island presenter found dead at flat, aged 40

Stars pay tribute after family confirms TV host took her own life

Andrew Griffin
Saturday 15 February 2020 18:39 GMT
TV presenter Caroline Flack found dead aged 40

Former Love Island host Caroline Flack has been found dead at her London home, her family has said.

A lawyer for the family confirmed that Flack took her own life, aged 40.

“We would ask that the press respect the privacy of the family at this difficult time,” a family spokesperson said.

Flack began her career on ITV’s Bo’ Selecta! and went on to present a variety of shows for the broadcaster, including spin-offs from I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! and The X Factor, as well as Love Island.

She had left Love Island before the current series, after allegations of assault against her boyfriend.

Flack’s management on Saturday criticised the Crown Prosecution Service for pressing ahead with her “show trial” even after her boyfriend said he did not support it.

She had been due to face trial in March over the allegations that she had assaulted her boyfriend Lewis Burton at her flat, which she denied.

She entered a not guilty plea at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court in December.

The two had been forbidden from seeing each other as proceedings continued.

Mr Burton posted an Instagram story of a picture of Flack a day before her death, alongside a message reading “Happy Valentine’s. Love you”.

Flack stepped down from her role as Love Island presenter following the allegations and was replaced by Laura Whitmore for the winter series.

The presenter was active on Instagram but had largely stayed off the site in recent weeks. She returned to the platform just a day ago, however, posting a picture of her dog alongside a caption of a heart.

She said at Christmas that she had been advised to stay off social media.

Many of those paying tribute referenced an Instagram post from December in which Flack shared an image reading “In a world where you can be anything, be kind”.

Laura Whitmore, who took over hosting the winter series of Love Island from Flack, tweeted: “I’m trying to find the words but I can’t”, followed by a broken hearted emoji.

A spokesperson for Love Island 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.”

Chris Hughes, who appeared on Love Island in 2017, was among the stars to pay tribute to the presenter.

“Words can’t sum this up,” he wrote on Twitter. “So sad.

“Another amazing person taking from this cruel world. When will people and and press release celebrities are humans, with the same feelings everyone else has. Can’t believe to imagine the pain.

“God bless Caroline and her family. Rest tight.”

Former Love Island contestant Amber Davies, who won the ITV2 series the same year, tweeted: “My heart is actually broken.’’

Flack’s death is the third suicide of a former star of the reality show. Former contestants Mike Thalassitis and Sophie Gradon both died after appearing on the show, which started in its current form in 2015.

Until she stepped aside, Caroline Flack was synonymous with the hit ITV2 reality series.

She hosted the first five series of the programme, one of the most watched reality shows in the UK.

In 2018, she was present as Love Island won its first TV Bafta for best reality and constructed factual show.

Before that, she had presenting jobs on E4 Music and on the CBBC channel as well as being co-host of action game show Gladiators with Ian Wright on Sky One.

In 2009, she became the presenter of I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! NOW! alongside Joe Swash and Russell Kane.

She left the I’m A Celebrity companion show in 2011 to host another spin-off programme, The Xtra Factor for The X Factor, along with former contestant Olly Murs.

After leaving The Xtra Factor in 2014, Flack and Murs were promoted to host the main ITV show, replacing Dermot O’Leary.

However, the pair only hosted the main show for one year after being widely panned by critics and viewers.

The following year Flack said she had learnt to ignore her detractors, telling The Sun: “Not everyone is going to like you so you have to filter it.”

Aside from her presenting jobs, Flack has appeared on the small screen in Strictly Come Dancing and on the celebrity version of The Great British Bake Off.

She took part in Strictly in 2014 when she was partnered with Pasha Kovalev.

The pair won the series, fending off competition from Frankie Bridge and Simon Webbe.

Four years later, she talked about the difficulties she faced after lifting the Glitterball Trophy, telling The Sun that she felt as though her body was “covered” in “clingfilm” the morning after her dancefloor triumph, adding that she felt “ridiculous” feeling so low.

She added: “I couldn’t get up and just couldn’t pick myself up at all that next year.”

In March 2019, Flack took part in an episode of Channel 4’s charity show The Great Celebrity Bake Off for Stand Up To Cancer alongside other celebrities including journalist Krishnan Guru-Murthy, actor Greg Wise and boxer Nicola Adams.

Flack made her West End stage debut playing Roxie Hart in Chicago in 2018 having previously appeared on stage in a touring version of Crazy For You.

In 2015, she released an autobiography called Storm in a C Cup.

Aside from her career, Flack’s love life has made headlines over the years thanks to romances with the likes of Harry Styles and Prince Harry.

In 2011, she was linked to One Direction star Styles, who had been on The X Factor the previous year, when he was 17 and she was 31.

In her autobiography, Flack went into detail about how she met Prince Harry on a night out in 2009 through mutual friend Natalie Pinkham after she had split with a boyfriend.

She said they “spent the evening chatting and laughing”, but “once the story got out, that was it. We had to stop seeing each other.

“I was no longer Caroline Flack, TV presenter, I was Caroline Flack, Prince Harry’s bit of rough.”

Flack became engaged to former Apprentice and Celebrity Big Brother star Andrew Brady in April 2018, but the pair split a few months later.

Most recently Flack had been in a relationship with former tennis player Lewis Burton.

In December last year, Flack denied assaulting him in an incident that left them both covered in blood.

She was accused of hitting Burton, 27, over the head with a lamp, causing a head injury.

But the former professional athlete and model Burton said he did not support the prosecution and insisted he was not a victim.

He spoke out in defence of Flack, saying she has become the subject of a “witch hunt” following her arrest.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, you can reach out for confidential support at Samaritans by calling 116 124 or visiting their website

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