Caroline Flack ‘really, really angry’ over Love Island criticism following Mike Thalassitis’ death

‘None of us know what’s going through someone’s mind and we can’t sit there and speculate’

Katie O'Malley
Wednesday 29 May 2019 17:25 BST
Love Island's Montana Brown gets emotional as she discusses Mike Thalassitis death

Caroline Flack has addressed the criticism of Love Island following the death of former contestant Mike Thalassitis, revealing she was “really, really angry”.

In an interview with Cosmopolitan UK, Love Island's host says that it is “dangerous” to blame the show for Thalassitis’ passing.

In March, it was reported Thalassitis had been found dead at the age of 26. Police confirmed his death was not being treated as suspicious.

Following his death, several of the programme’s previous stars urged the show to provide better mental health support for its contestants amid a deluge of criticism in the media of reality programmes' duty of care for contestants.

“It’s not just that you’re blaming a TV show, you’re blaming people and their jobs,” Flack tells the publication.

“In life we all have a duty of care to look out for each other, but I don’t think it’s fair to point fingers of blame.”

Flack continues, adding that she believes mental health to be a “a much bigger issue than just a reality TV show”, adding that “when something this bad happens - and I’m talking about Mike - when something this horrible and sad occurs, it’s so dangerous to point fingers within hours and minutes of it happening”.

“None of us know what’s going through someone’s mind and we can’t sit there and speculate,” she notes.

The presenter says that Thalassitis’ death should serve as a reminder for society to help young men suffering from mental health issues and consider how to alleviate the pressures of modern life on young people.

“It’s just too sad and too sensitive to talk about,” she says. “[Thalassitis] always a total gentleman to me and I’m going to be a total lady back.”

ITV recently announced that all contestants of this year's series of Love Island will receive a minimum of eight therapy sessions after the show has ended.

The production company outlined several new "duty of care processes" ahead of the fifth season of the show, one of which is to provide participants with "enhanced psychological support".

Richard Cowles, creative director of ITV Studios Entertainment, explained that the firm's new welfare processes will follow three key stages – pre-filming, during filming and post-filming.

Speaking of the contestants’ predicted fame following the show, Cowles said: "We really want to make sure they have given real consideration to this and what appearing on TV entails. Discussing all of this with us forms a big part of the casting process and, ultimately, their decision to take part."

Elsewhere in the interview, Flack says that she no longer cares about being judged or seeing negative comments written about her.

"Yeah, men don’t get treated like that," she notes of the gender imbalance of criticism levied against celebrities in the public eye.

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"But I don’t read it or live by it. You do in the beginning, then after a while you stop caring what people think."

"That happens when you start to love yourself. The only person that can define you is you. Nobody else can. And quite frankly, I have a great life.”

Love Island returns to ITV2 on Monday 3 June at 9pm.

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