Caroline Flack's boyfriend Lewis Burton pays emotional tribute to her

‘My heart is broken – we had something so special’: Caroline Flack’s boyfriend reveals his grief in emotional early morning Instagram post after his Love Island star girlfriend, 40, killed herself in her London flat

  • Love Island presenter died on Saturday, hours after she was told the CPS was pushing ahead with her case  
  • Management slammed CPS for pursuing the ‘show trial’ after boyfriend said he did not want to press charges
  • Lewis Burton this morning posted emotional tribute to her pledging to be her ‘voice’ and ‘ask her questions’
  • She took her own life while the producer friend who was staying with her in north London went to the shops 
  • Flack, 40, is the third person who had appeared on the controversial ITV2 dating show to take their own life 
  • Sophie Gradon, 32, killed herself in June 2018 and Mike Thalassitis, 26, was found dead in March last year 
  • Love Island highlights show was cancelled last night and there are now doubts about the future of the show 
  • If you have been affected by this story, you can call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org 

Caroline Flack’s grieving boyfriend has posted an emotional tribute to the ex-Love Island presenter after her death yesterday.

Lewis Burton, 27, shared a picture of him and Flack, 40, on holiday together on Instagram this morning, saying his ‘heart is broken’ and promising to ‘be her voice’. 

The former ITV presenter killed herself at her new flat in Islington, north London, hours after finding out she would face trial over the alleged assault of Mr Burton last year – while the producer friend who was staying with her went to the shops. 

When the friend was unable to get back in, she called Flack’s father Ian, who made his way into the property before discovering his daughter’s body.   

The star’s management team had previously described her as ‘vulnerable’ and slammed the Crown Prosecution Service for pushing ahead with her ‘show trial’ despite Mr Burton saying he did not want to press charges.    

Mr Burton’s post read 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.’

He then re-posted a picture Flack uploaded to Instagram on December 5 that read: ‘In a world where you can be anything, be kind’, with the caption ‘I will love you forever’. 

Mr Burton had alleged she hit him with a lamp at her former Islington home in December before backtracking on the claim. As part of her bail conditions the pair were banned from contacting each other.  

Lewis Burton posted an emotional tribute on Instagram this morning following the news of Caroline Flack’s death on Saturday

He then re-posted a picture Flack uploaded to Instagram on December 5 that read: ‘In a world where you can be anything, be kind’, with the caption ‘I will love you forever’

The last post: A collage of pictures posted by Flack on Thursday to her 2.4million followers, showing her playing with her dog, Ruby

Caroline Flack has been found dead at her London flat aged 40. She is pictured above attending the Brit awards last year

The TV presenter, aged 40, took her own life after a worried friend who was staying with her went to the shops, leaving her alone at her London home (pictured)

Pictures show a police and forensic services car parked outside Flack’s property in Islington, north London, yesterday night

Lewis Burton had posted a picture of him and Flack on Instagram and wrote: ‘Happy Valentine’s… Love You’

The Love Island host took to Instagram last month to announce that she planned to give her side of the story but made no further statement 


Contestants Mike Thalassitis and Sophie Gradon took their own lives following their appearances on the dating programme, throwing the show’s future into question

The news was confirmed by her family, who said in a statement yesterday: ‘We can confirm that our Caroline passed away today on the 15th February. We would ask that the press respect the privacy of the family at this difficult time.’

Police today revealed the Strictly Come Dancing winner was pronounced dead at the scene just after 2.30pm.

They said in a statement: ‘Officers were made aware of concerns for welfare at a residential address in Stoke Newington at 2.31pm on Saturday.

‘Officers and London Ambulance Service attended and found an unresponsive woman inside the address. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Next of kin are aware.

‘The death is being treated as non-suspicious. A file will be prepared for the Coroner.’  

Flack’s management team brand the CPS case a ‘show trial’ that was ‘not in the public interest’ 

Caroline Flack’s management said everyone was devastated at the news and criticised the Crown Prosecution Service for pressing ahead with her ‘show trial’ even after her boyfriend said he did not support it.

In a statement, Francis Ridley of Money Talent Management, said: ‘We are devastated at the loss of our client and friend Caroline Flack.

‘An immensely talented young woman who was at the top of her game professionally and loved by television viewers across the country. 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. Our thoughts are with Caroline’s family at this time.’

A neighbour told MailOnline: ‘There were loads of police and ambulance there all day – all the way up the road – until they left the area about 8 o’ clock’. 

Today a blonde haired woman in a black jacket was seen arriving at the exclusive converted school where Flack took her own life and buzzing one of the flats there. After pulling up at the gated development in a black Audi, she left minutes later. 

An eyewitness said of yesterday’s scenes: ‘I saw two men walk through the gates to the flats where Caroline Flack lived yesterday afternoon.

‘Both were crying and they hugged each other for support.

‘They were waiting for the police to turn up. They met the police and paramedics when they arrived and let them in.

‘I didn’t know what was going on at first. It was only when I read the news about Caroline Flack that I realised it must have been for her.’

A member of Flack’s management team last night said the CPS should ‘look at themselves’ in light of her death and claimed they were pursuing a trial against her ‘without merit’, which resulted in ‘significant distress to Caroline’. 

In court it was heard that while under caution Flack siad she would kill herself and that she said: ‘I did it’, when asked about striking her boyfriend.   

The saga surrounding her court case saw her forced to ‘step down’ from hosting Love Island, which began its first ever winter series in South Africa at the beginning of the year and is now being hosted by Laura Whitmore. 

ITV and Love Island producers have already come under scrutiny for prompting that decision, with many questioning what support they gave her. Reality shows have been warned by Ofcom that they have a duty of care towards their stars. 

Today #cancelloveisland was trending on Twitter, with commentators demanding the show be axed with immediate effect after Flack became the third person linked to the show to take their own life. Sophie Gradon, 32, died in 2018 and Mike Thalassitis, 26, was found dead in 2019. 

Speaking on Sky News’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps echoed the TV regulator, saying ‘the duty of care should be considered’ over Flack’s death. 

But he warned: ‘Clearly people making these programmes do have a duty of care, not just to contestants but to presenters as well.But I don’t want to jump to conclusions. ‘We know there were circumstances involved here.’  

The former presenter has been described by friends as feeling ‘on her own’ and that she ‘couldn’t see a way out’. They claim she was struggling with her mental health and using anti-depressants before her death. 

But she appeared ‘relaxed and happy’ a week ago when she went to her local pub with a male friend.

A worker at The Three Crowns pub in Stoke Newington, north east London, said Flack came in for a drink with a man last Sunday around 2pm.

They told MailOnline: ‘She came in with a male friend and sat down at a table opposite the bar.

‘She appeared to be relaxed and was laughing and joking. They didn’t stay very long, maybe 15-minutes or so, and left after finishing their drinks.

‘I was really shocked when I heard she had died yesterday. Nothing in her behaviour last week suggested anything like that but I guess you don’t know what’s really going on in people’s lives.’

Flack’s replacement on Love Island Laura Whitmore (pictured leaving her Radio 5 Live recording this morning) led tributes to Flack last night as she posted on Twitter, ‘I’m trying to find the words but I can’t’ next to a broken heart emoji and posted a poem about loss


Laura Whitmore is seen leaving BBC studios after recording her Radio 5 Live Sunday morning breakfast show today, which she opened with a touching tribute to her friend Caroline 

A bunch of roses is pictured at the door of Flack’s converted school flat in Islington, north London this morning

Among Flack’s final Twitter likes was a post advertising suicide prevention services at Christmas, which read: ‘Hard time of year for a lot of folks. Suicide Hotline 116 123 (Samaritans) A simple copy and paste might save someone’s life. If you are struggling, please please talk to someone. XXX’ 

Her replacement on the show Laura Whitmore led tributes to Flack last night as she posted on Twitter, ‘I’m trying to find the words but I can’t’ next to a broken heart emoji and posted a poem about loss. 

She began her Radio 5 Live radio show this morning with the words: ‘Be kind… It’s gone too far… your words affect people,’ as she fought back tears. 

Whitmore described Flack as someone who was ‘bubbly’, ‘vivacious’ and had an ‘infectious chuckle’. She said she wasn’t perfect, but asked: ‘Is anyone?’

She added that all the star wanted was love, telling her listeners: ‘Caroline loved to love. That’s all she wanted.’   

In developments following the tragedy: 

  • ITV axed a highlights episode of Love Island that was due to air at 9pm last night and replaced it with a double bill of You’ve Been Framed
  • Viewers called for Love Island to be cancelled following Flack’s death
  • Channel 4 said it had axed series The Surjury, which featured Flack as a presenter. A spokesman said in a statement they were ‘shocked and saddened’ to hear the tragic news
  • Tributes led by Love Island presenter Laura Whitmore poured in, which described Flack as a ‘star’, ‘much loved’ and ‘one of the warmest funniest people’
  • Her boyfriend Lewis Burton was understood to be travelling home from a skiing trip after hearing the news
  • Burton had posted a Valentine’s message to her on Friday saying ‘Happy Valentines. Love you’
  • Last week, Flack was revealed to be writing a ‘self-help’ book as she battled with depression
  • Her death was said to have occurred in non-suspicious circumstances. A post-mortem has been scheduled and an inquest will be opened in the coming days 

Laura Whitmore pays tearful tribute to Caroline Flack

Laura Whitmore broke down as she remembered her ‘vivacious and loving’ friend Caroline Flack in an emotional tribute on her Sunday morning radio show.

Whitmore, who has known Flack for around 10 years and replaced her as host on the current series of Love Island, said that ‘none of this makes sense’ after the TV presenter took her own life at the age of 40. 

Opening her show on BBC Radio 5 Live on Sunday morning, Whitmore said she had been ‘debating whether I should, would or could come on air today’.

Her voice cracking, she said: ‘Yesterday we lost someone before their time. We’re going to talk about her and give her the respect that she deserves and that she didn’t always get.’

Whitmore, 34, said that ‘anyone who knew Caroline knew she was vivacious, loving, and had a passion for life, which is why none of this makes sense’.

‘Caroline loved dancing. Angels by Robbie Williams always reminds me of her because she danced so beautifully to it on Strictly, and I’m going to play that song after I’ve said what I want to say.’

She said that Flack ‘loved music, she loved to dance, we shared many a dancefloor at gigs, festivals’ as she recalled their friendship beginning 10 years ago at V Festival.

‘She was bubbly, and for such a small stature commanded a room,’ Whitmore said. ‘She loved to laugh and had the most infectious chuckle. She also had many struggles. I’m not going to pretend she’s perfect, but she lived every mistake publicly under the scrutiny of the media.’

Whitmore said that Flack ‘loved to love’ and ‘that’s all she wanted, which is why a show like Love Island was important to her because the show is about finding love, friendship, having a laugh.’ 

She added: ‘I’m going to carry on today and get through this show as that’s what Caroline would say to do.

‘Caroline, I’m so sad for you, for your family. I’m angry that you saw this as your only option as I know how much love and support you had. I’m sorry you didn’t know that.’ I’m not sure when but I know I’ll see you on the dancefloor again.’ 

Former contestants Wes Nelson, Chris Hughes, Molly-Mae Hague also paid their respects to the star, while Piers Morgan called her a ‘fun, bright and sparky person’. 

Friends of the presenter, who was paid a £1.2million salary for Love Island, have said she had been terrified of her impending court date. ‘She was on her own. She couldn’t take it anymore. Her family are devastated,’ one friend told The Mirror.

Another added: ‘Caroline couldn’t bear the thought of going  through the court case. She felt her career would never recover from this – and she felt humiliated in front of the world. In the end she just couldn’t see a way out. She didn’t know how to fix herself.’

One friend also said she had been on anti-depressants: ‘She went to a climbing wall with one of her pals, and they were trying to keep her spirits up but she was going deeper into her depression. In the last few weeks she was with a lot of her friends and rarely alone.’ 

The presenter was revealed to be writing a ‘self-help’ book. ‘Caroline has found the process incredibly cathartic,’ one of her friends said last week. ‘She wants it to be more than just a story about her. She wants to talk about the problems she’s encountered and how she’s overcome them.’

Flack leaves behind her twin sister Jody, her elder sister Elizabeth, her elder brother Paul, and her parents Christine and Ian. 

She also leaves behind her treasured French Bulldog Ruby. A mourner yesterday laid a single rose at Flack’s former address, which she had only moved to in recent weeks. 

Today, her neighbours recalled seeing marked police vehicles on the street over the weekend, but did not see any ambulances.

Robert Edwards, who lives opposite the buildings, said he was surprised to hear Flack lived at the apartment block as she had recently moved from another address in Islington. 

The 67-year-old retired market trader said: ‘I was really surprised to hear she lived across the road in the converted school house.

‘She must have kept a very very low profile. Perhaps she rented it to get away from the Islington address. It’s devastating news. It’s such a waste.

‘I can’t put together what she had done and the way it has ended. It was just a drunken row. I don’t know why she didn’t plead guilty and avoid a public trial. 

He added: ‘I just feel for her parents. Her parents have to be my kind of generation. I think they would probably prefer to be dead themselves than to lose their little girl.

‘The only reason I can think of is social media. I don’t watch reality TV shows either and I think that can’t have helped.

‘I do think we have turned into a nation of voyeurs and peeping Toms. In my day, it was considered better to stay out of the public eye.’  

A man at a nearby cafe said: ‘ She used to come here in the mornings. I didn’t really know her to say if she looked her usual self or not – but she was a lovely, lovely person.’

He added: ‘It’s very sad.’ Another man at the cafe added: ‘I think she only moved here recently.’

Flack’s friends are said to be furious that the CPS pursued the presenter’s prosecution despite Burton making it clear he did not want the case to go to trial as there had been no serious injury.

Her management criticised the CPS in a statement. Francis Ridley, of Money Talent Management, said: ‘We are devastated at the loss of our client and friend Caroline Flack. 


Flack’s death comes just weeks before she was due to go on trial for assaulting partner Lewis Burton, who in December accused her of hitting him with a lamp before backtracking on these claims

Flack’s personal woes began when police were seen outside the presenter’s residence, where she lived with Burton, during the early hours of December 14 after reports emerged that a man had been attacked 


A mourner laid flowers at Caroline Flack’s former home in Islington, north London, which she moved out of in recent weeks. She was to go on trial after being accused by partner Lewis Burton of hitting him on the head with a lamp at the property in December. He later backtracked on the claims

A single rose was left outside Flack’s former home in Islington after the family announced her tragic death


Flack leaves behind her twin sister Jody (pictured together left) and her elder brother, elder sister, mother Christine and father Ian (family pictured right. Ian taking photo) 

Boy George has criticised the CPS for pursuing the case, saying he hopes they feel ‘deep sorrow’. The 58-year-old tweeted: ‘I hope all of you who attacked Caroline Flack even when her partner said he wanted no charges feel some sorrow today. This did not need to happen’

‘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. 

Love Island is rocked by THIRD death tragedy that could spell the end for controversial ITV2 reality show

Caroline Flack’s tragic death could lead to ITV bosses pulling the plug on Love Island after she became the third person associated with the show to take their own life.

The hugely popular money-spinner had already been under intense scrutiny following the suicides of former contestants Sophie Gradon, 32, and Mike Thalassitis, 26, prompting calls for producers to take more care of its stars.

Flack’s death will reignite concerns over the support that the broadcaster shows to those suffering mental health problems and the perceived lack of support provided by production bosses.

‘ITV talk about duty of care but there was little to no support for her,’ a source close to Flack told The Sun.

‘She went from hosting one of the most popular shows on TV to be effectively cast out.’

Following the tragic news, ITV pulled last night’s highlights episode of Love Island: Unseen Bits that was due to air at 9pm on ITV2.

The programme announcer said: ‘In light of today’s sad news we’re replacing tonight’s episode of Love Island: Unseen Bits with a double bill of You’ve Been Framed.’

However it has not known whether Love Island will air tomorrow night as scheduled.  

‘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. Our thoughts are with Caroline’s family at this time.

‘An immensely talented young woman who was at the top of her game professionally and loved by television viewers across the country. In recent months Caroline had been under huge pressure because of an ongoing case and potential trial which has been well reported.’ 

Talent agent Jonathan Shalit this morning told BBC Radio 5’s Stephen Nolan that Flack received ‘more negative press than a terrorist or a paedophile’ over her impending trial.

‘These people might be famous, but they’re still vulnerable individuals,’ he said.

Boy George has criticised the CPS for pursuing the case, saying he hopes they feel ‘deep sorrow’. The 58-year-old tweeted: ‘I hope all of you who attacked Caroline Flack even when her partner said he wanted no charges feel some sorrow today. This did not need to happen.

‘This is devastating news! And yes, I hope the @cpsuk feel even deeper sorrow.’

Comedian Keith Lemon paid tribute, saying: ‘Shocked. I’ve known Caroline all my telly life. I have no words. Love to her family.’ 

The CPS told MailOnline in a statement: ‘Our deepest sympathies go to the family and friends of Caroline  Flack. Given the tragic circumstances, we will not comment on the specifics of this case at  this stage.’ 

The presenter’s death has re-ignited questions about ITV’s aftercare as it was forced to enhance its procedures following public outcry over the suicides of two contestants. 

‘ITV talk about duty of care but there was little to no support for her,’ a source told The Sun.  

‘She went from hosting one of the most popular shows on TV to being effectively cast out. It was crushing. 

‘Whatever she said publicly, she told those close to her that she had in effect been sacked. She hadn’t been found guilty of anything and didn’t deserve to have her career ripped from her the way that she felt it had been.’

Broadcaster regulator Ofcom has been swamped with hundreds of complaints from viewers over contestants behaviour on the show and challenges developed by producers.

The regulator confirmed in a statement in May last year that it was examining whether ‘more could be done’ to safeguard the welfare of people on reality TV shows.  

Flack was best known for previously fronting the hugely popular ITV2 show Love Island, which was last night rocked by the third death of one of its former stars

Droplets of what appear to be blood were seen splattered on Caroline Flack’s home following her arrest for assaulting her boyfriend Lewis Burton

A tribute to Londoner Caroline Flack was last night written on a Tube billboard at one of the capital’s stations

CAROLINE FLACK’S TURBULENT LOVE LIFE

Prince Harry, aged 34

Short fling? Caroline revealed she was introduced to Prince Harry by their mutual friend Natalie Pinkham in 2009

Close: Caroline candidly admitted she nearly slept with Olly Murs when they presented The Xtra Factor together in 2011

  • Caroline revealed she was introduced to Prince Harry by their mutual friend Natalie Pinkham, a Formula One correspondent for Sky Sports
  • Sparks flew when the pair enjoyed a night out a decade ago in 2009, shortly after Caroline had split from another ex
  • She later penned in her book: ‘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’ 

 

Olly Murs, aged 35

  • Caroline candidly admitted she nearly slept with Olly when they presented The Xtra Factor together in 2011
  • They shared a kiss as they toasted her Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women Award with a private moment in the photobooth in November 2015
  • The pair’s on-screen chemistry was all everyone could talk about when they hosted The Xtra Factor together from 2011 until 2012
  • Rumours were swirling the pair were in the throes of love as they hosted The X Factor together in 2015 for a year 

Former lover: Back in 2011, Caroline was 31 when she started romancing 17-year-old Harry Styles

   Harry Styles, aged 25

  • Back in 2011, Caroline was 31 when she started romancing 17-year-old Harry
  • The television host admitted she knew the singer had a crush on her before she pursued a romance with the heartthrob 
  • She said of their brief fling in The Sun on Sunday: ‘I already knew that he had a crush on me, he’s made it pretty obvious as he’s said it in magazines. I’ve never felt I was much older than Harry. I still feel 18 and I probably act that way half the time’ 

 

Short-lived: The Love Island host caught music manager Jack Street’s eye when he was only 26 years old

Wedding bells: Caroline and Andrew Brady got engaged in April 2018 before calling it quits later that year

 

 Jack Street, aged 31 

  • The Love Island host caught Jack’s eye when he was 26 years old
  • Caroline and Jack’s love story goes back until 2014 and the couple dated happily for 18 months before their abrupt split.
  • They briefly rekindled the flames of their love in 2015 but the damage couldn’t be repaired and they went their separate ways for good

 

 

 

 

Andrew Brady, aged 28 

Smooch: In January, Caroline and Strictly dancer AJ Pritchard were pictured looking extremely cosy with during the National Television Awards’ after-party

  • Caroline was 38 while Andrew was 27 when they first started dating
  • The Love Island personality and the Apprentice star had a rocky on/off romance which had a heartbreaking end for the pair of them
  • The couple got engaged in April 2018 after just a few weeks of dating but they separated from each other a numerous times last year
  • Now Andrew has jetted off to Australia on a one-way ticket to get a fresh start in 2019 after they finally called it quits on their romance forever
  • Caroline got rid of the final traces of her ex as she proudly showed off she had his initials ‘AB’ erased from her wrist   

     

 

 AJ Pritchard, aged 24 

  • In January, Caroline and the Strictly dancer were pictured looking extremely cosy with during the National Television Awards’ after-party 
  • Insiders at the bash claimed the duo moved around for some privacy before they were spotted in the alleged clinch behind the scenes 
  • The pair, who reportedly snogged during the star-studded bash at London’s O2 Arena, denied rumours of a romance despite their close display 

Hunk: The presenter is said to have dated Danny Cipriani for around eight weeks earlier this year

 

Danny Cipriani, aged 31

  • The presenter is said to have dated the sportsman, 31, for around eight weeks earlier this year
  • They were were seen kissing after a two-night hotel stay back in April, but ended things shortly after as sources say Caroline feared there was no long-term future
  • An insider previously said: ‘Caroline and Danny had a lot of fun together and she’s very fond of him – but long-term it wasn’t going to work’
  • ‘They’ve decided to end it and stay friends. Caroline has a busy summer ahead of her and is already moving on by dating other people 

   

Lewis Burton, aged 27

Love Island host Caroline Flack pictured with Lewis Burton

  • The tennis player and actor is said to have started dating Caroline Flack in July last year
  • A restraining order prevented the pair from contacting each other. It was made after Flack was accused of hitting Burton over the head with a lamp at her former home in Islington
  • He posted a Valentines message yesterday saying he loved her and last night he is understood to be flying back from a skiing holiday
  • The pair have been pictured on numerous nights out and holidays since going public about their relationship in August 2019
  • Flack was spotted being furious with Lewis on a trip to Ibiza in October 2019 

Flack had been addressing her struggles with mental health on social media in the months leading up to her death. She admitted in a post following World Mental Health Day on October 10 that she had been feeling ‘weird’ and revealed that ‘when I actually reached out to someone they said I was draining’. 

Caroline Flack: A cry for help?

Caroline Flack spoke often about her struggles, both in interviews and on social media. 

Caroline said, following her Strictly success: ‘Fame doesn’t make you happy’

STRICTLY CURSE? 

The Strictly Come Dancing 2014 winner has said that she felt depressed following her victory on the BBC show.

After she won the series along with professional partner Pasha Kovalev, she admitted that she felt like she was ‘being held together by a piece of string which could snap at any time’.

In an unearthed interview cited by the Daily Star following her death, Caroline claimed that, ‘It all started the day after I won Strictly. I woke up and felt like somebody had covered my body in clingfilm. I couldn’t get up and just couldn’t pick myself up at all that next year.’ 

Ignored? ‘When I actually reached out to someone they said I was draining,’ Caroline admitted in October 201 

‘BEING A BURDEN IS MY BIGGEST FEAR’

In an Instagram post she uploaded on 14  October 2019 – to mark World Mental Health Day – Caroline captioned a photo of herself: ‘Some days it’s hard to write your feelings of your not in the right place.

‘The last few weeks I’ve been in a really weird place… I find it hard to talk about it… I guess it’s anxiety and pressure of life… and when I actually reached out to someone they said I was draining.

‘I feel like this is why some people keep their emotions to themselves. I certainly hate talking about my feelings. And being a burden is my biggest fear.’ 

SOCIAL SILENCE

Signs of suicide? She liked tweets about calling The Samaritans over Christmas 

Caroline was told to stay off social media following her assault charge in December 2019.

However, she notably liked a string of tweets in the days afterwards, before Christmas, encouraging those feeling lonely over the holidays to seek help.

The tweets – posted by the likes of actress Sheridan Smith, journalist Stacey Dooley and comedian Luke Kempner – included the telephone number for The Samaritans’ suicide hotline.

She also posted to Instagram around the same time: ‘This kind of scrutiny and speculation is a lot to take on for one person to take on their own… I’m a human being at the end of the day and I’m not going to be silenced when I have a story to tell and a life to keep going with.’ 

SELF-HELP?

It was reported that Caroline had decided to write a book, during her recent time off.

‘Caroline has found the process incredibly cathartic,’ one of her friends told the Mail. ‘She wants it to be more than just a story about her. She wants to talk about the problems she’s encountered and how she’s overcome them.

‘She hopes to be able to help others who may be going through similar difficulties.’

In an Instagram post she uploaded on 14 October 2019, Flack captioned a photo of herself: ‘I wanted to write something about mental health day last week but I was knee deep in work. And some days it’s hard to write your feelings of your not in the right place.

‘The last few weeks I’ve been in a really weird place… I find it hard to talk about it… I guess it’s anxiety and pressure of life… and when I actually reached out to someone they said I was draining.

‘I feel like this is why some people keep their emotions to themselves. I certainly hate talking about my feelings. And being a burden is my biggest fear…

‘I’m lucky to be able to pick myself up when things feel s**t. But what happens if someone can’t. Be nice to people. You never know what’s going on. Ever.’ 

In December 2018 Flack revealed how she took anti-depressants for six months after winning Strictly Come Dancing in 2014 to help her handle the pressure.

‘People see the celebrity lifestyle and assume everything is perfect, but we’re just like everyone else,’ she told The I Newspaper. ‘Everyone is battling something emotional behind closed doors — that’s life. Fame doesn’t make you happy’. 

‘Anti-depressants helped me get up in the morning, and stopped me from being sad, but what they also do is stop you from being happy. So I was just in this numb state. I stopped laughing at jokes, and that’s just not me.’

Flack had been blocked from speaking to her boyfriend by a restraining order following allegations of assault, and was due to face trial on March 4, in less than three weeks.

She first appeared at Highbury Corner Magistrates court in December and was granted bail ahead of her trial. Flack’s mother Christine was pictured hugging and kissing her daughter.

During the trial it was allegedly heard that Flack said under caution that she would kill herself and also ‘I did it’ when asked about hitting her boyfriend. 

Despite the contact ban her boyfriend Burton posted a picture of himself and Flack on Instagram on Friday and wrote: ‘Happy Valentine’s… Love You’.

The snap followed his girlfriend’s last post on Thursday – of herself playing with her beloved French Bulldog Ruby. 

In a now-deleted comment, her boyfriend Lewis Burton said underneath the photo: ‘You’re both useless’ alongside a love heart emoji, even though Caroline had been ordered by a judge not to have any communication with him.

She was pictured laughing with a friend while at a climbing wall in London earlier this week. 

Flack threatened to break her silence about her personal life last month, writing that she would ‘tell all’ in an Instagram post. However, a source said she made the post ‘without thinking’ and then changed her mind, vowing to keep  quiet until the time was right. 

‘I’m going to speak today… mine and my family’s life is no longer up for entertainment or gossip,’ she wrote. 

ITV cancelled its love island highlights episode last night and replaced it with a double bill of You’ve Been Framed. A spokesman said in a statement: ‘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.’

Channel 4 also axed series The Surjury, which Flack was presenting. ‘We are shocked and saddened to hear the tragic news about Caroline Flack,’ a spokesman said. ‘Our deepest sympathies go out to Caroline’s family and friends. Under the circumstances, we have decided not to broadcast The Surgery.’  

Love Island host Caroline Flack leaves Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court in North London with two police officers. She appeared there on December 23 to be granted bail ahead of her trial on March 4


Mr Burton posted a picture of himself with Flack on his Instagram after the court appearance with the comment: ‘It’s heartbreaking I can’t see my girlfriend over Christmas. ‘What I witnessed today was horrible. Arguments do happen every day in every relationship. ‘Gutted I am not allowed to protect her right now.’ 


Flack gets a kiss and hug from her mother Christine Flack following case at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court

Meanwhile celebrities and former Love Island contestants flooded social media with tributes to the star presenter, describing her as ‘much loved’ and ‘one of the funniest, warmest people’.

David Walliams faces Twitter backlash over ‘cheap’ joke about Caroline Flack while presenting the National Television Awards 

David Walliams faced a Twitter backlash over a ‘cheap’ joke about Caroline Flack he made while presenting this year’s National Television Awards.

During the awards ceremony he said: ‘It’s nice to see Caroline Flack back on TV.’ His remark was met with boos from the audience’ 

The Little Britain star and Britain’s Got Talent judge was fiercely criticised for a comment he made about the late Love Island presenter’s career.

At the time, Flack had stepped down from hosting the ITV2 reality show and had retreated from public life after she was charged with assaulting boyfriend Lewis Burton.

During the awards ceremony in London last month, the Hedgehog character from ITV’s The Masked Singer appeared on stage and Walliams insinuated that Flack was inside the costume.

He said: ‘It’s nice to see Caroline Flack back on TV.’ His remark was met with boos from the audience.

After Flack’s death was announced, thousands of Twitter users demanded that Walliams should apologise to Flack’s family about the jibe.

Former contestant Wes Nelson said she is an ‘absolute diamond’ and that he is devastated by the loss.  

Series three contestant Chris Hughes who said: ‘Words can’t sum this up. So sad. Another amazing person taking from this cruel world… Can’t believe to imagine the pain. God bless Caroline and her family. Rest tight.’

Series five finalist Molly-Mae Hague said: ‘I’m utterly shocked and heartbroken. Caroline you were such a special woman. Your huge smile will stay with me forever… Rest in peace.’ And Series five contestant Maura Higgins posted: ‘Heartbreaking news. In a world where you can be anything, be kind.’

TV presenter and columnist Piers Morgan tweeted: ‘Caroline was a fun, bright and sparky person whose whole world collapsed recently, both professionally and personally. 

‘She told me it had been the worst time of her life, and was clearly struggling to cope with losing everything she held dear. This is such sad, awful news.’

Strictly Come Dancing also paid tribute  to the presenter, who won the series in 2014, saying: ‘The entire Strictly Come Dancing family are heartbroken to hear this incredibly sad news. Caroline had an infectious energy and passion for dance, she shone brightly in the Strictly ballroom every week and became an incredible champion.

‘Words cannot express our sadness, she was simply one of a kind. We are sending our love to all her family and friends during this difficult time.’

Series Two contestant Kady McDermott, who featured heavily in the show, paid tribute to the presenter’s kindness. ‘Devastated to hear the news about Caroline Flack,’ she posted. ‘Caroline was nothing but kind to me and that’s how I will always remember her.

‘Saddens me so much when people think the only way out is death. My prayers and thoughts go out to Caroline’s friends and family. Heartbreaking’. 

Love Island presenter Laura Whitmore led tributes to Caroline Flack last night, posting online saying she didn’t know what to say. She also uploaded a photo of them both together at a party with the caption: ‘See you on the dance floor’

Strictly Come Dancing also paid tribute to star Flack and used a picture of her winning the competition in 2014

TV presenter and columnist Piers Morgan paid tribute to the Love Island presenter and described her as a ‘fun, bright and sparky’ personality

Series two contestants Olivia Buckland and Malin Andersson paid their respects to the presenter while series three contestant Amber Davies tweeted: ‘My heart is actually broken’.

Last summer’s series participant Joe Garratt wrote: ‘Feel so sad, can’t believe what I’ve heard! Bless her heart… such an amazing woman with so much more life to live. RIP Caroline xx.’ 

‘You never know what others are going through’: Coleen Rooney pays tribute to Caroline Flack hours after star was found dead in her flat at the age of 40 

Coleen Rooney has shared a poignant tribute to Caroline Flack hours after the Love Island host was found dead in her flat aged 40.

Heartbreak: Coleen Rooney has shared a poignant tribute to Caroline Flack hours after the Love Island host was found dead in her flat aged 40

The former Love Island host, 40, was found dead at her London flat on Saturday, February 15, just weeks before she was due to go on trial for assaulting her boyfriend Lewis Burton, 27.

Coleen wrote: ‘Heartbreaking people really don’t know what others are going through or feel. Thoughts and prayers are with Caroline’s family and friends. Rest in PEACE Caroline.’

Caroline took her own life after a worried friend who was staying with her went to the shops, leaving the ex-Love Island presenter alone at her London flat.

Her management have slammed the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for pursuing the ‘show trial’ after Lewis said he did not want to press charges. 

Shocked Davina McCall said in a statement: ‘I might be quiet tonight on social media… just doesn’t seem right.’

Comedian and actor Jack Whitehall described Flack as a ‘fun, kind beautiful person’ in a tribute last night and said it was ‘so unfair that this has happened’.

‘Let’s pray we learn from this and remember to be a little bit more compassionate to people when they are down.’ 

Fellow ITV presenter Phillip Schofield shared one of Flack’s previous posts to his Instagram story. It read: ‘In a world where you can be anything, be kind. You  poor darling  girl my heart is breaking. #BeKind.’

This  Morning presenter Holly Willoughby shared a picture of herself with Flack and wrote: ‘Utterly heart breaking… life is so precious and yet so fragile.’

Stand-up comedian Keith Lemon posted a picture of himself with Flack on Instagram and wrote: ‘Shocked. I’ve known Carolne all my telly life. I have no words. Love her family.’

TV presenters Ant and Dec tweeted: ‘We are both devastated by the  news about Caroline Flack. It is beyond sad. Beyond words. So tragic. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family. Rest in peace Caroline.’

Kelly Osbourne posted on Instagram: ‘Words are way more powerful than you think… never forget to tell your loved ones that you love them. What a special person Caroline was. She lit up every room because she shined so bright.’

Cheryl posted on Instagram that the news of her death was ‘just so utterly gut wrenchingly tragic’.

‘I can’t even find my words,’ she said. ‘Rest in peace Caroline. I wish we could just be kinder. I wish we could just be open minded to  each other  and I wish  we could be more understanding  and mindful of one another and what issues  people may be struggling with beneath the  surface. We’re all human!’

This Morning presenter Eamonn Holmes, 60, tweeted: ‘Caroline Flack …. Dear God. Shocked beyond belief. May she have found peace. #Rip Has to be repercussions for Love Island now surely?’

A message left on a London Underground noticeboard read: ‘Rest in peace caroline flack. May you find the peace in heaven that you couldn’t find on earth; you will always be loved, forever missed and never forgotten. If only you could see your true worth. Thoughts and prayers to you, your family, you friends and your fans.’

A rose and bunch of flowers were also laid outside her former address in Islington. 

Her death has sparked calls for ITV bosses to pull the plug on Love Island as it follows the suicides of two former contestants of the reality show

Flack’s personal troubles began when police were seen outside her previous Islington residence, where she lived with Mr Burton, during the early hours of December 14 after reports emerged that a man had been attacked. 

Photographs of her blood spattered front door emerged the day before. It was reported that Burton shouted ‘I was normal till I met her’ as she was arrested by police. 

Witnesses described ‘total chaos’ outside Flack’s home as police arrived to diffuse the situation with her boyfriend.

Flack was reportedly left in need of hospital treatment after accidentally cutting herself on broken glass during the incident.

Mr Burton was recently forced to deny claims that the couple had split and that he had been texting another woman while she was on a recent trip to LA.  

If you have been affected by this story, you can call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org  

Sophie Gradon, 32, and Michael Thalassitis, 26, hanged themselves after going on Love Island 

Sophie Gradon, 32, from Newcastle. Died on 20 June, 2018

The former Love Island contestant hanged herself in her home in Newcastle after drinking  alcohol and taking cocaine two years following her appearance on the ITV2 show.

The former reality star and Miss Great Britain, 2009, was tragically found dead by her boyfriend Aaron Armstrong, who shared a picture of them together with the words: ‘I will never forget that smile I love you so so much baby your my world forever ever and always’.

Ms Gradon’s inquest heard the former contestant had been battling with crippling anxiety and depression in the months leading up to her death.

The inquest heard the last person she spoke to on the day of her death was friend Sondeep Gill, whom she told she was having ‘suicidal thoughts’ since the death of close friend Paul Burns, who had previously ‘saved her from suicide’.

Paying tribute to their daughter, her parents said in 2018: ‘Sophie spent an idyllic childhood in Gosforth, Newcastle, and then moved at the age of 10 to Ponteland in Northumberland.

‘Sophie told us she had just met someone new and had been on a lunch date with him.

‘She was excited at the prospect of starting a new relationship and it was her fullest intention to introduce us to him when the time was right.

‘At the time of Sophie’s sudden and tragic passing, she had only been involved with Armstrong for five weeks.’ 

The former Love Island star, right, was found by boyfriend Aaron Armstrong, left, who himself was found dead at home 20 days later


The former beauty pageant winner, left, competed on Love Island in 2016,right, and was involved in the show’s first same-sex coupling with Katy Salmon

Mike Thalassitis, 26, from North London. Died on 16 March 2019 

The former Love Island star hanged himself in a park near his home after his alcohol and cocaine binge.

Mr Thalassitis, 26, was found dead by a woman out jogging near his home in Edmonton, north London. He had left a harrowing note to his family in a  book next to his body which ‘clearly set out his intention that his life should come to an end’, his inquest heard.

His death was ruled a suicide after a toxicology report found he had taken a lethal amount of cocaine, alcohol and paracetamol before hanging  himself. 

His family paid tribute to the star as a ‘wonderful son and brother’. They attended his inquest along with all contestants on Love Island 2017.

Paying respect: Mr Thalassitis appeared on season three of Love Island in 2017 (pictured)


According to Montana Brown (pictured left this morning), Mike (right) had been in a ‘dark place’ in the months before he died

CAROLINE FLACK: A CALL FOR HELP?

Caroline Flack spoke often about her struggles, both in interviews and on social media. 

Caroline said, following her Strictly success: ‘Fame doesn’t make you happy’

STRICTLY CURSE? 

The Strictly Come Dancing 2014 winner has said that she felt depressed following her victory on the BBC show.

After she won the series along with professional partner Pasha Kovalev, she admitted that she felt like she was ‘being held together by a piece of string which could snap at any time’.

In an unearthed interview cited by the Daily Star following her death, Caroline claimed that, ‘It all started the day after I won Strictly. I woke up and felt like somebody had covered my body in clingfilm. I couldn’t get up and just couldn’t pick myself up at all that next year.’

She went on: ‘People see the celebrity lifestyle and assume everything is perfect, but we’re just like everyone else. Everyone is battling something emotional behind closed doors – that’s life.

Ignored? ‘When I actually reached out to someone they said I was draining,’ Caroline admitted in October 2019

‘Fame doesn’t make you happy.’

‘BEING A BURDEN IS MY BIGGEST FEAR’

In an Instagram post she uploaded on 14  October 2019 – to mark World Mental Health Day – Caroline captioned a photo of herself: ‘Some days it’s hard to write your feelings of your not in the right place.

‘The last few weeks I’ve been in a really weird place… I find it hard to talk about it… I guess it’s anxiety and pressure of life… and when I actually reached out to someone they said I was draining.

‘I feel like this is why some people keep their emotions to themselves. I certainly hate talking about my feelings. And being a burden is my biggest fear…

‘I’m lucky to be able to pick myself up when things feel s**t. But what happens if someone can’t. Be nice to people. You never know what’s going on. Ever.’ [sic] 

SOCIAL SILENCE

Signs of suicide? She liked tweets about calling The Samaritans over Christmas 

Caroline was told to stay off social media following her assault charge in December 2019.

However, she notably liked a string of tweets in the days afterwards, before Christmas, encouraging those feeling lonely over the holidays to seek help.

The tweets – posted by the likes of actress Sheridan Smith, journalist Stacey Dooley and comedian Luke Kempner – included the telephone number for The Samaritans’ suicide hotline.

She also posted to Instagram around the same time: ‘This kind of scrutiny and speculation is a lot to take on for one person to take on their own… I’m a human being at the end of the day and I’m not going to be silenced when I have a story to tell and a life to keep going with…

‘I’m taking some time out to get feeling better and learn some lessons from situations I’ve got myself into to. I have nothing but love to give and best wishes for everyone.’

SELF-HELP?

It was reported that Caroline had decided to write a book, during her recent time off.

‘Caroline has found the process incredibly cathartic,’ one of her friends told the Mail. ‘She wants it to be more than just a story about her. She wants to talk about the problems she’s encountered and how she’s overcome them.

‘She hopes to be able to help others who may be going through similar difficulties. Part self-help, part memoir is the style that Caroline is looking for.’

From CBBC star to household name: How Caroline Flack became one of the most famous faces on TV after landing I’m A Celeb job before earning army of fans by winning Strictly Come Dancing

By Laura Fox for MailOnline

Caroline Flack was the Love Island presenter who had a meteoric rise to fame, but lost her dream job just months before she was found dead aged 40.

The star first rose to prominence as a CBBC presenter in the mid 2000s, before landing a job as the host of The Xtra Factor in 2011.

After being crowned Strictly Come Dancing champion in 2014, Caroline landed the ultimate job as Love Island’s host in 2015, but stepped down late last year after she was arrested for assault.

Career: Caroline Flack was the Love Island presenter who had a meteoric rise to fame, but lost her dream job just months before she was found dead aged 40

Caroline grew up in Great Hockham near Norwich with her twin sister Jody, and gained a place at a Cambridge stage school aged just 16. 

She first rose to fame in the mid 2000s when she appeared on the CBBC series TMI with Sam Nixon and Mark Rhodes, and in 2008 took over from Kirsty Gallacher as the host of Gladiators. 

In 2009 the star landed the job as the host of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here Now! and in 2011 she joined forces with Olly Murs as the host of The Xtra Factor in replacement of Konnie Huq.

The pair took over as The X Factor’s main hosts in 2015, but were replaced by the returning Dermot O’ Leary following a mixed reaction from viewers.

TV star: She first rose to fame in the mid 2000s when she hosted the CBBC series TMI, and in 2008 (pictured) took over from Kirsty Gallacher as the host of Gladiators

Dynamic duo: In 2011 she took over as host of The Xtra Factor alongside Olly Murs (above in 2012) and they went onto present the main show in 2015

Caroline went on to earn a whole new army of fans when she was crowned the winner of Strictly Come Dancing in 2014 alongside professional partner Pasha Kovalev.

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, Caroline 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.

Caroline 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, Caroline’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 Harry, who had been on The X Factor the previous year, when he was 17 and she was 31.

Out: Caroline and Olly only hosted The X Factor for one series, but they were replaced by Dermot O’Leary after earning a mixed reaction from viewers

In her autobiography, Caroline 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.’

Caroline 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 she had been in a relationship with former tennis player Lewis Burton.

But in December last year, Caroline denied assaulting him in an incident that left them both covered in blood in scenes likened to a ‘horror movie’.

The alleged incident saw Flack step down as host of the winter series of Love Island, after it was alleged she hit Burton, 27, over the head with a lamp, causing a head injury.

But former professional tennis player and model Lewis said he did not support the prosecution and insisted he was not a victim, Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court was told.

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

Riding high: Caroline earned a new army of fans when she was crowned the winner of Strictly Come Dancing in 2014 alongside professional partner Pasha Kovalev

Bubbly, mischievous and admired by millions, Caroline Flack was a troubled romantic who never did find true love, writes KATIE HIND

By Katie Hind  for The Mail on Sunday

Caroline Flack took on the mantle of Cilla Black as Britain’s favourite matchmaker yet she was never able to find true happiness for herself. While Cilla relied on a sliding screen, puns and homespun contestants to dominate TV in the 1980s and 1990s with Blind Date, Caroline’s show – Love Island – was much more sexually charged, packed with highly visible wannabes with barely-there bikinis, spray tans and chiselled jaws.

What both Caroline and Cilla had in common was likeability – and millions of TV viewers tuned in.

On screen, Caroline was funny and mischievous and wore her heart on her sleeve. Off-screen she battled demons, driven in large part by an unfulfilled desire to find love and her looming court case, carrying with it the threat of prison.

She had found success relatively late in life. She did not become a household name until 2014 when she won Strictly Come Dancing, but Love Island propelled her to a different level.

It is perhaps unsurprising therefore that being forced to step aside for the current series of the ITV show – after being charged with beating her boyfriend Lewis Burton – was a hammer blow.

Caroline Flack and Andrew Brady. The pair got engaged in April 2018 after dating for three months

Caroline Flack and Pasha Kovalev were crowned the winners of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing in 2014

Her love life was complicated and often chaotic, yet she always insisted her search for ‘the one’ would continue.

‘Even though I’ve had ups and downs in my love life, I do still adore love,’ she said recently.

Early in her career, Caroline was romantically linked to Prince Harry, although she never confirmed the rumours.

In 2011, she began dating another Harry – Harry Styles, the One Direction singer. She was 32, he was 17 but she laughed off continuous teasing about dating such a young man.

She didn’t share the prevailing view that the relationship would not last and the pair moved in together.

Styles adored her fun-loving personality and lifestyle and she found him utterly handsome. Sadly, the pessimists were right and the relationship fizzled out.

In 2014-15, Caroline dated music manager Jack Street, but his work with chart-topping singer Sam Smith, which took him regularly to Hollywood while she was competing on Strictly, put a strain on the relationship.

They tried to move in together, but their romance ended when Street was rumoured to have grown close to Glee actress Dianna Agron.

Witty Caroline took to social media to write: ‘Fill yourself with GLEE Jack.’ She quickly deleted the message, though it indicates her often impulsive character.

There were always rumours that she and her X Factor co-star Olly Murs had secretly dated, though they both denied it.

Caroline’s boyfriend Lewis Burton leaving Highbury Corner Magistrates Court in December

Then Andrew Brady came along, a model 12 years her junior, and he soon moved into her London flat where she was found dead yesterday. Their relationship was turbulent, with regular rows. One report said Brady called police after she threatened to commit suicide. Finally, after taking advice from friends, she dumped him.

Next came Lewis Burton, a tennis player turned model, who at 27 was 13 years younger than Caroline. They met last August and she quickly fell in love with him.

Ever optimistic, she moved him into her bachelorette pad on the outskirts of trendy Islington. He remained there until the fateful night of December 12 when police were called in the early hours of the morning after the pair had enjoyed a meal with friends at Soho bar Bob Bob Ricard.

That was their last date and would be the last time they saw each other because, following a 999 call to police by Burton, Caroline was arrested on suspicion of assault.

Subsequent bail conditions meant they were unable to see one another or even communicate personally. Instead they used social media to share their love.

Caroline was extremely close to her family, particularly her twin sister Jodie. They both lived in London and spent much time together. Born and raised in what she described as the ‘middle of nowhere’ in Norfolk, Caroline’s first tilt at showbiz came when she sent a VHS video made on her dad Ian’s camcorder to talent agent John Noel.

She admitted to being ‘that girl’ at school who would persuade teachers to let her perform a dance routine in assembly, recruiting whoever in her music class was best at the keyboard to provide accompaniment.

After leaving school at 16 to attend a dance academy in Cambridge, she moved to London, aged 19, with the aim of acting, dancing or getting her name in lights. She landed a part in a 2001 film called Is Harry On The Boat? and would laugh about her one-scene role that she described as ‘the blonde who snogged Danny Dyer.’

Caroline Flack pictured with Jack Street. The pair dated for 18 months before breaking things off in 2014

In her autobiography Storm In A C Cup, she described how, after experiencing several knockbacks, she switched her dream to TV presenting. She recalled landing the role of presenter on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here Now! – a spin-off show supporting the main TV event – as the moment she felt she had ‘made it’ at the age of 30.

She also hosted ITV’s popular X Factor sister series The Xtra Factor in 2014 but after being unceremoniously dropped, the BBC offered her the chance to take part in that year’s series of Strictly Come Dancing.

She won – and her success alongside professional dancer Pasha Kovalev prompted X Factor mogul Simon Cowell to take her back – this time as host of the main show alongside Murs. The partnership only lasted one series – but then came her big break, when she landed Love Island.

Caroline was bubbly but tough as old boots when she needed to be. She rolled with the punches like nobody else I had ever met.

I remember once writing an opinion piece in a former job in 2014 where I was a little too critical about her departure from the Xtra Factor. Just a few weeks later I was having dinner in Soho club the Groucho when she arrived with a friend and carrying bags full of shopping. She sat down at a table opposite me and stuck her middle finger up at me.

She gave me a wink, I went over, we embraced and she said: ‘Don’t worry, Katie. I’m thick-skinned by now. You must know that. I have got no choice.’

To friends she was loyal – she would help anybody if she could. She was a giver, a person who wanted to put a smile on other people’s faces. A perfect example of this came when one of her closest friends celebrated her 40th birthday at the end of 2018.

Caroline had just joined the West End production of Chicago where she played the lead role of Roxie Hart, and had two weeks to get show-ready.

Her friend had long planned her celebrations in Margate and Caroline was gutted that she just couldn’t make it.

The birthday girl and the rest of the party fully understood, knowing Caroline would never miss a party if she didn’t have to.

However, at 11pm that night she turned up out of the blue, exclaiming: ‘I just couldn’t miss it!’

She stayed for two hours before getting a car home.

I last saw her in June at the House Festival at Kenwood House, North London. She was in a joyous mood, knocking back the vast array of drinks available and holding court with a bunch of journalists.

I will for ever remember her laughing – she had a loud giggle, and an equally loud voice.

Unlike many celebrities, she was an open book, she hid nothing from us and that’s why we loved her.

Her friend, the much-loved Love Island contestant Mike Thalassitis, had recently died and her beloved show was under attack, along with ITV. She was asked how she felt about the situation, and whether she thought the programme should be cancelled. She backed it to the hilt, insisting that it was her life.

How tremendously sad it is that perhaps a reason behind her tragic passing is that she was no longer allowed to be a part of it.

If you have been affected by this story, you can call the Samaritans 24/7 on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org.  

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