The UK edition of Love Island resumed its season on Monday, after hitting pause in the wake of former presenter Caroline Flack’s death by suicide late last week, at the age of 40.
Monday’s episode opened with a picturesque montage of waves, shores and beaches (embedded below), as longtime Love Island narrator Iain Stirling said, “We are all absolutely devastated by the tragic news that Caroline, a much-loved member of our Love Island family, has passed away. Like many of you, we are just trying to come to terms with what happened.”
“Caroline, I want to thank you for all the fun times we had making our favorite show,” Stirling said in closing. “You were a true friend to me.”
Flack presided over Love Island UK — which streams Stateside on Hulu — through Season 5. She was removed as host this past December and replaced by Laura Whitmore, following allegations that she assaulted her boyfriend, English tennis player Lewis Burton. Flack was set to stand trial on March 4.
Since Flack’s death, fingers have pointed at the British tabloids, for dogging the personality over the years, as well as Love Island producer ITV, for allegedly not supporting her after her exit. ITV director Kevin Lygo responded with a statement saying, “Caroline was part of Love Island from the very beginning and her passion, dedication and boundless energy contributed to the show’s success. After Caroline stepped down from the show, ITV made it clear that the door was left open for her to return and the Love Island production team remained in regular contact with her and continued to offer support over the last few months.”
“Caroline loved Love Island and was very vocal in her support of the show,” Lygo added. “Viewers could relate to her and she to them and that was a big part of the programme’s success. We will all miss her very much.”
If you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s toll-free number: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)