Tributes have been paid to former Love Island host Caroline Flack, who has been found dead in her London flat after taking her own life.
A lawyer for the Flack family confirmed the 40-year-old had taken her own life and that her body was discovered on Saturday.
The family statement said: “We can confirm that our Caroline passed away today, the 15th of February.
“We would ask that the press respect the privacy of the family at this difficult time and we would ask they make no attempt to contact us and/or photograph us.”
Flack left her role as Love Island host last year after she was charged with assault following an argument with her partner, Lewis Burton.
Her trial was set to begin on 4 March after she denied charges of assault by beating.
Mr Burton, who was not allowed to have any contact with his girlfriend since late last year due to her bail conditions over charges of an alleged assault on him, said that his “heart is broken” following her death.
He also said that he would now be her “voice” and would “get all the answers”, in an emotional tribute on Instagram.
Beside a picture of them together, he wrote: “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.”
Burton, 27, added: “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.”
Olly Murs said that his children and his grandchildren will know about Caroline Flack as he paid an emotional tribute to his friend.
The singer, who worked alongside Flack for several years on The X Factor and its spin-off show The Xtra Factor, said that his heart “is forever broken”.
Murs wrote: “Caz… f*** this hurts! My heart is forever broken.. I’ve lost something today that I’ll never ever get back.. and that’s you.”
Murs said that he was “just worried about my friend. I always knew how fragile you were but I never ever thought this would be the last contact we would have.
“We always said we was friends for life and trust me you will be with me forever….”
Current Love Island presenter Laura Whitmore opened her BBC 5 Live show on Sunday by saying “Be kind... It’s gone too far... your words affect people”.
Whitmore, who took over as presenter of Love Island following Flack’s arrest, said in an earlier tribute she was “trying to find the words but I can’t”.
Burton, a former professional tennis player, had shared a post declaring his love for Flack on his Instagram Stories on Valentine’s Day.
Along with a picture of the two of them together, he wrote: “Happy valentines, love you.”
Flack shared a post on social media shortly before her death of a collage of pictures of herself with her pet dog on Instagram on Thursday.
‘Shocked and saddened’
Following the news of Flack’s death, an ITV spokeswoman 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.”
ITV also cancelled an episode of Love Island. Love Island: Unseen Bits, which airs at 9pm on Saturday nights on ITV2, was pulled from the schedules and replaced by reruns of You’ve Been Framed.
Channel 4 has also said it will no longer air The Surjury, a new cosmetic surgery-based TV series with Flack as its host.
Fourth suicide linked to Love Island
Flack is the fourth person linked to the ITV2 dating programme to have died.
Sophie Gradon, who appeared as a contestant in the show in 2016, was found hanged at her home in 2018 at the age of 32.
Her boyfriend Aaron Armstrong, who had found her body, went on to hang himself three weeks later. He was 25.
Mike Thalassitis, who appeared in the 2017 series, was 26 when he was found hanged in a park in March last year.
Tributes to the star
Celebrities including TV duo Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, Laura Whitmore, who took over hosting the winter series of Love Island from Flack, Phillip Schofield and Good Morning Britain host Susanna Reid paid tribute after news of her death was announced.
TV presenter Jonathan Ross said he had been in touch with Flack recently, adding in a message on Twitter: “I am very sad to hear that Caroline Flack is dead. I had been in touch with her recently and had hoped she was doing better. She was talented and smart and likeable and she will he missed. It’s awful.”
McPartlin and Donnelly said they were “devastated” by the news.
We are both devastated to hear the news about Caroline Flack. It is beyond sad. Beyond words. So tragic. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family.— antanddec (@antanddec) February 15, 2020
Rest In Peace Caroline
This Morning presenter Schofield paid tribute to Flack with a post on his Instagram stories.
He added text above a message that Flack had posted on social media, which read: “In a world where you can be anything, be kind”.
Schofield wrote: “You poor darling girl my heart is breaking #BeKind”.
Former rugby player James Haskell said on Sunday he had “spent some time with her over the summer” and asked “how many more people have to break before press laws are changed?”
Laura Whitmore tweeted: “I’m trying to find the words but I can’t”.
I’m trying to find the words but I can’t 💔 pic.twitter.com/FY3ppLzqsA— Laura Whitmore (@thewhitmore) February 15, 2020
Flack won Strictly Come Dancing in 2014 while paired with professional dancer Pasha Kovalev.
The following year she joined the revival of dating reality show Love Island on ITV2.
She hosted the first five series of the popular programme – one of the most-watched reality shows in the UK in recent years and won a TV Bafta in 2018 – as well as its spin-off programme Aftersun.
Strictly presenters Tess Daly and Claudia Winkelman also paid tribute.
Winkelman tweeted: “Such heartbreaking news. Sending so much love to Caroline's family and friends. XXX”
Daly said she was “absolutely shocked and devastated at this tragic news”.
Others also paid their respects. Susanna Reid said: “My heart is absolutely broken for Caroline Flack and everybody who loves her.”
My heart is absolutely broken for Caroline Flack and everybody who loves her.— Susanna Reid (@susannareid100) February 15, 2020
Amber Gill, who won Love Island last year, posted pictures of herself and Flack from the programme on Instagram.
She wrote: “A supportive friend in a time of need. An amazing woman. I have no words.
“You will be truly missed.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Sunday he was “so sad to see the news of Caroline Flack’s suicide”.
In a tweet he added: “We must do so much more as a society to look out for each other.”
Actor Miranda Hart also posted a statement, captioned: “And finally. And let us all be kind and in this together. Don’t bully the bullies. No one is perfect. We all make mistakes and always will.”
Friends and those who had worked with Flack also paid tribute.
Caroline Flack, I’m so so sad to hear this News...— Martin Kemp (@realmartinkemp) February 15, 2020
All my love goes out to her family and friends..oh man!
Rest in Peace Caroline!
Caroline Flack .... Dear God.— Eamonn Holmes (@EamonnHolmes) February 15, 2020
Shocked beyond belief. May she have found peace . #Rip
Has to be repercussions for Love Island now surely ?
Anyone who saw Caroline Flack dance on Strictly could tell the depth of talent there. Really sad news. RIP.— Katy Brand (@KatyFBrand) February 15, 2020
Absolutely devastating to hear the news about Caroline Flack. My thoughts are with her family.— Lucy Fallon (@lufallon) February 15, 2020
Worst news possible about Caroline Flack. Desperate news. All thoughts with those who loved her. RIP— Emma Kennedy (@EmmaKennedy) February 15, 2020
😢 Just seen on Twitter the devastating news that Caroline Flack has been found dead in her home 😢— James Jordan (@The_JamesJordan) February 15, 2020
I’m so sad right now and I actually can’t believe it.
Can’t imagine what her family are going through right now 😢#RIPCarolineFlack
Completely shocked by the news. @carolineflack1 I hope you’ve found your peace x RIP— Myleene Klass (@KlassMyleene) February 15, 2020
Awful news about Caroline Flack. We really need to be better at taking care of each other.— Dan Walker (@mrdanwalker) February 15, 2020
I can’t quite believe what has happened. Caroline you didn’t deserve this. Such sad and tragic news. Love to all her family. The media and social media have SO much to answer for. RIP Lovely Flack.— edith bowman (@edibow) February 15, 2020
I can’t believe what I’m reading! Caroline Flack was an absolute diamond, my hearts genuinely broken! One of the warmest funniest people I’ve ever met, My tears, thoughts and prayers go out to her family at this extremely difficult time! I’m lost for words R.I.P ❤️ pic.twitter.com/ZJBlxrxIwQ— Wes Nelson (@WesNelsonUk) February 15, 2020
I’m so so sad to hear about @carolineflack1 . I don’t even know what to say. But my heart goes out to her friends and family x I might be a bit quiet tonight on social media .. just doesn’t seem right .— Davina McCall (@ThisisDavina) February 15, 2020
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