'Love Island' producers respond to call for more post-show support after Mike Thalassitis death

·TV Reporter, Yahoo Entertainment UK
‘Love Island’ contestant Mike Thalassitis (ITV)
‘Love Island’ contestant Mike Thalassitis (ITV)

Love Island stars and friends of Mike Thalassitis have called for the show to do more to protect contestant’s wellbeing following his death from suicide.

Thalassitis, 26, was a contestant in the 2017 series of the ITV2 dating show and was found dead in a north London park on Saturday morning.

A spokesperson for Love Island said: “Care for our Islanders is a process the show takes very seriously and is a continuous process for all those taking part in the show.

“We ensure that all out contributors are able to access psychological support before, during and after appearing on the show. The programme will always provide ongoing support when needed and where appropriate.

“We also discuss at length with all of our Islanders, before and after the show, how their lives might change and they have access to support and advice to help with this.”

His is the second death among former stars of the programme – 2016 contestant Sophie Gradon was found dead in her home in June 2018 – and those linked to Love Island have been calling for more support in dealing with life after taking part in it.

Zara Holland, who took part in the 2016 show, told The Sun: “Contestants are being chewed up and spat out. Nothing’s changed. There’s zero care – and now something terrible has happened again.”

She added: “More must be done to help contestants. Yes, they have a psychiatrist behind the scenes, but there is zero aftercare. You can’t just be forgotten.

Read more: Tributes pour in for Love Island’s Mike Thalassitis

“You have money coming in left, right and centre. You have lots of people that want to be your friend, but they only want to use you.

“But then the new series comes out a year later and no one wants to pay you.”

Many of the show’s other former stars aired similar views on Twitter after hearing that Thalassitis had died.

Another former contestant, Malin Andersson, complained that she had only received a bunch of flowers from producers after her baby daughter died, and shared that she had created a self-help app that she had been working on since losing her child.

Ex The Only Way is Essex star Mario Falcone, who was friends with Thalassitis, also added his views.

Read more: Death of Love Island’s Mike Thalassitis ‘not suspicious’

He told BBC Newsbeat: “You’ve gone from being a normal guy, to a celebrity, to a ‘guy that was on that show’, in the space of six months to a year. That’s a lot to deal with.

Love Island have got to open their eyes to this. They’ve got to look at themselves and the way they treat their stars.”

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