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Love Island to pay tribute to Caroline Flack as ITV faces calls for show to be cancelled

Love Island will return to ITV schedules tonight after two nights off air, and feature “a tribute” to the show’s late host Caroline Flack.

Flack was found dead on Saturday at her flat in London, having taken her own life. She was 40 years old.

The show, which first aired in its current form in 2015, was hosted by Flack from then until late last year, when she stood down after being charged with assaulting her boyfriend, Lewis Burton.

An ITV spokesman said that Monday’s edition would carry “a tribute to Caroline, who will be forever in our hearts”.

Saturday’s highlights show and Sunday’s regular edition had been cancelled after “careful consultation between Caroline’s representatives and the Love Island production team”.

The Sun on Sunday suggested that Love Island was now facing an uncertain future, citing a source who reported “six hours” of behind-the-scenes talks, and the prospect of “taking it out of production for the foreseeable future”.

The show’s success has long been driven by social media, but since the news broke of Flack’s death, it has faced mass online calls for its cancellation.

Love Island has already suffered two similar deaths: the season two contestant Sophie Gradon, who passed away in June 2018 aged 32, and Mike Thalassitis from season three, who passed away aged 26 in March 2019.

In the wake of those deaths, and similar controversy involving the treatment of guests on ITV’s The Jeremy Kyle Show, the Love Island contestants involved in last year’s summer run were offered “therapy and social media training” after their appearance on the show.

ITV was forced to act in response to fresh guidance issued by Ofcom on reality television, which stated that contestants “must not be caused unjustified distress or anxiety”.

Ofcom specifically addressed the problem of social-media “trolls”, telling producers that they should be “advising potential participants on steps to minimise or limit social-media contact post-transmission”.

Love Island will air on ITV2 tonight at 9pm.

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