Love Island victors Finley Tapp and Paige Turley have revealed how they found out about the death of former presenter Caroline Flack – who committed suicide during the penultimate weekend of the current series.
Having handed the reins of the show over to Laura Whitmore, Caroline had not been involved with the latest set of Islanders – and her death was kept quiet from those on the show until the day of the finale on Sunday.
Finn, 20, told The Sun: ‘We were told just before the final. They wanted to tell us at the best time and the best way and we’re thankful that they did that.’
Tragic: Love Island victors Finley Tapp and Paige Turley have revealed how they found out about the death of former presenter Caroline Flack [pictured last year] – who committed suicide during the penultimate weekend of the current series
He went on: ‘We remember her fondly. We loved her as a fan watching it on telly over the past few series, that’s the relationship we had with her.’
Paige, 22, added: ‘Everybody knew how much she loved Love Island. It’s such a sensitive subject, we just send love to Caroline’s family.’
Stand-in host Laura was praised by viewers for hosting Love Island ‘with incredible professionalism’ as the first-ever winter edition of the ITV2 dating series came to an end this weekend.
News: Having handed the reins of the show over to Laura Whitmore, Caroline had not been involved with the latest set of Islanders – and her death was kept quiet from those on the show until the day of the finale on Sunday [Paige and Finn are pictured during a recent episode]
The Irish presenter, 34, took over from Caroline after she was arrested and charged with assault following a row with her boyfriend Lewis Burton, 27, in December last year.
Fronting the programme alongside voiceover artist boyfriend Iain Stirling, the media personality has been hailed as ‘one of the strongest presenters ever’ as she delivered a heartfelt tribute to Caroline, who took her own life aged 40 earlier this month.
Despite the tragic loss, the TV star managed to maintain an upbeat hosting style as she announced contestants Paige Turley and Finley Tapp as season six’s winners, with the couple deciding to split the £50,000 between them.
What a pro! Laura has been praised by viewers for hosting Love Island ‘with professionalism’ as the first-ever winter edition of the ITV2 series came to an end on Sunday
Fans flocked to Twitter to congratulate Laura on a successful series as one said: ‘Laura Whitmore is honestly incredible. To be able to stand live on TV and deliver a tribute to your friend who only passed away a matter of days ago and remain so professional and generally amazing???
‘Wow, what a woman, protect her at all costs Heart suit #LoveIsland #LoveIslandFinal.’ [sic]
Another fan expressed her appreciation towards the blonde for pushing through her grief as they penned: ‘Laura Whitmore presented the show with incredible professionalism. It must have been incredibly tough for both her and Iain.
Filling in: The Irish presenter, 34, took over the reins of the hit show when her late friend Caroline Flack stepped down from the series in December last year (pictured together in 2019)
Champions! Paige Turley and Finley Tapp were announced as season six’s winners, with the couple deciding to split the £50,000 between them
‘She is a credit to the show and I hope she presents future series. Well done Laura. You are a Glowing star xx.’ [sic]
Others echoed: ‘Fair play to Laura Whitmore. What a true professional. Can not be easy but she has done a fantastic job tonight. Not sure if i would of been able too. Still can not believe that Caroline has passed such a beautiful women. Beautiful tribute Laura #LoveIsland @thewhitmore.
‘Laura & Iain wee love you, well done for being so professional, yous both done caroline proud. True friends. @IainDoesJokes @thewhitmore #loveisland.
‘@thewhitmore is one of the strongest presenters I have ever known of. Going out on live tv when one of your friends has passed and being so professional and just amazing must be so hardDisappointed face we’re all proud of you LauraRed heartRed heartRed heart #loveisland.’ [sic]
‘What a woman, protect her at all costs!’ Fans flocked to Twitter to congratulate Laura on a successful series
Other viewers ranked Laura’s debut gig on the series as their ‘favourite’ edition as they tweeted: ‘This was my fav Love Island…I’m still hurt about Caroline, but may she RIH……
‘Iain as usual was a joy to listen too and he had me cracking up laughing with his one liners… Laura did a great job as host and looked gorgeous…Well done #LoveIsland.
‘@thewhitmore is doing a brilliant job tonight as it cannot be easy for her! The best tribute she can give Caroline flack is taking on her much loved role on a permanent basis and always remembering her as the OG love island host! Well done Laura! #LoveIsland.’ [sic]
At the beginning of the finale, the former MTV star was overcome with emotion tonight as she honoured TV veteran Caroline with a sweet message.
‘She’s honestly incredible’: The media personality has been hailed as ‘one of the strongest presenters ever’ as she delivered a tribute to Caroline, who took her own life earlier this month
Impassioned: At the beginning of the finale, the former MTV star was overcome with emotion tonight as she honoured Caroline with a sweet message
Caroline was found dead at her rented flat after taking her own life as she awaited trial for allegedly assaulting former tennis player Lewis late last year.
Laura said from the Cape Town villa: ‘The past week has been extremely difficult coming to terms with the loss of our friend and colleague Caroline. We’re thinking of her family and everyone who knew her at this time.
‘Caroline loved Love Island, she loved love and that’s why tonight’s final is dedicated to her.’
A montage of the the former X Factor host’s most memorable moments from 2015 until 2019 were shown, followed with a backing track of Rudimental’s ‘Feel the Love.’
Tragic: The former Strictly winner was found dead as she awaited trial for allegedly assaulting her boyfriend Lewis Burton, 27 (pictured last summer)
Emotional: A montage of the the bubbly star’s most memorable moments from the hit show she hosted from 2015 until 2019 were shown
Laura’s message followers her boyfriend Iain’s ‘spine-tingling’ tribute to his friend and colleague, where he urged people to ‘be kind’.
Last Sunday’s episode had been cancelled with producers stating it would ‘not be broadcast out of respect for Caroline’s family’.
It was earlier revealed that the finalists had been informed of her passing – with insiders confirming they were alerted on Saturday.
In December, Caroline pleaded not guilty to a charge of assault at a hearing at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court.
‘I’m going to miss you Caz’: Voiceover artist Iain Stirling (pictured above with Caroline in 2017) opened last Monday’s show with a touching tribute to his friend
Heartbreaking: The TV veteran passed away a day after she had been told that the CPS was pursuing the court case against her following her row with Lewis (pictured in October)
The court heard that, in the aftermath of the alleged incident at her then flat in Islington on December 12, she told police ‘I did it’ and then warned she would kill herself.
The former Strictly winner was released on bail but was ordered to avoid any contact with her boyfriend, who did not support the prosecution, ahead of the trial next month.
An unpublished Instagram post, shared posthumously by her family on Wednesday, revealed she felt the ‘walls’ she had built around herself had ‘collapsed’.
She wrote: ‘I have always taken responsibility for what happened that night. Even on the night. But the truth is… It was an accident. I’ve been having some sort of emotional breakdown for a very long time.
‘But I am not a domestic abuser. We had an argument and an accident happened. An accident.’
If you have been affected by this story, you can call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org
‘She made the show what it is today’: Many viewers were moved by tribute on ITV2 and took to social media to share their thoughts
The full message that Caroline Flack wrote and was advised not to post on social media
Flack’s mother shared the message in her local paper, the Eastern Daily Press, in Norfolk where Flack grew up.
For a lot of people, being arrested for common assault is an extreme way to have some sort of spiritual awakening but for me it’s become the normal.
I’ve been pressing the snooze button on many stresses in my life – for my whole life. I’ve accepted shame and toxic opinions on my life for over 10 years and yet told myself it’s all part of my job. No complaining.
The problem with brushing things under the carpet is …. they are still there and one day someone is going to lift that carpet up and all you are going to feel is shame and embarrassment.
On December the 12th 2019 I was arrested for common assault on my boyfriend… Within 24 hours my whole world and future was swept from under my feet and all the walls that I had taken so long to build around me, collapsed. I am suddenly on a different kind of stage and everyone is watching it happen.
I have always taken responsibility for what happened that night. Even on the night. But the truth is… It was an accident.
I’ve been having some sort of emotional breakdown for a very long time.
But I am NOT a domestic abuser. We had an argument and an accident happened. An accident. The blood that someone SOLD to a newspaper was MY blood and that was something very sad and very personal.
The reason I am talking today is because my family can’t take anymore. I’ve lost my job. My home. My ability to speak. And the truth has been taken out of my hands and used as entertainment.
I can’t spend every day hidden away being told not to say or speak to anyone.
I’m so sorry to my family for what I have brought upon them and for what my friends have had to go through.
I’m not thinking about ‘how I’m going to get my career back.’ I’m thinking about how I’m going to get mine and my family’s life back.