Caroline Flack, former host of ITV’s Love Island and other UK unscripted series, has passed away at the age of 40, her family has confirmed.
According to reports, a lawyer for the family has confirmed that Flack took her own life.
Flack’s family released a statement to media which read: “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, who also served as a co-host for The X Factor, was due to stand trial next month following her arrest in December on suspicion of assault against her partner. She pleaded not guilty and was released on bail. After hosting the popular ITV series for four years, Flack left Love Island after the arrest, and was replaced for the winter series by Laura Whitmore.
“Everybody at Love Island and ITV is shocked and saddened by this desperately sad news,” read a tweet from ITV2. “Caroline was a much loved member of the Love Island team and our sincere thoughts and condolences are with her family and friends.”
In a statement issued over the weekend, ITV’s director of television, Kevin Lygo said the network was “absolutely devastated” by the news, adding: “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.”
A familiar face to fans of UK unscripted television, Flack had also appeared on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, Strictly Come Dancing and a celebrity version of The Great British Bake Off. The episode of Love Island: Unseen Bits set to air on ITV2 the night of her passing was postponed, and a series fronted by Flack set to air on Channel 4, The Surjury, has been taken off the schedule.
Flack’s passing is the latest tragedy to impact Love Island, one of the UK’s biggest unscripted hits in recent years. The deaths of two former contestants, each ruled as suicides, were seen as catalysts for an industry-wide discussion in the UK, as well as a UK parliamentary inquiry, into duty of care for unscripted television participants.
The news comes days after the results of the Looking Glass survey, issued by the UK’s Film and TV Charity, which examined the state of mental health in the UK film and television industry. Among other results, the survey found that out of approximately 9,000 respondents working in the business, more than half had considered taking their lives.