Love Island host Caroline Flack: “We need to stop blaming, speculating” after contestant deaths

Love Island has been rocked by the deaths of Mike Thalassitis and Sophie Gradon, sparking a national conversation

Caroline Flack on Love Island

Love Island presenter Caroline Flack says the ITV2 reality series is still a “feel-good show” – and that there is a desire to “over-analyse it.”

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The show has come under greater scrutiny after the suicides of former contestants Mike Thalassitis and Sophie Gradon, leading to a wider conversation about the pressures of sudden TV fame.

ITV has now introduced new “duty of care” procedures designed to protect the welfare of 2019’s Islanders, including a minimum of eight therapy sessions for each participant on their return home as well as “proactive contact” from the team for a period of 14 months afterwards.

Mike Thalassitis, Love Island (ITV)
Mike Thalassitis, Love Island (ITV)

Now in its fifth series, Love Island has gained a huge fanbase over the last couple of summers as millions tuned in to watch the young singletons find romance in the villa.

But the deaths of Thalassitis and Gradon will be on everyone’s minds ahead of the series launch on 3rd June.

Flack told Metro: “The show is a journey of love and emotions that everyone can relate to and learn from. We are a feel-good show.

“When something becomes popular there seems to be a desire to pull it to pieces and over-analyse it. This is about young singletons having fun, getting to know each other, in an amazing villa in the Spanish sun.”

The host also suggested that Thalassitis and Gradon’s deaths are part of a wider problem as modern life becomes “overwhelming” for everyone, including reality stars.

“We need to stop blaming, speculating without the facts,” she said. “As a human race we all need to come together, communicate, open up, express ourselves, be kind and be understanding of what all of us are dealing with on a daily basis.”

Ahead of the new series launch, Creative Director of ITV Studios Entertainment Richard Cowles said: “Due to the success of the show our Islanders can find themselves in the public eye following their appearance. We really want to make sure they have given real consideration to this and what appearing on TV entails. Discussing all of this with us forms a big part of the casting process and, ultimately, their decision to take part.

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“Our welfare processes follow three key stages: pre-filming, filming and aftercare and we are increasing our post filming support to help Islanders following their time in villa.”