Viewers have praised Love Island narrator Iain Stirling for his “beautiful” tribute to the show’s former presenter Caroline Flack, following the show’s return on Monday evening.
The show had been on temporary hiatus over the weekend in respect to Flack’s family, following the news that she died by suicide on Saturday 15th February.
Stirling’s tribute to Flack aired at the start of the episode, during which he thanked the presenter for being a “true friend” to him, saying that he would “miss” her. The episode then continued as normal, but Stirling’s narration – usually irreverent and joking in tone – was far more subdued than usual.
Viewers have since taken to social media to thank and praise Stirling for the tribute, stating that he and current Love Island presenter Laura Whitmore, who is also his girlfriend, had “done themselves and Caroline proud this week”.
Laura Whitmore and Iain Stirling (among so many others who work on #loveisland) have done themselves and Caroline proud this week. They have been so respectful, compassionate and brave at such a difficult time for every one of them.
— Lara Terry (@LaraRixon) February 17, 2020
iain stirling, you’ve done ever single member of the public proud. your words were so beautifully written. a beautiful soul lost far too soon. we love you Caroline. #loveisland
— lucy ✨???? (@lucybreivogelx) February 17, 2020
— Kirsty (@kkirstylouise) February 17, 2020
Every time Iain Stirling talks in this episode it just feels so sad. You can tell his hearts not in it and he’s just not himself at all, no comments no jokes just getting through it. Want to just send him a massive hug #LoveIsland
— liv (@livfitzsy) February 17, 2020
So many of you saying the tribute wasn’t enough. Two days after his friend died, Iain Stirling is back at work, sorry that this man wants to grieve in private and not pour his heart out to millions of people on tv. It was a lovely tribute, don’t be disrespectful #loveisland
— Mol (@molewilso) February 17, 2020
As well as remembering Flack on social media, Whitmore paid tribute to the star during her BBC Radio 5 live show on Sunday morning, stating that “you don’t have to tear down someone to feel good about yourself” and urging listeners to “be kind. Only you are responsible for how you treat others and what you put out in the world.”
Earlier on Monday, Love Island had announced it would be swapping its sponsor idents for Samaritans contact details. ITV also announced that the spin-off show Love Island: Aftersun would not air that evening and the Love Island: The Morning After podcast wouldn’t be released the morning after.