'Have we learned nothing?' - Caroline Flack's mum fears Meghan Markle saga shows nothing has been learned from daughter's death

Chris and Caroline Flack at a River Island clothing event. Caroline passed up the chance to bring along celebrity pals in...

Chris and Caroline Flack at a River Island clothing event. Caroline passed up the chance to bring along celebrity pals in favour of sharing the event with her family - Credit: Chris Flack

The mother of television star Caroline Flack has said she does not feel enough has been learned from her daughter's death, ahead of the airing of a documentary about her life.

This week, a film is being shown on Channel 4 celebrating the life of the Love Island host, which will also delve into the heartbreaking background of the 40-year-old's suicide in February 2020.

Ahead of it being shown, Chris Flack, the presenter's mum, has opened up about the impact her daughter's death has had on her family - and her lasting legacy of the message of "be kind".

Norfolk TV presenter Caroline Flack, who died in February 2020.

Norfolk TV presenter Caroline Flack, who died in February 2020. - Credit: Nathan Pask

And while she said she is immensely proud that her daughter had become a symbol in the fight against online trolling and the worst excesses of the tabloid press, she says too few lessons have been learned in the year that has passed.

She said: "I look at the headlines about Meghan Markle and everything that is said about her and it just makes me think 'have we learned nothing?' The national press has been awful to her.

"It's almost as if people think that because she is beautiful and because she is articulate that she can not think these things - and it was the same with Carrie."

The documentary will feature interviews with Mrs Flack, Caroline's twin sister Jody and a number of her friends from showbusiness, including Dermot O'Leary. And Mrs Flack admits she is nervous about how it will be received.

Caroline Flack's mum Christine, with the EDP's poster encouraging Strictly Come Dancing fans to vote

Caroline Flack's mum Christine, with the EDP's poster encouraging Strictly Come Dancing fans to vote for her daughter. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2014


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"We originally wanted it to be a celebration of Carrie's life, but when we started filming it soon became clear there were other important things that need to be said," she said.

"You never know if you have done the right thing but I really think she would be pleased that we have not just sat down and let things happen - we have tried to get the truth out there for her.

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"There is a lot about her mental health in there and it is a hard watch - I cried the first time I watched it all the way through - but if it helps others have the courage to speak out it will have been worthwhile."

And a year on from her death, Mrs Flack, who lives near Thetford, has remembered her daughter's caring, loving nature - how she would make her laugh and be fun to be around, in spite of her mental health troubles, which she kept hidden.

She said: "She did so many nice things for her family and when you were around her she was so much fun. Something Dermot O'Leary says in the documentary is she had funny bones and that sums it up really well, her facial expressions and the way she'd say things were just fun.

"But she was just not wired for fame and found it really difficult to let people in. She was ashamed [of her struggles] and needed somebody really loving and caring to be with her."

One aspect of her death that is not explored in the documentary is the investigation into the police's conduct during the run-up to her death, as this process is still ongoing.

But Mrs Flack confirmed a family friend was working on a book about just this subject.

She added: "She was strong because she would get over her mental health problems, but when she was upset she was awful and would then have big downs - and on that day she could just not take any more. 

"That's the whole point of talking, but it is just so, so difficult.

"So much of what happened is just so hard to come to terms with. Carrie used to ring me every day, every single day.

"And I learned so much from her - we would be watching telly and I would say if there was something I didn't like. But she would set me right and say I don't actually know them and that is something we can all learn from.

"I think there are lots of people out there that will get the right message from the film and I do hope things will change."

In February 2020, Caroline's family chose this newspaper to share a powerful message she had planned to post on her Instagram page, only for her publicist to advise against it.

Caroline Flack: Her Life and Death airs on Channel 4 at 9pm on Wednesday, March 17.

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