Norfolk television presenter Caroline Flack dies age 40
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015
Norfolk television presenter Caroline Flack has died at the age of 40.
The family of the former Love Island host, who grew up near Thetford, and went to school in Watton, have confirmed the news today (February 15).
A statement said: "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."
A lawyer for the Flack family confirmed that Miss Flack took her own life and was found in her east London flat on Saturday.
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As a child, Miss Flack attended Great Hockham Primary School and Wayland High School in Watton, before going on to study music and theatre at Bodywork Company in Cambridge.
She moved to London and rose to fame in the early 2000s, presenting the International Pepsi Show and co-presenting TMI on BBC Two.
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She won Strictly Come Dancing in 2014.
She was most known for the dating show Love Island, but stood down ahead of its winter series following allegations of assaulting her boyfriend Lewis Burton.
Miss Flack was alleged to have hit Mr Burton over the head with a lamp, causing a head injury but entered a not guilty plea to the assault charge at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court.
Miss Flack was released on bail with conditions that stopped her having any contact with Burton ahead of a trial which was set to begin in March.
On February 13, the television presenter posted on Instagram for the first time since she was advised to avoid social media platforms.
Tributes have poured in from former Love Island contestants, presenters and the entertainment world.
Former contestant Wes Nelson wrote a long message on Instagram next to a picture of himself with Flack.
He wrote: "I can't believe what I'm reading! Caroline Flack was an absolute diamond, my heart is genuinely broken! One of the warmest funniest people I've ever met, I have nothing but great memories! It was just weeks since we were chatting away!".
An ITV spokeswoman said: "Everybody at Love Island and ITV is shocked and saddened by this desperately sad news. Caroline was a much loved member of the Love Island team and our sincere thoughts and condolences are with her family and friends."
Laura Whitmore, who took over hosting the winter series of Love Island from Flack, tweeted: "I'm trying to find the words but I can't", followed by a broken hearted emoji.
Radio and TV presenter Edith Bowman tweeted: "I can't quite believe what has happened. Caroline you didn't deserve this. Such sad and tragic news. Love to all her family.
"The media and social media have SO much to answer for. RIP Lovely Flack".
This Morning presenter Phillip Schofield paid tribute on his Instagram story on a former post from Miss Flack which read: "In a world where you can be anything, be kind".
Schofield wrote: "You poor darling girl my heart is breaking. Be kind".
TV presenter Jonathan Ross said he had been in touch with Miss Flack recently as he joined scores of people from the entertainment world in paying tribute.
Ross tweeted: "I am very sad to hear that Caroline Flack is dead. I had been in touch with her recently and had hoped she was doing better. She was talented and smart and likeable and she will he missed. It's awful."
TV duo Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly shared a tribute to on their joint Twitter account, writing: "We are both devastated to hear the news about Caroline Flack. It is beyond sad. Beyond words. So tragic. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family. Rest In Peace Caroline XX."
Channel 4 news presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy, who appeared last year with Flack in The Great Celebrity Bake Off for Stand Up To Cancer, said the news was "just awful" and added: "In my brief experience of meeting her she was big hearted, funny and very likeable. What terrible times she must have gone through recently. A tragedy."
Comedian and actor Jack Whitehall described Flack as "a fun, kind beautiful person" and said it was "so unfair that this has happened" in a tweet.
He added: "Let's pray we learn from this and remember to be a little bit more compassionate to people when they are down".
Her friend Dawn O'Porter posted a string of messages on Twitter, saying: "At some point I will find my words, and I will write the tribute she deserves. My dear friend. I'm lost".
In separate posts, she wrote: "We had so much fun" and also tweeted: "I'm broken."
Good Morning Britain's Susanna Reid tweeted: "My heart is absolutely broken for Caroline Flack and everybody who loves her."
Miss Flack was a co-presenter on I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! NOW! alongside Joe Swash and Russell Kane for two years starting in 2009, the same year she co-hosted Gladiators with Ian Wright on Sky One.
She left Get Me Out of Here! NOW! in 2011 to host another spin-off programme, The Xtra Factor with pop star and ex Olly Murs and the pair would later be promoted to host the X-Factor for one year.
In March 2019, Miss Flack took part in an episode of Channel 4's charity show The Great Celebrity Bake Off for Stand Up To Cancer, having made her West End stage debut as Roxie Hart in Chicago.
*For help and support visit www.norfolkandwaveneymind.org.uk. Alternatively call the Samaritans 24/7 free helpline on 116123 or visit www.samaritans.org