CAROLINE Flack was my friend and surreal does not begin to cover writing this.
She was brilliant, fun, and ridiculously charismatic but like so many other performers she had her demons.
We first met six years ago at the National Television Awards when I drunkenly bowled over, and demanded we be friends on account of the fact: You look fun.
The poor thing humoured me. We swapped numbers and, for the next six years, proceeded to swap various tales of woe on dating, dieting and pretty much everything in between.
Her style of presenting irreverent, warm, easy made viewers feel they knew her.
I had an insiders view as she ascended the ranks to become one of the best-known women on TV.
I was proud of her as I knew as well as anyone how hard she had worked to reach the pinnacle of her profession.
Over the coming days and weeks, more will be said about her.
There will be heartfelt tributes from her hundreds of friends. The people who really knew her.
The Caroline I knew was kind, generous and trusting sometimes overly so.
More than anything, she was someone who loved to love.
She adored the magic of falling in love but, for someone who provided so much, financially and otherwise to so many, I think she just wanted someone to take care of her.
Caroline was mercurial.
She had dark days, and could be deeply introspective and, by her own admission, she was impetuous. She was often emotional.
It made her who she was flawed and oh-so-human.
This was something some of us in the media, myself included, sometimes forgot just seeing her glossy, shiny, smiley TV persona.
Caroline had a Peter Pan-like quality. Not only did she look perennially 32 she genuinely saw age as no barrier.
In an industry obsessed with youth, she stuck two fingers up to those who said a woman should be seen and not heard after 40.
She partied. She swore. She laughed. (God, her laugh was brilliant). She swore some more.
She wore short skirts because she could.
She dated younger men because she could.
She went to parties, and bars, and festivals because she could and because it was fun.
One of my favourite memories (albeit hazy) is of an evening I dragged her to my favourite gay bar, Freedom in Londons Soho.
Inexplicably, I suggested we play dares.
Obviously she was up for it.
Obviously she did everything I set her with gusto . . . including one to crawl on all fours like a cat over the back of two high-backed booths, onto the table of a bemused set of revellers.
Without hesitation, she stood up and did it, casually miaowing her way across a heaving bar.
At this stage, she was on prime-time TV and a household name yet she couldnt have given a toss.
Caroline just wanted to please, to make people laugh.
On another occasion we were going for lunch at a Japanese restaurant shed chosen.
It was her turn to pay, and she told me to order anything I fancied. So I did, with aplomb.
The bill came, and she visibly turned ashen, frantically scrambling around in her ridiculous giant handbag.
She looked up, not quite meeting me in the eye: Erm, Clem . . . I think Ive left my wallet in the car.
Needless to say, Muggins here footed the bill. And needless to say, car-gate went on to become a running joke.
On another occasion we did not speak for three months when I wrote a story in this newspaper concerning a row shed had with an ex-boyfriend.
Her friends had been worried about the state of her relationship and hoped that by printing it in black and white, it would be the wake up call she needed.
On this occasion, we kissed and made up like we always did over Twinkle vodka cocktails at Londons Groucho club.
But not before we had thrashed it out at high volume, gesticulating wildly, much to the embarrassment of other drinkers.
And that was the beauty of Caroline.
She was a pro in the true, old school fashion of celebrity.
She recognised the need for the Press.
She knew we all had jobs to do. So, yes, after several Twinkles, Caroline forgave me.
She dumped her boyfriend. We got our friendship back.
Reading through our WhatsApps now she was a prolific and hilarious exponent is bittersweet.
For the past eight weeks, life for Caroline hadnt been much fun.
On our penultimate text exchange, on January 30th, she was desperately trying to remain positive.
Her last text read: Either way . . . gotta keep going innit xx.
If only she had.
She loved Lewis dearly she recently told me he was the best boyfriend shed ever had and perhaps their court-enforced separation was the final straw.
Friends feared this might happen, but never thought it actually would.