THIS evening it was confirmed that Caroline Flack had tragically passed away after taking her own life, aged 40.
The popular TV presenter enjoyed a glittering career in the spotlight, becoming the face of Love Island in 2015 – just months after winning Strictly Come Dancing.
Her devastated family announced the sad news of Caroline’s death in a statement, which read: “We can confirm that our Caroline passed away today on the 15th February.
“We would ask that the press both respect the privacy of the family at this difficult time.”
The bubbly beauty first hit our screens in Bo’ Selecta back in 2002, and she went on to appear on programmes such as Big Brother’s Big Mouth, Gladiators, and Saturday morning show TMi in the following years.
In 2009, Caroline shot to fame when she was drafted in to host I’m A Celeb spin-off show, Get Me Out Of Here NOW!, and her infectious personality soon won over viewers as she was asked to return the following year.
By 2011, the London star had become an ITV darling – with Simon Cowell announcing that she and singer Olly Murs had been hired to co-present the eighth series of X Factor spin-off The Xtra Factor.
Caroline dazzled fans as she presented the programme for the next two series, and in 2015 she and Olly were promoted to hosts of the main show – replacing Dermot O’Leary.
The pair only featured for one series, but by that point Caroline had already secured her role as the energetic and charismatic presenter of Love Island.
The reality series initially ran in 2005 and 2006 with celebrity contestants, and was hosted by Patrick Kielty and Kelly Brook at the time.
ITV2 revived the concept in June 2015, but this time casting regular people as the Islanders and with Caroline as presenter.
In the following years, Love Island had a surge in popularity as viewers at home slowly fell in love with the programme.
Caroline immediately became synonymous with the show, with fans and former Islanders praising her friendly persona as she got the gossip from eliminated contestants on spin-off After Sun.
In fact, Caroline’s involvement with Love Island was so successful that in 2018 it received a BAFTA TV Award for Best Reality and Constructed Factual.
Clearly stunned as she accepted the accolade, the presenter gushed: “Wow, a BAFTA. On behalf of all of us thank you so much.
“Its been so brilliant watching this show grown over the last three years.
“A huge thank you to all the Islanders for giving so much of themselves.”
Going from strength to strength, last summer’s Love Island final broke records as ITV2’s most watched show in history – with over three million viewers tuning in to watch Amber Gill and Greg O’Shea take home the crown.
While presenting was undeniably Caroline’s calling, she was also proven to be a talented dancer when she competed on BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing in 2014.
She foxtrotted her way to victory with partner Pasha Kovalev – even earning the first perfect score of the series for her semi-final’s salsa.
This was followed by three further perfect scores, which was an impressive first in the show’s history.
Caroline was chuffed when viewers voted her the series winner, gushing at the time: “Wow!
“This is the best feeling in the whole world.
“This has been the best experience of my whole life. Im shaking!
“Thank you so much for all your support, for voting.”
Other highlights throughout her time in the spotlight include the 2015 release of her autobiography, Storm In A C Cup.
She has also enjoyed a string of high profile relationships – dating Prince Harry and One Direction’s Harry Styles.
Caroline was due in court next month on charges of assaulting boyfriend Lewis Burton in December, having always insisted her innocence.
She stepped down as host of Love Island after being charged shortly before Christmas, with Laura Whitmore stepping in as her replacement.
Model Lewis, 27 denied the prosecution and made a public declaration of his love for the star in a heartfelt Valentine’s Day post yesterday.
The ex tennis player was told the terrible news of Caroline’s death while on a skiing holiday with pals and was tonight travelling back to the UK.
Those close to Caroline are said to be furious that the CPS had continued to prosecute Caroline despite Lewis making clear he did not want them to and there being no serious injury.
Her famous friends have taken to social media to share heartbreaking tributes to the star, with Laura Whitmore, Philllip Schofield and ex Islanders sharing their sadness at her death.
ITV also released a statement, reading: “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.”
Caroline’s final Instagram post came just two days before her death and showed her giving beloved dog Ruby a kiss.
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