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Tragic TV star Flack hailed as 'vivacious and loving' woman

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TROLLED: Caroline Flack at the BRIT Awards in 2018. Picture: AFP/Getty

TROLLED: Caroline Flack at the BRIT Awards in 2018. Picture: AFP/Getty

AFP via Getty Images

TROLLED: Caroline Flack at the BRIT Awards in 2018. Picture: AFP/Getty

Tribute have been pouring in for Caroline Flack in the wake of her sudden death in London as Virgin Media decided to pull last night's episode of 'Love Island'.

The body of the 40-year-old was found at her flat on Saturday as police investigating the circumstances surrounding her death describe it as "non-suspicious".

She was due to stand trial for an alleged assault on her boyfriend Lewis Burton from last December, sparking her decision to stand down from the new winter season of 'Love Island'.

Her stand-in and long-time friend Laura Whitmore paid an emotional tribute to her "vivacious and loving" pal. She was in tears on her BBC Radio 5 Live show yesterday morning as she said the presenter "loved to love".

Flack had been the subject of a number of vitriolic social media comments in the wake of the alleged assault and trouble in her personal life.

Whitmore appealed to listeners to "be kind" to others. She said she herself had been "harassed for just doing my job and I want to use my platform to call people out because it's gone too far".

"To paparazzi and tabloids looking for a cheap sell, to trolls hiding behind a keyboard - enough," said Whitmore. "I'm not going to pretend she [Flack] was perfect, but is anyone? She lived every mistake publicly, under the scrutiny of the media.

"Caroline loved to love. That's all she wanted. Which is why a show like 'Love Island' was important to her, because the show is about finding love, friendship, having a laugh. The problem wasn't the show. The show is loving and caring and safe and protected.

"The problem is, the outside world is not. Anyone who has ever compared one woman against another on Twitter, knocked someone because of their appearance, invaded someone else's privacy, who have made mean, unnecessary comments on an online forum - they need to look at themselves," she said.

Music mogul Louis Walsh described Flack as a "bright and shining light".

The Westlife manager worked with the tragic presenter over several years on the 'X Factor' and the pair stayed in touch. They even swapped vows in the Little White Chapel in Vegas as part of an 'Xtra Factor' skit in 2012.

"I really liked her, she was great fun and just a pleasure to be around," he said.

"She spoke her mind and was always up for a laugh and that is why people really warmed to her.

"I had been texting her during the week and I was genuinely concerned for her because she really was in the thick of it.

"I am not on social media and there is a very good reason for that and I just cannot believe that she is gone, she was this bright and shining light of fun.

"It is just so sad because she was a really great person, so full of life and energy and I will miss her."

Her friend, stylist Fiona Fagan, said she was "devastated" at the news of Flack's sudden death and had texted her last Friday to see if she was OK.

Dublin-born Fiona, who works on RTÉ's 'Dancing With The Stars', met Flack 20 years ago when she first moved to London. She went on to style her for two of the early seasons of 'Love Island'.

"I just can't believe I'm not going to see her face again," she told the Irish Independent.

"I can't believe I'm not going to hear her laugh again. As a person, she was bright and sparky and so clever. She was a brilliant live presenter. I know her whole family and I'm just devastated for them."

Virgin Media said it had decided not to broadcast last night's episode of 'Love Island' out of respect for Flack's family. "'Love Island' will return tonight and include a tribute to Caroline who will be forever in our hearts," it said.

Irish Independent