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Why do we mourn stars we never really knew?

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The loss of Caroline Flack has affected many fans. Photo: Matt Crossick/PA Wire

The loss of Caroline Flack has affected many fans. Photo: Matt Crossick/PA Wire

The loss of Caroline Flack has affected many fans. Photo: Matt Crossick/PA Wire

As I came out of the service station toilets, my boyfriend had a serious look on his face. “Caroline Flack has died,” he said, breaking the news gently. I was in shock and largely silent as we got back in the car and drove home. My phone started to ping as my group chats filled with messages — all of us lamenting the news.

The presenter’s death has hit us all surprisingly hard. One friend sent me an essay on why she felt upset, and another was in tears about it earlier this week, telling me she felt “ridiculous” because she didn’t even know her.

But it feels like we did know her. Caroline Flack graced our television screens most nights during the summer months as we avidly watched Love Island, our favourite guilty pleasure show. For years, we have been used to her being streamed into our living rooms, and her candid posts on Instagram.


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