LOVE Island’s Laura Whitmore and Iain Stirling have paid touching tribute to Caroline Flack following her tragic death.
The 40-year-old star was today found dead in her flat after taking her own life.
Caroline’s devastated family announced the sad news of her 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.”
Caroline’s legions of famous pals flocked to social media to share their sadness at the news, with Laura and Iain leading the heartfelt messages.
Scottish Iain, who is the voiceover artist on the ITV2 dating show, referenced his friend’s iconic Love Island walk as he wrote: “Today my friend slow motion walked into heaven.
“I will miss her always. Thank you for everything x”.
He also shared a moving video from Caroline’s time on Strictly, with the TV favourite looking elegant in a flowing white dress as she danced to Robbie Williams’ Angels with professional partner Pasha Kovalev.
Caroline won the BBC One dance show in 2014 after wowing viewers with her incredible dance talent.
Meanwhile, Laura posted a photo of herself cuddled up to Caroline at a party, writing: “Im trying to find the words but I cant.”
Laura also posted a screenshot of touching memorial poem Loving Memories of a Special Son.
It reads: “To lose someone so special is really hard to bear, it hardly seems believable that youre no longer there.
“You left us far too early, before your time, it seems, and now youll never have the chance to fulfil all those dreams.
“However hard it is though, we’ll take comfort in the thought of all the memories we have and the happiness you brought.
“You always lived life to the full, but ours wont be the same, until the day when we can see your smiling face again.”
Laura replaced Caroline as the host of Love Island for the current winter series of the show.
Caroline – who’d been the face of the ITV2 reality show since its 2015 relaunch – stepped down in December after she was charged for the assault of boyfriend Lewis Burton.
She was due in court next month, having always insisted her innocence.
Model Lewis, 27, also denied the prosecution and made a public declaration of his love for the star in a heartfelt Valentines Day post just yesterday.
The ex tennis player was told the terrible news of Carolines death while on a skiing holiday with pals and was tonight travelling back to the UK.
Her managers publicly blasted the CPS after they continued to prosecute Caroline despite Lewis making clear he did not want them to and there being no serious injury.
In a passionate statement they said that the Crown Prosecution Service knew how “vulnerable” the star was, adding: “The CPS should look at themselves today and how they pursued a show trial that was not only without merit but not in the public interest and ultimately resulted in significant distress to Caroline.”
Tonight, Love Island cancelled their scheduled instalment of the show, with Unseen Bits supposed to air at 9pm this evening.
Instead, the channel aired a re-run of You’ve Been Framed.
ITV also paid tribute to Caroline in a heartfelt statement, which read: “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.”
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