In England the media have already called it the cursed reality show: the death of the presenter Caroline Flack is the third tragic mourning of "Love Island" in less than two years. Before her, two former competitors had already killed themselves: in 2018, Sophie Gradon, and last year, Mike Thalassitis.
Their deaths sparked a debate at home on the ethics of reality TV and the duty that broadcasters have to take care of competitors. Flack was found dead in her East London flat on 15 February 2020, aged 40. The lawyer acting for her family confirmed that she had died by suicide.
A Love Island highlights episode, due to be shown on ITV2 on the day of her death, was cancelled out of respect. Tributes were paid to her from fans, former Love Island contestants and celebrities. Flack was engaged to the English tennis player Lewis Burton, who reached a career-high ranking of 172 (singles and doubles combined) on the Juniors circuit, achieved in July 2010.
Along with George Morgan, he reached the final of the boys' doubles at Wimbledon in 2010. "My heart is broken we had something so special. I am so lost for words I am in so much pain I miss you so much I know you felt safe with me you always said I don't think about anything else when I am with you and I was not allowed to be there this time I kept asking and asking.
I will be your voice baby I promise I will ask all the questions you wanted and I will get all the answers nothing will bring you back but I will try make you proud everyday. I love you with all my heart" - Burton said in an emotional Instagram post.