Love Island heartbreaking tragedies as show faces huge revamp this year

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Love Island fans are patiently waiting for the show to return this summer.

And the ITV2 series is rumoured to be undergoing changes as it makes a comeback.

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Producers of the series are reportedly looking for a new location to film, but it will still include the iconic elements including the fire pit and swimming pool.

The show returned last year after a two year hiatus. It was on a break due to the coronavirus restrictions at the time.

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However, the show was struck with a number of tragedies before the Covid chaos.

Caroline Flack – who was best known for being the bubbly presenter of the dating show – tragically took her own life the day after Valentine’s Day in 2020.

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Contestants Mike Thalassitis and Sophie Gradon also tragically died shortly after appearing on the show – although ITV has no link to their deaths.

Here are the tragedies that have happened so far as the show prepares for a comeback very soon.

Caroline Flack

The telly presenter sadly died at the age of 40 – and the devastating news came as a shock to everyone.

A lawyer for the Flack family confirmed that Caroline took her own life and that she was found in her east London flat.

Following the tragic news, ITV pulled an episode of Love Island after releasing a statement about the TV presenter.

ITV’s statement said: “Everybody at Love Island and ITV is shocked and saddened by this desperately sad news.

Love Island heartbreaking tragedies as show faces huge revamp this year
© WireImage Caroline was found dead at her home in East London

“Caroline was a much loved member of the Love Island team and our sincere thoughts and condolences are with her family and friends.”

Caroline – who also fronted X Factor, Xtra Factor and I’m A Celebrity : Extra Camp – had presented Love Island from the very start in 2015 – up until 2019, when her good pal Laura Whitmore took over hosting duties.

She stepped down from hosting the show at the time as she was arrested and charged with assault by beating after an alleged bust-up with her boyfriend.

After the news came out, the TV star made the decision to step back from Love Island, as she felt it would be best not to host the 2020 series so that her private life did not overshadow the show.

Love Island heartbreaking tragedies as show faces huge revamp this year
© ITV/REX She was the original host of Love Island

At the time, Caroline confessed Love Island had been her “world for the last five years” in an emotional post on Instagram.

Just three weeks before she was set to stand trial for allegedly assaulting Lewis, the world learnt that Caroline had tragically taken her own life.

The trial was terminated after the court received her death certificate.

The news was confirmed by her family – who paid tribute to her, as well as her loyal fans.

Mike Thalassitis

Former footballer Mike starred on the 2017 series of Love Island – and he rose to fame after appearing on the show.

However, the reality star tragically died at the age of 26.

He was found dead in March 2019 at a park near his childhood home in Edmonton, North London.

An inquest ruled that he died by suicide after cocaine and alcohol use.

Love Island heartbreaking tragedies as show faces huge revamp this year
© ITV Mike Thalassitis was a popular contestant on the show

Mike was reportedly struggling with debts and wracked with grief in the days before his death, according to sources.

Pals told The Mirror he was devastated after his beloved nan died aged 94 – he had moved into her her home becoming her full time carer in the weeks before her death.

Sources also said Mike was dealing with huge debts after overextending himself with a party lifestyle. He was also said to be broken hearted after his split from Megan McKenna.

“He was always the perfect gentleman and would pick up the bill everywhere we went,” a source told us.

“But his party lifestyle came at a price and he wasn’t earning a lot of cash after Love Island, especially as he became his nan’s carer.”

A source told The Sun: “It is absolutely tragic to have died at such a young age.

Love Island heartbreaking tragedies as show faces huge revamp this year
© PA He died shortly after appearing on the dating series

“Mike had so much to live for. He was about to launch a restaurant in Essex with a pal. He was grieving the loss of his nan.

“There was so much in store for his future that this is truly senseless.”

Following Mike’s sudden death, his friend Montana Brown – also from series three of the show – revealed his heartbreaking last messages to her.

Montana said: “He sent his friend a message saying, ‘Mate, I don’t think I’m going to see you any more. I don’t think I’m going to see you ever again.’ And his friend did not understand – and why would you? It’s not your everyday thing that someone messages you something like that.”

Sophie Gradon

The former Miss Great Britain 2009 star first appeared on Love Island in 2016.

Two years after appearing on the show, she was found dead at her parents’ home in Medburn, Ponteland, on June 20, 2018.

Sophie was just 32-years-old when she tragically died.

Love Island heartbreaking tragedies as show faces huge revamp this year
© Internet Unknown Sophie Gradon passed away in 2018

An inquest ruled that she took her own life by hanging after taking cocaine and and enough alcohol to put her two-and-a-half times over the legal driving limit, an inquest into the Love Island star’s death has ruled.

There was no third-party involvement.

She was found hanging in the living room by her boyfriend Aaron Armstrong and his brother Ryan, who had driven to her house after growing concerned at Sophie’s lack of social media activity.

Ryan called 999 while desperate Aaron attempted CPR on Sophie for 15 minutes, even though she was cold and her arms had turned blue.

In March 2019, her pals insisted she “didn’t kill herself” and that “something sinister happened”.

The Mirror exclusively revealed that the inquest into Sophie’s death had been postponed after her grieving parents received new information.

Her mother Deborah later told Mail Online there was “nothing to support” the suicide theory and revealed police are trying to access data from the late star’s iPhone.

Sophie’s close friend Jasmine Lennard has expressed her own views on the tragedy, insisting she’s also convinced Sophie didn’t take her own life.

In a series of posts on Twitter, Jasmine wrote: “I f*****g called it. From day ONE…. Wow. I f*****g knew it.”

She added of Sophie’s parents: “They [the parents] have probably worked out now that she didn’t [kill herself].

“That something sinister happened…

“The truth will come out. It won’t bring her back. But i want the truth to come out for her.

“If she didn’t take her life which i don’t personally believe she did. She would want her parents to know that 100 [per cent].”

However, Jasmine later retracted her comments after speaking to Aaron’s brother.

She said on Twitter: “Spoken with members of Aaron Armstrong’s family today. They shared with me details of the night Sophie passed and also when her body was discovered. The information they shared with me was truly shocking and revelatory. I no longer believe that he was present at the time of her death or that he played any part in it whatsoever.

“I feel deeply for his family members having to deal with the fake news which is in the press today implying he had some involvement it’s deeply hurtful to them and i’m sincerely sorry for my misjudgement. I apologised personally.

“Not going to share the details of what was discussed because it’s not my place too. When the time is right Aaron’s family will share the truth and clear his name and any other parties who bear any kind of responsibility will be exposed. The kid had nothing to do with it though.”

When the inquest went ahead in April, North Shields Coroners Court heard she had expressed suicidal thoughts shortly before being found dead and had been texting a male friend into the early hours of June 20 discussing how she was “struggling with the world”.

Det Sgt Neill Jobling of Northumbria Police told the hearing that Sophie had said she “cannot do this any more” and “I’ve been to the end and back again”.

In another message sent at 01:44 she told her friend: “I would never want to do that to my family but if I could escape I would.”

The loss of Sophie sent her famous friends into mourning.

*If you’re struggling and need to talk, the Samaritans operate a free helpline open 24/7 on 116 123. Alternatively, you can email  or visit their site to find your local branch

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