Caroline Flack’s mother Christine says TV presenters need ‘better duty of care’


Caroline Flack’s mother Christine says TV presenters need ‘better duty of care’ after she was ‘wrongly sacked’ from her Love Island presenting role

  • The former Love Island host took her own life on February 15, 2020, at age 40
  • This came a day after hearing the CPS would go ahead with a trial for allegedly attacking her boyfriend Lewis Burton in December 2019
  • For confidential support, call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch. See www.samaritans.org for details 
  • Latest news and updates on all of your favourite Love Island contestants

Caroline Flack‘s mother has said that television presenters need improvements in ‘duty of care’ due to the level of ‘exposure’. 

Christine explained that it was ‘ironic’ that her late daughter, who hosted the extremely popular ITV show Love Island, was ‘wrongly sacked’ from her role when her own love life was in turmoil. 

Caroline took her own life on February 15, 2020, at age 40, the day after hearing the Crown Prosecution Service would go ahead with a trial for allegedly attacking her boyfriend Lewis Burton in December 2019.

Tragic: Caroline Flack's mother Christine has said TV presenters need 'better duty of care' after she was 'wrongly sacked' from her Love Island presenting role

Tragic: Caroline Flack’s mother Christine has said TV presenters need ‘better duty of care’ after she was ‘wrongly sacked’ from her Love Island presenting role

Speaking to The Sun, Christine explained: ‘The duty of care with presenters needs to be better. If you work in an office you’re safe-guarded, but on TV you’re not, you’re exposed.   

‘Love Island thrived on arguments and they probably still do, I haven’t watched it since. But when it came to Caroline, they sacked her because of her love life. It was totally wrong.

‘I watched it because Carrie was on it and I loved it because she absolutely loved it. She loved the crew and the contestants. It was ironic when her love life was in trouble.’ 

MailOnline has contacted Love Island representatives for comment.  

Safeguarding: Christine said it was 'ironic' that her late daughter, who hosted the extremely popular ITV show Love Island, was 'wrongly sacked' from her role when her own love life was in turmoil (Caroline pictured on Love Island in 2019)

Safeguarding: Christine said it was ‘ironic’ that her late daughter, who hosted the extremely popular ITV show Love Island, was ‘wrongly sacked’ from her role when her own love life was in turmoil (Caroline pictured on Love Island in 2019) 

Last month, Love Island producers said contestants will be given inclusivity training, round the clock access to mental health experts and bespoke guidance on how to cope with instant fame as part of an extensive care package implemented ahead of its latest series.

The popular ITV2 show returned to Majorca for an eighth series in June, and producers have ensured its latest crop of singletons are given plenty of professional guidance as part of their duty of care protocol – before, during and after their stay in the Spanish villa.

Ahead of this series, contestants will be offered video training and guidance covering appropriate inclusive language around disability, sexuality, race and ethnicity, as well as general behaviours and microaggressions. 

Support: She explained: 'The duty of care with presenters needs to be better. If you work in an office you’re safe-guarded, but on TV you’re not, you’re exposed'

Support: She explained: ‘The duty of care with presenters needs to be better. If you work in an office you’re safe-guarded, but on TV you’re not, you’re exposed’ 

Pre-filming psychological and medical assessments, including reviews conducted by an independent doctor, psychological consultant and reports from each Islander’s own GP to check their respective medical histories, are also required. 

The discussions have been devised to tackle topics including inclusive language, behaviour, creating safe spaces and being a good ally. 

Additionally, prospective Islanders will watch a video fronted by the show’s executive producer and head of welfare interviewing former Islanders about their experiences on the show. 

This includes details on the two week period before they enter the Villa, how to cope being filmed 24 hours a day, the interaction they will have with producers in the Villa, the support provided to family members, dealing with social media trolling, and adapting to life away from the show. 

Heartbreaking: In February 2020, the host of Love Island, Caroline Flack (pictured), was found dead at her home after taking her own life, a day after hearing the Crown Prosecution Service would go ahead with a trial for allegedly attacking her boyfriend Lewis Burton in 2019

Heartbreaking: In February 2020, the host of Love Island, Caroline Flack (pictured), was found dead at her home after taking her own life, a day after hearing the Crown Prosecution Service would go ahead with a trial for allegedly attacking her boyfriend Lewis Burton in 2019 

The cast will also be told they should consider all the potential implications of taking part in the show – in particular the negative feedback they might receive on social media – and work through this decision-making process with their families. 

Caroline’s death was ruled a suicide in an inquest in August 2020 with coroner Mary Hassell, saying: ‘The key decision for me to make is whether Caroline took her own life…

‘I have to be satisfied she acted in a way so as to cause her death, and secondly that she intended to cause her death.

‘In Caroline’s case I am entirely satisfied she intended to cause her own death. She hanged herself. She had only one expectation – her own death. There’s no doubt in my mind at all.’

The coroner said Flack had experienced ‘fluctuating ill health’ and was ‘distressed’ at the thought of facing a trial.

Help: Last month, producers said contestants will be given inclusivity training, round the clock access to mental health experts and bespoke guidance on how to cope with instant fame (2022 cast pictured)

Help: Last month, producers said contestants will be given inclusivity training, round the clock access to mental health experts and bespoke guidance on how to cope with instant fame (2022 cast pictured) 

LOVE ISLAND 2022: DUTY OF CARE 

  • Comprehensive psychological support
  • Training for all Islanders on the impacts of social media and handling potential negativity
  • Training for all Islanders on financial management
  • Detailed conversations with Islanders regarding the impact of participation on the show
  • A proactive aftercare package which extends support to all Islanders following their participation on the show
  • Guidance and advice on taking on management after the show

 Information courtesy of ITV

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She said: ‘Caroline had fluctuating mental ill health, she had had struggles in the past. She had had difficulties…

‘In spite of the fact she may have led – to some – a charmed life, actually the more famous she got the more some of these difficulties increased – she had to deal with the media in a way most of us don’t…

‘It was played out in the national press – and that was incredibly difficult for her. She faced the prospect of not working in the job she loved, losing a great deal…   

‘I find the reason for her taking her life was she now knew she was being prosecuted for certainty, and she knew she would face the media, press, publicity – it would all come down upon her. To me, that’s it in essence.’

Circumstances: In August 2020 the coroner said Caroline had experienced 'fluctuating ill health' and was 'distressed' at the thought of facing a trial

Circumstances: In August 2020 the coroner said Caroline had experienced ‘fluctuating ill health’ and was ‘distressed’ at the thought of facing a trial

At the time, her mum Christine wept as she told the coroner over video-link: ‘I totally agree, I think you got it spot on. We know you are not allowed to say certain things and it’s up to us if we want to take it any further, and we don’t. You’re spot on.’

Concluding, the coroner recorded a death of suicide caused by hanging.

Mrs Hassell said: ‘Caroline hanged herself at home on the morning of February 15 because of an exacerbation of fluctuating ill health and distress.’

In February it was revealed the Met Police would re-examine if Caroline was treated differently because of her fame – with her mother saying she is ‘sad and very angry’ at the force.  

Caroline’s mother has demanded an explanation over why the star was charged with assaulting her boyfriend – with the Met Police told to re-examine whether she was treated differently because of her fame.   

For confidential support, call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch. See www.samaritans.org for details. 

Exposure: In February it was revealed the Met Police would re-examine if Caroline was treated differently because of her fame

Exposure: In February it was revealed the Met Police would re-examine if Caroline was treated differently because of her fame

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