ITV boss Kevin Lygo has spoken out in tribute to Caroline Flack and Love Island’s plans going forward, stating the entire channel is ‘absolutely devastated’ by her suicide this weekend.
The television executive, who has been in charge of the show’s overall commissioning since 2016, spoke on behalf of the channel ahead of Love Island’s return to TV tonight.
In a new statement released today, Lygo said: ‘Everyone at ITV is absolutely devastated and still trying to process this tragic news.
‘Caroline was part of Love Island from the very beginning and her passion, dedication and boundless energy contributed to the show’s success.
‘After Caroline stepped down from the show ITV made it clear that the door was left open for her to return and the Love Island production team remained in regular contact with her and continued to offer support over the last few months.’
The statement comes following criticism that the channel ‘left her out to dry’ after stepping back from Love Island after being arrest for assault, for which she was due to stand trial on 4 March.
On the future of Love Island and its decision to return today, he added: ‘Love Island will return tonight and will include a tribute to Caroline that the team in South Africa and Iain Stirling have put together.
‘Caroline loved Love Island and was very vocal in her support of the show. Viewers could relate to her and she to them, and that was a big part of the programme’s success.
‘We will all miss her very much.’
In respect to Caroline’s family and friends, Love Island chat show spin-off Aftersun has been cancelled tonight, as well as the show’s podcast, The Morning After.
The statement comes as it was also revealed that Just Eat, Love Island’s sponsor, has worked with the Samaritans to create new ads for tonight’s show, in order to help those affected by the loss.
‘In light of this weekend’s tragic events, Just Eat and ITV have worked with Samaritans to replace the idents for this evening’s episode of Love Island,’ the food app and ITV said in a joint statement.
‘So that anyone affected by Caroline’s death can access support.’