Love Island bosses entered crisis talks on Sunday, as they decide whether to continue with the show or axe it for good in light of Caroline Flack’s death.
Saturday night’s instalment of the ITV2 dating show was pulled from the air, following the news that the show’s erstwhile host had died by suicide at her north London home aged 40 just hours earlier.
And with just contestants having just seven days left in the villa before the grand final is scheduled to air on February 23, executives are now working to hammer out a definitive plan on how to handle the ratings juggernaut going forward.
Talks: Love Island bosses entered crisis talks on Sunday, to decide whether to continue with the show or axe it in light of Caroline Flack ‘s death. The star died by suicide on Saturday
Financial Times’ Mark Di Stefano took to Twitter on Sunday afternoon to report that bosses at ITV were locked in meetings to discuss how best to respond to the TV personality’s tragic death.
He wrote: ‘ITV execs and programme makers are meeting now to discuss how to respond to Caroline Flack’s death. Told to expect more information this afternoon on tonight’s episode of Love Island and the long-term.’
MailOnline has also learned that contestants on the show have yet to be informed by show executives of Flack’s tragic death.
Silence: MailOnline has also learned that contestants on the show have yet to be informed by show executives of Flack’s tragic death. Pictured are Luke Trotman and Siânnise Fudge
Meetings: Financial Times’ Mark Di Stefano took to Twitter on Sunday to report that bosses at ITV were locked in meetings to discuss how best to respond to the TV star’s tragic death
The contestants are the first to take part in the show’s winter series in South Africa, which has been presented by Laura Whitmore after Flack stepped down following her arrest on suspicion of assaulting her boyfriend Lewis Burton, 27.
Her next court date regarding the charges was scheduled for March 4.
Flack tragically took her own life at her north London home while the friend who was staying with her ‘popped out’ to the shops.
It came just hours after she found out she would face trial next month, despite Mr Burton claiming he wanted to drop the charges.
A Love Island source on Sunday told MailOnline it’s ‘business as usual’ in the villa, with contestants completely unaware the former host took her own life.
Tragic: Flack, pictured in 2018, tragically took her own life at her north London home while the friend who was staying with her ‘popped out’ to the shops
Saturday night’s highlights show was cancelled as a mark of respect, but there is no indication that the rest of the show will go off air.
A spokesman for the show said on Saturday: ‘Everybody at Love Island and ITV is shocked and saddened by this desperately sad news.’
The 40-year-old is the third person involved with the hit series to kill themselves.
Sophie Gradon was found dead at the age of 32 in 2018, while the body of Mike Thalassitis, 26, was discovered near his home in 2019.
On Sunday, the hashtag #cancelloveisland was trending on Twitter, with several calling for the programme to be taken off air as The Jeremy Kyle Show was following the death of a guest.
Stepped down: Flack stepped down following her arrest on suspicion of assaulting her boyfriend Lewis Burton, 27. Pictured together in October 2019
Another show Flack recorded for Channel 4, The Surjury, has been cancelled as a mark of respect.
The new series, which was set to see participants go under the knife if they were given the thumbs-up by a 12-strong jury, was set to air later in 2020.
A spokesperson for Channel 4 told Metro: ‘We are shocked and saddened to hear the tragic news about Caroline Flack.
‘Our deepest sympathies go out to Caroline’s family and friends. Under the circumstances, we have decided not to broadcast The Surjury.’
Court: The star’s next court was scheduled for March 4. Pictured at London’s Highbury Corner Magistrates Court on December 23, 2019
ITV and Love Island producers have already come under scrutiny for prompting that decision, with many questioning what support they gave her.
Reality shows have been warned by Ofcom that they have a duty of care towards their stars.
Speaking on Sky News’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps echoed the TV regulator, saying ‘the duty of care should be considered’ over Flack’s death.
But he warned: ‘Clearly people making these programmes do have a duty of care, not just to contestants but to presenters as well.
‘But I don’t want to jump to conclusions. We know there were circumstances involved here.’
Pal: The contestants are the first to take part in the show’s winter series in South Africa, which has been presented by Laura Whitmore after Flack stepped down. Pictured in January 2019
The former presenter has been described by friends as feeling ‘on her own’ and that she ‘couldn’t see a way out’.
They claim she was struggling with her mental health and using anti-depressants before her death.
Among Flack’s final Twitter likes was a post advertising suicide prevention services at Christmas, which read: ‘Hard time of year for a lot of folks.
‘Suicide Hotline 116 123 (Samaritans) A simple copy and paste might save someone’s life. If you are struggling, please please talk to someone. XXX’
MailOnline has contacted ITV for comment.
If you have been affected by this story, you can call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org
Struggles: Friends of the 40-year-old TV personality claim she was struggling with her mental health and using anti-depressants before her death