Winter Love Island came to an end on Feb. 23 with Paige Turley and Finn Tapp being the pair crowned winners. The show paid tribute to former host Caroline Flack as the series drew to a close and Laura Whitmore has been praised for her composure throughout the finale. Now Paige and Finn have spoken about Caroline Flack’s death for the first time, revealing that the islanders found out just before the live final and sharing their condolences for Caroline's friends and family.
While the final of Love Island 2020 was celebratory, it was certainly muted in comparison to previous seasons, and a moving montage of Caroline's memorable moments was played. Host Laura Whitmore took the opportunity to pay tribute to Flack, saying: “The past week has been extremely difficult, coming to terms with the loss of our friend and colleague, Caroline. Caroline loved Love Island. She loved love, and that's why tonight's final is dedicated to her. We're thinking of her family and everyone who knew her at this time."
An ITV spokesperson later confirmed that the islanders were told off camera that Flack had passed a few days prior. Speaking about this, Finn told The Sun: “We were told just before the final. They wanted to tell us at the best time and the best way and we’re thankful that they did that. We remember her fondly. We loved her as a fan watching it on telly over the past few series, that’s the relationship we had with her.”
Paige also said, “Everybody knew how much she loved Love Island. It’s such a sensitive subject, we just send love to Caroline’s family.”
Two shows were cancelled the week that it was announced Caroline had died and, upon its return on Feb. 17, Iain Stirling paid tribute to Caroline, saying at the start of the show: “Caroline and I were together from the very start of Love Island and her passion, warmth and infectious enthusiasm were a crucial part of what made the show connect with millions of viewers."
With the exception of Winter Love Island's inaugural series, Caroline hosted the shows since 2015. Host Laura Whitmore took the opportunity during Sunday’s final to pay tribute to Flack and said, “The past week has been extremely difficult, coming to terms with the loss of our friend and colleague, Caroline. Caroline loved Love Island. She loved love, and that's why tonight's final is dedicated to her. We're thinking of her family and everyone who knew her at this time."