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Laura Whitmore seen for first time since Caroline Flack's death

Laura Whitmore was seen for the first time on Sunday since her friend Caroline Flack took her own life aged 40 at her new flat in north London. 

Love Island's replacement host, 34, stepped out in London following her BBC Radio Five Live show, where she paid tribute to the late TV veteran, who was found dead on Saturday just hours after being told she would face trial over the alleged assault of her boyfriend Lewis Burton.

It is unclear whether the ITV2 dating series will continue to air as fans have called for its axing following the passing of Caroline and former contestants Mike Thalassitis and Sophie Gradon.

Brave face: Laura Whitmore was seen for the first time on Sunday since her friend Caroline Flack took her own life aged 40 at her new flat in north London

Media personality Laura put on a brave face as she headed to her next destination in a dark grey car.

The former Survival of the Fittest star was pictured wearing a longline wool coat, a vibrant scarf and box-fresh trainers, while hiding her eyes behind circular-framed shades.

Earlier in the morning, a grieving Laura - who appeared on her radio show just hours after learning the news - fought back tears as she shared an emotional message in remembrance of her late friend. 

The Dublin native was struggling through her grief as her voice cracked while praising her friend.

Emotional: Love Island's replacement host, 34, stepped out in London following her BBC Radio Five Live show, where she paid tribute to the late TV veteran

Close friends: Laura replaced Caroline on Love Island's first-ever winter edition after the face of the show decided to step down from her role late last year (pictured in 2013)

Stepping out: Media personality Laura put on a brave face as she headed to her next destination in a dark grey car 

Laura said: 'I wish we were talking under better circumstances and I’d been debating whether I should, would or could come on air today. But this isn’t about me, yesterday we lost someone before their time. 

'At age 40 Caroline Flack made the decision to take her own life and I want to talk about it. I want to talk about it, I want to talk about her and give her the respect that she deserves and that she didn’t always get. 

'Anyone who knew Caroline knew she was vivacious, loving and had a passion for life, which is why none of this makes sense.

'Caroline loved dancing. Angels by Robbie Williams always reminds me of her because she danced so beautifully to it on Strictly and I’m going to play that song after I’ve said what I want to say. 

Heading off: The former Survival of the Fittest star was pictured wearing a longline wool coat, a vibrant scarf and box-fresh trainers, while hiding her eyes behind circular-framed shades

Heartbreaking: Grieving Laura - who appeared on her radio show just hours after learning the news - fought back tears as she shared an emotional message in remembrance of her late pal

'Caroline loved music, she loved to dance. We shared many a dance floor at gigs, festivals.

'I met her just shy of 10 years ago at V Festival and then we became friends. She was bubbly and for such a small stature, commanded a room. She loved to laugh and had the most infectious chuckle. 

'She also had many struggles. I’m not going to pretend that she was perfect, but is anyone?'

She also took the opportunity to defend the ITV2 dating show amid backlash in the wake of Caroline's death.

Heartbreaking: Caroline is the third Love Island star to have died in the last two years after former contestants Mike Thalassitis and Sophie Gradon, took their own lives in March 2019 and June 2018 respectively (L-R pictured during their time on Love Island) 

The blonde added: 'Caroline loved to love. That’s all she wanted. Which is why the show Love Island was important to her because it’s about finding love, friendship, having a laugh. 

'The problem wasn’t the show, the show to work on was loving and caring and safe and protected.

'I’d like to thank BBC and ITV for the support that I’ve had and those who’ve supported my decision to come in today as I felt it was the right thing to do. 

'Thank you to my boyfriend, the kindest man I know, to the whole Love Island family who are in mourning of their colleague and friends, and have been a great support over the last few hours. I love you.

'Shocked beyond belief': It is unclear whether the ITV2 dating series will continue to air as fan, including the likes of Eamonn Holmes, have called for its axing

'To everyone, be kind in what you say. I’m going to carry on today and get through this show as that’s what Caroline would say to do. 

'Caroline, I’m so sad for you, for your family. I’m angry that you saw this as your only option as I know how much love and support you had, I’m sorry you didn’t know that. I’m not sure when but I’ll see you on the dance floor again and I hope you’re at peace and know that you are loved.'

Laura replaced Caroline on Love Island's first-ever winter edition after the face of the show decided to step down from her role late last year.

The former X Factor presenter was told she would face trial for allegedly assaulting her boyfriend Lewis, 27 - a claim she denied. 

Her management have slammed the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for pursuing the 'show trial' after former tennis player Lewis said he did not want to press charges. 

The ex-sportsman had claimed she hit him with a lamp in December before asking the CPS not to press charges. 

 Love Island fans took to Twitter to demand the series, after Mike and Sophie took their own lives in March 2019 and June 2018 respectively. MailOnline has contacted ITV representatives for further comment.

Among fans calling the show out was This Morning presenter Eamonn Holmes, who paid tribute to Caroline while insisting there needs to be 'repercussions.' 

Tragic news: The ITV star was found dead just hours after finding out she would face trial over the alleged assault of her boyfriend Lewis Burton (pictured in October 2019)

He wrote on Twitter: 'Caroline Flack .... Dear God. Shocked beyond belief. May she have found peace. #Rip Has to be repercussions for Love Island now surely?' which garnered more than 27K likes. 

The This Morning host later added: 'Meaning out of respect, can the series continue?' (sic) 

Love Island released a statement, stating: 'Everybody at Love Island and ITV is shocked and saddened by this desperately sad news. 

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

CAROLINE FLACK: A CALL FOR HELP?

 

Caroline Flack spoke often about her struggles, both in interviews and on social media. 

Caroline said, following her Strictly success: 'Fame doesn't make you happy'

STRICTLY CURSE? 

The Strictly Come Dancing 2014 winner has said that she felt depressed following her victory on the BBC show.

After she won the series along with professional partner Pasha Kovalev, she admitted that she felt like she was 'being held together by a piece of string which could snap at any time'.

In an unearthed interview cited by the Daily Star following her death, Caroline claimed that, 'It all started the day after I won Strictly. I woke up and felt like somebody had covered my body in clingfilm. I couldn't get up and just couldn't pick myself up at all that next year.'

She went on: 'People see the celebrity lifestyle and assume everything is perfect, but we're just like everyone else. Everyone is battling something emotional behind closed doors - that's life.

Ignored? 'When I actually reached out to someone they said I was draining,' Caroline admitted in October 2019

'Fame doesn't make you happy.'

'BEING A BURDEN IS MY BIGGEST FEAR'

In an Instagram post she uploaded on 14  October 2019 - to mark World Mental Health Day - Caroline captioned a photo of herself: 'Some days it’s hard to write your feelings of your not in the right place.

'The last few weeks I’ve been in a really weird place... I find it hard to talk about it... I guess it’s anxiety and pressure of life... and when I actually reached out to someone they said I was draining.

'I feel like this is why some people keep their emotions to themselves. I certainly hate talking about my feelings. And being a burden is my biggest fear...

'I’m lucky to be able to pick myself up when things feel s**t. But what happens if someone can’t. Be nice to people. You never know what’s going on. Ever.' [sic] 

SOCIAL SILENCE

Signs of suicide? She liked tweets about calling The Samaritans over Christmas 

Caroline was told to stay off social media following her assault charge in December 2019.

However, she notably liked a string of tweets in the days afterwards, before Christmas, encouraging those feeling lonely over the holidays to seek help.

The tweets - posted by the likes of actress Sheridan Smith, journalist Stacey Dooley and comedian Luke Kempner - included the telephone number for The Samaritans' suicide hotline.

She also posted to Instagram around the same time: 'This kind of scrutiny and speculation is a lot to take on for one person to take on their own... I’m a human being at the end of the day and I’m not going to be silenced when I have a story to tell and a life to keep going with...

'I’m taking some time out to get feeling better and learn some lessons from situations I’ve got myself into to. I have nothing but love to give and best wishes for everyone.'

SELF-HELP?

It was reported that Caroline had decided to write a book, during her recent time off.

'Caroline has found the process incredibly cathartic,' one of her friends told the Mail. 'She wants it to be more than just a story about her. She wants to talk about the problems she’s encountered and how she’s overcome them.

'She hopes to be able to help others who may be going through similar difficulties. Part self-help, part memoir is the style that Caroline is looking for.'