Inside Laura Whitmore and Caroline Flack’s friendship as Love Island host pays tribute
Laura Whitmore was close friends with the late Caroline Flack, with the two Love Island hosts having a ‘frenemy’ relationship. They competed for a number of positions but remained friends throughout it all
Laura Whitmore and Caroline Flack never worked on a show together
Image: Dave Benett/Getty Images for EE)
Laura Whitmore has confirmed she is stepping down as Love Island host after three seasons of the show.
She followed Caroline Flack’s tenure as host, taking over after the presenter’s tragic death in 2020.
Taking to Instagram, Laura paid tribute to the late star in her farewell message, writing: “There are certain elements of the show I’ve found very difficult that cannot be changed some due to the format, including the flying back and forth to South Africa along with my new conflicting projects.
“I wish it was still possible but know you’ll be in safe hands. I was only planning to fill in for Caroline for a series and it turned into 3 series. I hope I did you proud Caroline.”
Despite being close friends, the two had a professional rivalry as they competed for jobs in the TV industry.
Now the hunt is on for a new host of the ITV2 show, but when Caroline first stepped down from Winter Love Island, she gave Laura her full support.
Laura and Caroline’s friendship
Laura Whitmore and Caroline Flack had a ‘frenemy’ relationship when it came to work
Despite their close ties in TV, Laura and Caroline never directly worked with one another.
However, they often thought for similar positions. In 2013, they both took gigs as red-carpet presenters or the BAFTAs, with Caroline working for E! and Laura for the BAFTA website directly.
Caroline was hosting The Extra Factor at the time, but Laura awkwardly almost replaced her.
Laura Whitmore and Caroline Flack were close friends for years
( Getty Images)
In 2014, it was reported that the series was looking for a major shakeup, with Matt Richardson replacing Olly Murs after he quit.
There were then reports Laura could step into Caroline’s shoes, though ultimately this didn’t happen.
Sarah-Jane Crawford ended up taking the job instead, with Caroline going on to win Strictly Come Dancing the following year.
After Caroline stepped down from Winter Love Island, she gave Laura her full support, according to the Irish presenter.
On an Instagram post back in December 2019, Caroline wrote: “I’m glad it’s Laura. She loves the show as much as I do.
Laura and Caroline often shared similar TV positions
( Getty Images)
“Again… Thank you so much for your continuous messages of support.”
The message came as the late presenter was arrested and charged with assault, with her facing trial after denying assaulting her boyfriend Lewis Burton with a lamp.
She added: “It’s a really tough time… But I‘m doing all I can to keep my head above water and sort this all out.”
Laura Whitmore on Caroline’s death
Laura Whitmore opened up about Caroline’s death months after her passing
( Getty Images)
After months of reflection, Laura opened up about Caroline’s passing on the Women’s Health Going for Goal podcast.
In October 2020, she said: “I think at the time I didn’t deal with it because I probably wasn’t in a position where I could, because I was still doing this show [Love Island] and I really didn’t know…
“I’ve never lost someone in my group of friends who is so young. It’s hard, I’d get tagged in something by a fan account of Caroline and I’ll think it’s Caroline and it’s only now it’s hit me that’s not her.”
Laura used the coronavirus lockdown as a time to grieve quietly, away from the cameras.
She continued: “I feel it’s okay to do a grieve privately if you choose to… I found it really difficult because it [Caroline’s death] was so public, that’s why lockdown was really great if I’m honest because I had that privacy, and I had that time.
“I’m that person that doesn’t like to stay still and maybe to my detriment sometimes. I’ve always got a suitcase and I’m always going somewhere.
“I’ve been forced to stay still, and I think it’s been good for me… my body needed a break and needed a break badly when March came.
“I was forced to take a break. It has been so, so important for me to deal with things, a lot of things have happened this year.”
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