Love Island host Laura Whitmore started her Five Live radio show on Sunday with a heartfelt tribute to her close friend Caroline Flack, who died on Saturday. The presenter, who was clearly emotional, said: "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 am not going to pretend she was perfect. She lived every mistake publicly under scrutiny. Caroline loved to love, that’s all she wanted, which is why the show Love Island was important to her."
Watch: TV Presenter Caroline Flack dead aged 40
The 34-year-old went on to plead for more kindness in the media and online, saying: "The problem wasn’t the show, the show was loving, caring and safe and protective. The problem is, the outside world is not. Anyone who has ever compared one woman against another on Twitter, knocked someone because of their appearance, invaded someone else's privacy, who have made mean, unnecessary comments on an online forum need to look at themselves… Sorry."
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Laura paused to compose herself before continuing, saying: I have seen journalists and Twitter warriors talk about this tragedy and they have twisted what the truth is. You don’t have to tear down someone to feel good about yourself. So, to listeners, be kind: only you are responsible for how you treat others and what you put out in the world. I have had messages and been harassed for doing my job and this is where the problem is. I want to use my platform to call people out. It's gone too far, your words affect people… Enough."
Laura expressed her grief over close friend Caroline's death
She finished her two-minute statement by expressing gratitude for the kindness people have shown her as she comes to terms with Caroline's death, saying: "I would to thank BBC and ITV for the support that I have had. And those who supported my decision to come in today as I felt it was the right thing to do. To my boyfriend, the kindest man I know and to the whole Love Island family who are mourning for their colleague and friend and have been a great support over the last few hours. I love you. To everyone, be kind in what you say."
READ: Caroline Flack's boyfriend Lewis Burton breaks silence with heartbreaking tribute following her death
Laura took over hosting the romantic competition show earlier this year following her friend's arrest on an assault charge in December. At the time, Caroline took to Instagram to express her support for ITV's decision, writing: "I'm glad it's Laura... she loves the show as much as I do."
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