laura whitmore caroline flack

Laura Whitmore fights back tears during tribute to Caroline Flack in Love Island finale

Caroline Flack died on 15 February

Sharnaz Shahid

Love Island dedicated the final of its first winter series to Caroline Flack by playing a montage of some of the late star's memorable moments on the show in recent years. A tearful Laura Whitmore confessed coming to terms with Caroline's death had been "extremely difficult". She told viewers: "The past week has been extremely difficult, coming to terms with the loss of our friend and colleague, Caroline. We're thinking of her family and everyone who knew her at this time."

WATCH: Love Island's tribute to Caroline Flack

"Caroline loved Love Island," the host added. "She loved love, and that's why tonight's final is dedicated to her." Caroline died on 15 February after she took her own life. The tragic passing went on to spark a wide and important conversation about mental health and the effects of bullying, trolling and negative publicity.

MORE: How Caroline Flack is remembered for her kindness: celebrity friends share their untold stories

Famous friends and colleagues of Caroline have been paying tribute to her on social media, remembering her laugh and fun-loving attitude to life – but also the small acts of kindness she did for others in need. Last December, Caroline reposted the quote: "In a world where you can be anything, be kind." A call for change and a reminder to #BeKind has since been advocated by her friends.

caroline-flack

The nation was shocked by the news of Caroline's passing

Meanwhile, last week, ITV cancelled two episodes of Love Island with producers stating it would "not be broadcast out of respect for Caroline's family". The sad news left the future of the ITV2 series in doubt. However, during the finale, Laura confirmed the show would return to Mallorca for a new series this summer.

MORE: Caroline Flack's passing is a stark reminder we should all be kinder to each other, says HELLO! Editor-in-chief Rosie Nixon

Finley Tapp and Paige Turley were crowned the winning couple after two months of couplings and dumpings at a villa in the South African city of Cape Town. They beat three other couples - Luke Trotman and Siannise Fudge, Luke Mabbott and Demi Jones, and Ched Uzor and Jess Gale – to take the £50,000 prize.

To seek help, Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at jo@samaritans.org.