“You just can’t predict it; that’s what’s so good about Love Island,” she excitedly tells me as we chat inside the villa. “I’m excited about all the stories and watching the heartbreak.”
Caroline Flack is giddy. Relaxing on the plush sofa inside this year’s Love Island villa, the show’s host is wearing a (now sold-out) playsuit from her River Island collection and a huge grin. It’s little surprise that the 39-year-old is in high spirits; she’s about to host the hottest TV show of the year, she has some incredible career plans lined up after summer and, quite frankly, she’s looking better than ever.
Heartbreak is sadly something that Caroline has experienced herself. After breaking up with fiancé Andrew Brady in July last year, she also apparently called it quits with Danny Cipriani last week. Despite her turbulent love life, what we love about Caroline is her refreshingly candid attitude to dating and love.
“I’m not very good at giving love advice,” Caroline jokes. “There’s not a lot of tips you can give for Love Island because it’s about love. You can’t plan anything, you can’t fake anything, you can’t fake being in love, you just can’t. Just wear your heart on your sleeve because you haven’t got long, say how you feel. You’ve got to be open with your emotions in there, you have to tell someone how you feel and then couple up.”
Obviously, as someone who wears her heart on her sleeve, Caroline often finds herself empathising with the contestants, admitting she wanted to break into the house and give Camilla a hug after Jonny ditched her for Tyla. And while she admits she does feel disappointed when the relationships break down, she is aware that ‘some relationships don’t last forever’.
“It doesn’t mean they’re a failure. Sometimes two people aren’t meant to be forever, they’re just meant to be for a little bit. They had fun,” she said.
As well as breakups after their departure from the vila, questions have also been raised about the welfare of the contestants since former Love Island and Celebs Go Datingcontestant, Mike Thalassitis, was found dead earlier this year. Many have been pondering ‘just how dangerous is reality TV fame?'[/link] . How powerfully can that experience affect our mental health? And are TV producers doing enough to protect their stars from deteriorating mental health?
Thalassitis is the second former Love Island contestant to die by suicide in the past year. Sophie Gradon died last June. The causes of suicide are always desperately complex and it is impossible to pinpoint one single cause. It is relevant, now, though, to ask how vulnerable these young people felt after appearing on television – and how responsibly they were cared for before, during and after that experience and how future reality TV stars will fare but Caroline maintains that the show is – and always has been – about positivity.
“The show will always be positive. No one has to put any effort to make it more positive. We’ve stood for positivity from day one. We’re a show about love. There’s nothing more positive in the world than love. That’s what we create and are aiming for; we don’t create any negativity. We’ve never been about the drama, we’ve never been about the fights, we’ve never had a fight. The bits people love in the show are the bits where people fall in love, the declarations. They’re the bits that give people goose bumps, they’re the bits we remember. It’s the nice bits. When it starts again this season, that’s what people will remember it’s about, not what happens afterwards. Our show is about this.”
We have to agree with Caroline, who says she’ll still be ‘doing that slow-mo walk in a zimmerframe’.
And we’ll be watching until the bitter end.