Caroline Flack has broken her social media silence to wish her Love Island replacement Laura Whitmore ‘good luck’, hours before the winter series kicks off.
On Sunday, the embattled host, 40 – who last shared a post on her Instagram on Christmas Eve – wrote: ‘Massive good luck to Laura, Iain [Stirling] and the team for tonights launch show… the first one always the best one. Caroline x’ [sic]
The presenter stood down from being the face of the show in December as she was charged for common assault following a fight with her boyfriend Lewis Burton, 27.
Warm gesture: Caroline Flack (L) has broken her social media silence to wish her Love Island replacement Laura Whitmore (R) ‘good luck’, hours before the winter series kicks off
The ITV star has spent time away from the spotlight and her relationship drama in Los Angeles.
In late December, Caroline appeared in court over the incident with her beau – where a judge heard she hit the former tennis player over the head with a lamp while he slept – days after news of her replacement broke.
The court was told she read texts on Lewis’ phone that made her think he was cheating on her before the alleged attack.
Caroline – who pleaded not guilty at Highbury Magistrates’ Court – was released on bail until her trial on March 4.
Best wishes: On Sunday, the host, 40, wrote: ‘Massive good luck to Laura, Iain [Stirling] and the team for tonights launch show… the first one always the best one. Caroline x’ [sic]
Former co-stars: The ITV star also expressed her appreciation towards voiceover artist Iain Stirling (pictured in 2017), who is in a long-term relationship with Laura, 34
Uploading an old image of herself on the red carpet, she wrote: ‘Been advised not to go on social media … but I wanted to say happy Christmas to everyone who has been so incredibly kind to me this year.
‘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.
Hard times: The presenter was charged for common assault following a fight with her boyfriend Lewis Burton, 27 (pictured in October)
Speaking out: The blonde last shared a post on her Instagram on Christmas Eve – when she insisted she will ‘not be silenced’
New role: Ahead her debut, Irish beauty Laura admits her role as Love Island’s new presenter has been overshadowed by the controversy surrounding predecessor Caroline’s arrest
‘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.’ [sic]
Bosses recently confirmed the ‘door is still open’ for the former X Factor host to return to Love Island amid her charge.
Love Island commissioning editor Amanda told The Mirror: ‘We are continuing to talk to Caroline. We are in constant contact and the door is open.’
An ITV spokesperson confirmed to MailOnline: ‘ITV has a long standing relationship with Caroline and we understand and accept her decision. We will remain in contact with her over the coming months about future series of Love Island.’
Ahead her debut, Irish beauty Laura, 34, admits her dream role as Love Island‘s new presenter has been overshadowed by the controversy surrounding predecessor Caroline’s arrest.
‘It’s not a great situation at all,’ she said. ‘It’s not ideal and Caroline has been incredible. She messaged me before ITV contacted me and said that she really hoped I got the role.
‘She said, “I know how much of a fan you are of the show”. I just thought that was so lovely. I’m so happy to do the show, but I just wish it was in a different situation.’
Laura reflected on her role after flying to South Africa’s Cape Town, where she will introduce 12 new contestants from a sprawling new villa on the outskirts of the coastal city.
Almost time: The new host revealed that her predecessor was ‘incredible’ and contacted her before ITV got in touch offering the gig
And she admits her first priority was to contact Caroline personally after being approached for the coveted presenting job.
She recalled: ‘I think when they first had that conversation, I said, ‘If I do get offered this, can I talk to Caroline before it goes to the press or anything like that?’
Of the initial approach, Laura admits she was shellshocked after her agent called her as she prepared to fly home for her mother’s birthday.
‘It was just before Christmas and I was going to go back to Ireland up to Edinburgh for work up there, then back to London and back to Ireland again,’ she said.
‘I was flying to Dublin and my agent called and said that ITV would like to with me in the next few hours. I was like, ‘Oh, I’m at the airport’.
‘He was like, ‘What are you doing at the airport?’ I was like ‘Err, it’s my mum’s birthday’. And then I said, ‘Let me just ring my mum first’, so I did and she was like, ‘I can see you at Christmas, don’t worry about it!’
While Caroline epitomised Love Island prior to her abrupt departure, Laura believes boyfriend and show narrator Iain’s off-beat, irreverent humour is what sustains it as she prepares to work with him for the very first time.
‘Iain is the heart of this show, his humour and what he does with it is basically what the general public are like watching the show,’ she explained.
Caring: Laura will adopt the same motherly, protective approach as her predecessor when the villa finally opens its doors
‘Everyone is like, ‘what is it like to work together?’ But I get to be in the villa, he’s in a voice-over booth. He’s been ringing me up asking what it’s like, what’s Cape Town like, what’s the hotel like and what’s the villa like.
‘He’s worked on this for so many series, but I can kind of like be giving him some [information] It’s a weird situation. We’re just going to see how it goes.’
A self-confessed Love Island super-fan, the star will adopt the same motherly, protective approach as her predecessor when the villa finally opens its doors.
Couple: Her new role means Laura will be working with beau Iain, who she called ‘heart of this show’
Already closely associated with the show through comedian boyfriend Iain, Laura revealed she’s previously offered support to one former Islander after watching her leave with a broken heart.
‘Last year, Amy Hart when she came out, there was that episode where she was incredible,’ she recalled.
‘I was in Majorca visiting Iain and I was at the airport flying back and I bumped into her. I was starstruck and went up to her and said, ‘I just want to say what you did was incredible’.
‘But I didn’t realise she hadn’t spoken to anyone since she came out or even really seen the reaction.
‘Cape Town here I come!’ Earlier this week, excited Laura posed with her personalised suitcase ahead of her flight to South Africa to launch Love Island 2020
‘I gave her a hug and when I saw her afterwards she told me I had no idea what that meant to her. She didn’t know everyone was on her side, and it was nice for her to see that. It’s impossible not to be attached.’
She added: ‘I think we forget that they’re real people. We’re watching it as a show, but it’s not Coronation Street – these people are real and their emotions are real.
‘I remember last year, Molly-Mae broke down in tears and collapsed because Tommy didn’t come back with anyone from Casa Amor, and you just become attached.
‘So I think you’d have to be very cold to not become attached or protective. I haven’t met them yet, so I haven’t had that experience of seeing stuff in papers and being in there as well. It’s only natural that you will have that motherly (instinct).’
Teaser: Laura has already been dropping hints about the new series and teased GMB presenter Richard Arnold that ‘there might be a bombshell happening’
Laura arrives knowing full well that fans will be keenly judging her as Caroline’s replacement, and has already been approached by complete strangers with messages of support – making the prospect of stepping in as presenter an even more daunting one.
She added: ‘The whole thing just feels intimidating because it’s such a huge show, and I’m a huge fan and I know it so well. When I was on the plane coming over, the lovely air hostess woke me up and she said, ‘Good luck with the show!’ Then I was at the hotel and an older guy came up to me and said, ‘I love the show, good luck!’
‘It’s such a big show that everyone knows you’re doing it. The show itself, I’m like, ‘Oh, I can do this. I’ve worked in TV a while’, but then so many people love this show so much. I just want to do it justice and just be me.’
Love Island launches on ITV2, Sunday January 12th.
Happy: Laura has shared several glimpses of her pre-show prep including a video of her dancing after her first day of filming
WINTER LOVE ISLAND 2020: MEET THE CONTESTANTS
Pop star sibling: Sophie’s sister is Rochelle Humes
Name: Sophie Piper
Occupation: Medical PA
Claim to fame? Half-sister of The Saturdays star-turned-TV presenter Rochelle Humes.
Celebrity crush? ‘Anthony Joshua. Whenever I see him fight, I yell, “Come on, use your right hook!” I have no idea what I’m talking about.’
What song sums up your love life? ‘All By Myself by Celine Dion – that’s how it feels at the moment!’
Twinning: Love Island are instaling twins into the villa this year
Names: Eve and Jess Gale
Occupation: VIP hostesses and students
Claim to fame? [Eve] ‘Tyga, Kylie Jenner’s ex, messaged me. We were both at an event and I posted an Instagram story tagging him. He then messaged me afterwards and we spoke on WhatsApp. Then when me and Jess were in Ibiza, he was there again. He asked me to meet him but we arrived the day he left. Pop Smoke, the R‘n’B rapper, messaged me too.’
Party Trick: ‘We are the party trick!’
Land and gentry: Ollie believes that he ‘bosses the room wherever he goes’
Name: Ollie Williams
Occupation: Heir to the Lanhydrock
Claim to fame? ‘My father is Lord of the Manor of Lanhydrock. The family title is Viscount Clifden. When my father passes away or abdicates, as the eldest child, I will take on the titles and the estate.’
Dating disasters? Once got cat-fished by a 50-year-old man.
No no no! Shaughna won’t put up with f**kboys [anymore!]
Name: Shaughna Phillips
Occupation: Democratic services officer
Best feature? ‘My lips. I spent enough money on them!’
Celebrity crush? ‘[Love Island 2018 winner] Jack Fincham is a bit of me on toast!’
Dating disasters? ‘Being on a first date with a guy and getting a cab home to mine and my most recent ex-boyfriend was sat outside my house in his car crying!’
Leanne Leanne! ‘I’m a 10. If you don’t love yourself, who will?’
Name: Leanne Amaning
Occupation: Customer service advisor
Dating disasters? ‘A guy once started rapping acapella to me. I was sat there awkwardly and had to clap afterwards.’
How far are you prepared to go in the villa to get the guy you want? ‘If I want something, I’ll get it.’
Fancy a cuppa? Connor is a coffee bean salesman
Name: Connor Durman
Occupation: Coffee bean salesman
Fun Fact: He was a naked waiter in Sydney.
Dating history: ‘I went on a date with a girl. She asked me back to her house for some more drinks and let’s just say I ended up getting on really well with her housemate…’
You’re fired! Mike’s brother was on The Apprentice
Name: Mike Boateng
Occupation: Police Officer
Claim to fame? I know a few footballer friends from my football days. Dominic Calvert-Lewin played with me at Sheffield United. My brother, Samuel, was on The Apprentice a few years ago.’
Good at flirting? ‘I’m lucky because of my job I can use the cheeky lines about getting handcuffs out! It normally works!’
Love me, love me! Siânnise likes herself a bit of Romeo + Juliet-era Leo
Name: Siânnise Fudge
Occupation: Beauty consultant
Ideal man? ‘Tall dark and handsome – my friends call me Princess Jasmine. I’m after my own Aladdin, I guess.’
Celebrity crush? 90s Leonardo DiCaprio.
Got talent? Paige was on Britain’s Got Talent 2012 age 1. She sang in front of Alesha Dixon and Simon Cowell, leaving them impressed
Name: Paige Turley
Location: West Lothian
Claim to fame? ‘[Singer] Lewis Capaldi is my ex boyfriend. We went out when we were younger, I was about 17 or 18. We were together for about a year. It ended really amicably and we’re still pals.’
Oddly specific! ‘I always fancy girls with dark hair, tanned skin, red lipstick and white nail polish’
Name: Callum Jones
Ideal woman: ‘I always fancy girls with dark hair, tanned skin, red lipstick and white nail polish.’
Celebrity crush? Megan Fox.
What song sums up your love life? La Bouche, Be My Lover.
Name: Nas Majeed
Occupation: Sports science graduate and builder
Celebrity crush? Naomi Scott [Princess Jasmine in the live-action remake of Aladdin].
…and while many of the first batch of contestants won’t last very long, there’ll be more sent through the door in due course…