Speaking on her BBC Five Live radio show this morning, Laura Whitmore told her listeners that she wanted to talk about the death of her friend Caroline Flack and "give her the respect that she deserves and that she didn't always get".
As she opened her radio show, Whitmore, who had replaced Flack on the latest series of Love Island, told her listeners that she had debated whether she "should, would or could come on air today," but ultimately felt that she wanted to talk about her friend.
Whitmore, who had known Flack for almost 10 years said that "none of this makes sense" after the TV presenter was found dead at her flat in London, on Saturday, at the age of 40.
Clearly upset, the Bray native continued: "Yesterday we lost someone before their time. Anyone who knew Caroline knew she was vivacious, loving, and had a passion for life, which is why none of this makes sense.
"Be kind... It's gone too far... your words affect people."— Steve Holden (@SteveH1982) February 16, 2020
Laura Whitmore’s opening link on her 5Live show this morning.
This is incredibly powerful radio about Caroline Flack’s death. pic.twitter.com/ovxZ1NDeKh
"Caroline loved dancing. Angels by Robbie Williams always reminds me of her because she danced so beautifully to it on Strictly, and I'm going to play that song after I've said what I want to say.
She said that Flack "loved music, she loved to dance, we shared many a dancefloor at gigs, festivals" as she recalled their friendship beginning 10 years ago at V Festival.
"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'm not going to pretend she's perfect, but is anyone? She lived every mistake publicly under the scrutiny of the media."
Whitmore said that Flack "loved to love" and "that's all she wanted, which is why a show like Love Island was important to her because the show is about finding love, friendship, having a laugh."
Defending the ITV2 programme, she said: "The problem wasn't the show, the show to work on is loving and caring and safe and protected. The problem is, the outside world is not."
She said that people who are ever nasty to others on social media "need to look at themselves", and added: "To the newspapers who create click-bait, who demonise and tear down success. We've had enough.
"I've seen journalists and Twitter warriors talk about this tragedy and they themselves have twisted what the truth is. You don't have to tear someone down 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."
Whitmore revealed that she had "been harassed for just doing my job and this is where the problem is, and I want to use my platform to call people out because it's gone too far.
"Your words affect people. To paparazzi and tabloids looking for a cheap sell, to trolls hiding behind a keyboard, enough."
Whitmore thanked the BBC and ITV for supporting her in going on air, as well as her partner, Love Island narrator Iain Stirling and the "whole Love Island family who are in mourning of their colleague and friend and have been a great support to me over the last few hours".
She added: "I'm going to carry on today and get through this show as that's what Caroline would say to do.
"Caroline, I'm so sad for you, for your family. I'm angry that you saw this as your only option as I know how much love and support you had. I'm sorry you didn't know that.
"I'm not sure when, but I know I'll see you on the dancefloor again."
Earlier, Whitmore shared a video of herself dancing with Flack on Instagram with the caption, "See you on the dancefloor", followed by a love heart emoji.
Stirling also paid tribute to his friend and Love Island colleague, writing: "Today my friend slow motion walked into heaven. I will miss her always. Thank you for everything x."
Today my friend slow motion walked into heaven. I will miss her always. Thank you for everything x— Iain Stirling (@IainDoesJokes) February 15, 2020
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