Love Island contestant Mary Bedford has paid tribute to her grandmother, who died while the 22-year-old was appearing on the programme.

The model from Wakefield in the UK said flying home from Mallorca was "bittersweet" because she was returning for her grandmother's funeral.

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In a post to her more than 630,000 followers on Instagram, Bedford explained she had been taking time away from social media to be with her family and mourn.

Posting a photo showing her posing with her grandmother, she wrote: "Our angel on earth is now our angel in heaven.

"Coming off the show has been bittersweet for me as I flew home to go to the funeral of my beautiful grandma who passed away whilst I was in the villa.

"I've been taking the time since the show to mourn, reflect, and be back with my loved ones before returning to my social media.

"I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of the support I have received at this difficult time, I truly appreciate everything."

Bedford's post prompted messages of support from fellow and former contestants on the ITV2 dating show.

Molly-Mae Hague, who appeared in the fifth series, said: "Fly High beautiful lady. She'll be so proud of you Mary."

Recent islanders Lillie Haynes, Sharon Gaffka, Teddy Soares and Faye Winter were also among those who sent messages.

Bedford made her debut on Love Island in rival villa Casa Amor and returned to the main villa with Toby Aromolaran.

She later coupled up with Aaron Simpson before they were dumped from the show.

Source: Press Association

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