Love Island host Laura Whitmore has said she will “never be OK” with Caroline Flack’s death.
Whitmore replaced Flack as presenter on the hugely popular ITV2 reality show, weeks before she took her own life aged 40.
Speaking to Cosmopolitan UK, Whitmore said: “It’ll never be OK and it’ll never be right. It did scare me.
“She was so strong-willed and feisty and I remember thinking, ‘God, I wish I could be as strong as her’. I felt like if people said things, it wouldn’t bother her. But obviously it did because everyone is human.
“I don’t want to speculate reasons because nobody will ever know. (But) it did frighten me.”
Irish presenter Whitmore, 34, took over as Love Island host in December after Flack stood down following an assault charge.
Former MTV host Whitmore admitted she was reluctant to take the job due to the pressure that accompanies being on one of the UK’s most popular shows.
“You do a show that big and people want to write about it and put it in tabloids and magazines,” Whitmore, whose partner Iain Stirling is the Love Island narrator, said. “So I knew, yes, it’s got great parts to it, but it’s also got negative parts too.
Caroline had messaged me first to say, ‘I hope you get it’, which was really niceLaura Whitmore
“I love doing live TV. I’d worked with most of the crew doing I’m A Celebrity… and MTV, so it just felt very comfortable. The show was the easiest thing.
“It was everything around it that I couldn’t cope with. When I got the call I was like, ‘I need to talk to Iain, I need to talk to Caroline..’. It’s a weird one because you think you should just jump at it.
“Obviously you’re delighted that ITV trust you to do such a big show, but a friend of yours is also going through hell… Caroline had messaged me first to say, ‘I hope you get it’, which was really nice.
“You’re like, ‘Oh yay, I get to do this but, no, this isn’t how I want to get to do it. It was a really weird way to get a job.”
Whitmore is isolating with Scottish comedian Sterling, 32, amid the coronavirus lockdown.
She said the experience has made her realise how strong their relationship is.
She said: “It’s just Iain, me and the dog in the house right now, and (Iain) is loving it because he gets to eat pasta and play computer games. He’s living his student life.
“I thought we would drive each other crazy. It’s really helping me think, ‘Actually, this is a good relationship!’ We like each other.”
The June issue of Cosmopolitan is on sale from April 30.