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Gloria Hunniford's tears as death of TV star Caroline Flack proves a sad reminder of her tragic daughter Caron

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Caroline Flack

Caroline Flack

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Gloria Hunniford

Gloria Hunniford

Christine Frampton

Christine Frampton

Eamonn Holmes

Eamonn Holmes

An emotional Gloria Hunniford has revealed how she sympathised with the parents of TV star Caroline Flack, as she had lost her own daughter at almost the same age.

The troubled Love Island host (40), who was facing charges of assaulting her boyfriend, took her own life at her flat in east London on Saturday.

Portadown-born Gloria (79) said on Sunday night: "I met Caroline through various interviews. I really cried when I heard the news because it's just such a terrible waste of a lovely life and lovely young girl.

"I was totally shocked and very, very sad about it. She was a very talented young woman."

The Loose Women presenter, who lost her daughter Caron Keating to breast cancer aged 41 in 2004, added: "I could identify and feel for her parents a lot because although Caron didn't die from taking her own life, she was 41 and Caroline was 40.

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Gloria Hunniford

Gloria Hunniford

Gloria Hunniford

"I really empathise and sympathise with them because the shock of that would be just unbearable."

Flack stepped down from presenting the ITV show after she was alleged to have assaulted her boyfriend Lewis Burton (27) at her then flat in Islington, north London, in December.

She entered a not guilty plea to the assault charge at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court and was released on bail with conditions that stopped her having any contact with Burton ahead of a trial in March.

On Sunday, Burton said he would now be her "voice" and would "get all the answers", in an emotional tribute on Instagram.

Beside a picture of them together, he wrote: "My heart is broken, we had something so special. I am so lost for words I am in so much pain, I miss you so much, I know you felt safe with me, you always said I don't think about anything else when I am with you and I was not allowed to be there this time I kept asking and asking."

ITV presenter Eamonn Holmes questioned what her death would mean for the future of Love Island, tweeting: "Dear God. Shocked beyond belief. May she have found peace. #Rip. Has to be repercussions for Love Island now surely?"

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Eamonn Holmes

Eamonn Holmes

Eamonn Holmes

The show did not air on Sunday night but the current series will continue on Monday.

Derry Girls actress Nicola Coughlan recalled meeting Flack last summer, tweeting: "She was so sweet and genuine and couldn't have been kinder to me. She did not deserve this."

Fellow Irish actress Bronagh Waugh added: "In total shock. Ahh Caroline. Your light burned bright. I'm so, so sorry, I can't even imagine what you were going through. My heart breaks for your family and friends. Rest in peace now you gorgeous soul." Boxer Carl Frampton's wife Christine said the news was heartbreaking.

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Christine Frampton

Christine Frampton

Christine Frampton

"I could burst into tears at the thought of Caroline Flack. Her personal life was nobody else's business and the poor girl got hounded to death. So so so sad," she stated.

Former Blue Peter star Zoe Salmon said she was shocked and devastated, adding: "So many memories of a fun-loving, beautiful soul. A really lovely girl.

"We were the same age, our TV careers started at a similar time, both part of the CBBC fam. Let's all try to be a little nicer to each other."

The current series of Love Island, the first winter edition, is being hosted by Irish presenter Laura Whitmore.

The Co Wicklow woman broke down as she remembered her "vivacious and loving" friend in an emotional tribute on her Sunday morning show on BBC Radio 5 Live.

Whitmore, who has known Flack for around 10 years, said she "had a passion for life, which is why none of this makes sense".

Flack is the fourth person linked to the hugely popular ITV2 dating programme to have taken their own life.

Sophie Gradon, who appeared as a contestant in 2016, was found dead at her home in 2018 at the age of 32. Her boyfriend Aaron Armstrong, who had found her body, took his life three weeks later. He was 25.

Mike Thalassitis, who appeared in the 2017 series, was 26 when he was found dead in a park in March last year.

If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, contact the Samaritans on 084 5790 9090, or Lifeline 0808 808 8000

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