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Laura Whitmore criticises paparazzi after asking for privacy to mourn Caroline Flack

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Laura Whitmore attends The BRIT Awards 2020 at The O2 Arena on February 18, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Maher/Getty Images for Bauer Media)

Laura Whitmore attends The BRIT Awards 2020 at The O2 Arena on February 18, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Maher/Getty Images for Bauer Media)

Getty Images for Bauer Media

Laura Whitmore attends The BRIT Awards 2020 at The O2 Arena on February 18, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Maher/Getty Images for Bauer Media)

Laura Whitmore has criticised a paparazzo for taking pictures of her after she asked for privacy while she mourns her close friend, Caroline Flack.

The Irish presenter shared footage taken by her boyfriend, Love Island narrator Iain Stirling, of a confrontation with the photographer in Cape Town airport.

The 34-year-old flew to the South African capital for the Love Island final this weekend, reuniting with Stirling for the first time since Flack was found dead her east London home on Saturday.

Whitmore was friends with Flack for around 10 years and replaced her as host on the current series of Love Island.

In a post on social media, the presenter called out the photographer who attempted to get a "reaction" from the grieving couple.

“At the airport a photographer took pictures of us both and we tried to ignore it but he continued to follow us as we got coffee and left the building,” she wrote.

“So I asked him would he stop as he had what he wanted. I said we were mourning a friend and could he allow us space. He said, ‘Can you give me a reaction. It’s a public place and I can take pictures if I want.’"

The star added: “I have never courted the paparazzi but understand at work events it comes with the territory. But this morning was too much. Iain filmed him and he didn’t like it.

“I don’t like attacking people but we need to call people out when they do things like this. Iain and I just wanted some privacy.”

Love Island did not air over the weekend, but returned on Monday night with a tribute from Stirling, who remembered his friend’s “passion, warmth and infectious enthusiasm”.

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Laura with boyfriend Iain Sterling

Laura with boyfriend Iain Sterling

Laura with boyfriend Iain Sterling

Opening her show on BBC Radio 5 Live on Sunday morning, Whitmore broke down as she remembered her “vivacious and loving” friend Caroline Flack.

She had been “debating whether I should, would or could come on air today”.

Her voice cracking, she said: “Yesterday we lost someone before their time.

“We’re going to talk about her and give her the respect that she deserves and that she didn’t always get.”

Whitmore said that “anyone who knew Caroline knew she was vivacious, loving, and had a passion for life, which is why none of this makes sense”.

“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,” Whitmore said. “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 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.”

The ITV2 series will end on Sunday.

Belfast Telegraph