Love Island will tribute Mike Thalassitis following his tragic suicide

Love Island ‘WILL pay tribute to Mike Thalassitis on new series launch in ITV u-turn’ as show’s duty of care ‘evolves’ following suicides of two contestants

  • The late reality star will reportedly be honoured on the 2019 launch of the ITV show on Monday night
  • Mike Thalassitis, who starred in the 2017 series of Love Island, was found dead in a woodland near his Edmonton home in March
  • Former Islander Sophie Gradon was also found dead after appearing on the show
  • For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, or see samaritans.org for details 

Love Island 2019 will reportedly pay tribute to Mike Thalassitis in the shows launch on Monday night. 

The late reality star – who was found dead near his Edmonton home aged 26 in March – was allegedly not going to be mentioned on the show according to past claims.

However, it seems ITV have made a U-turn as new reports claim the new series of the show will pay tribute as it is ‘the right thing’ to acknowledge it. 

Tribute: Love Island 2019 will reportedly pay tribute to Mike Thalassitis in the shows launch on Monday night after the star was found dead near his Edmonton home aged 26 in March

According to The Mirror, a Love Island insider revealed: ‘Producers wanted to pay their respects to Mike and show his friends, family and fans that he was a part of the Love Island family and is missed deeply by everyone.

‘It is a really difficult subject but they wanted to address it rather than sweep it under the carpet or pretend it hasn’t happened.’ 

MailOnline has contacted representatives for Love Island for further comment. 

Love Island has faced backlash in recent months with its critics arguing that the show should have been cancelled in the wake of Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis’ deaths. 

The show, which is fronted by Caroline Flack, reportedly had a more stricter acceptance procedure this year, with contestants having to pass mental health and STI tests to make it onto TV screens this year. 

Tragic: Sophie Gradon who took part in the 2016 series of the show, was found dead at her parents’ home in June 2018

Sophie, who took part in the 2016 series of the show, was found dead at her parents’ home in June 2018 and the inquest into her death found she had hanged herself.

Fans have called for changes in light of the tragic suicides. 

It was recently confirmed that Love Island producers have offered extensive care to 2019 contestants before the dating show, and will do during and after, including increased therapy, social media training and even financial management.

‘Evolved’: The show, which is hosted by Caroline Flack, reportedly had a more stricter acceptance procedure this year, with Islanders having to pass mental health tests

Host Caroline Flack, 39, said Love Island’s duty of care has ‘evolved’ following the suicides of ex contestants.

In an interview with The Sun’s Fabulous Magazine, the presenter candidly discussed the wide-ranging issue of mental health aftercare, but added that no-one should be apportioning blame in the wake of the tragedies

The ITV2 show, which returns on Monday night, have written an extra clause in the Islanders’ contracts which vows to help the loved-ones of cast mates, as well as the contestants themselves. 

Paying respect: It seems ITV have made a U-turn as new reports claim the new series of the show will pay tribute as it is ‘the right thing’ to acknowledge it

Change: Fans have called for changes in light of the tragic suicides of Sophie and Mike who appeared on the reality series in 2016 and 2017 respectively

In a statement, they wrote: ‘The production team have continued to evolve their processes with each series, as the show’s popularity has risen and the social and media attention on Islanders has increased.

‘The key changes this year are – enhanced psychological support, more detailed conversations with potential Islanders regarding the impact of participation on the show, bespoke training for all Islanders on social media and financial management and a proactive aftercare package which extends our support to all Islanders following their participation.’

The extension in the welfare section means the whole family can have the support of ITV bosses throughout the duration of the Love Island experience.

Pained: The Skillet opened in Essex in April, just weeks after Mike was found dead, after which his devastated family confirmed he had committed suicide (pictured in February last year)

This comes after Mike was commemorated with a series of heartbreaking throwback snaps framed within his Essex restaurant.

The Skillet opened in Essex in April, which Mike founded with business partner Scotty Neils. The restaurant has been host to a legion of stars and fans who have been keen to throw their support behind his final venture. 

Scott vowed to press ahead with opening as he took to Instagram to share a statement shortly after Mike’s death reading: ‘Just to address all the speculation… 

The big reveal: Scott vowed to press ahead with opening as he took to Instagram to share a statement shortly after Mike’s death reading: ‘Just to address all the speculation’

 ‘I would like to make it clear that we will be opening The Skillet when it is ready, it has been a tough week trying to continue to sort things out.

‘However, Mike would’ve wanted this cafe to open, he spent everyday for the past couple of months working hard to make this place a success so we are pulling together to get this ready for everyone and especially for Mike.

‘Can’t wait to share it with you all, and I will announce the date of the opening shortly’.

 For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, or see samaritans.org for details. 

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