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Love Island and TV stars pay tribute to Caroline Flack



Caroline FlackImage copyright

Tributes have poured in for ex-Love Island host Caroline Flack, who has been found dead in her London flat, aged 40.

The TV personality took her own life, a lawyer for her family said.

Fans, celebrities and ex-Love Island stars have been paying tribute.

An ITV spokeswoman said: “Caroline was a much loved member of the Love Island team and our sincere thoughts and condolences are with her family and friends.”

Confirming Saturday night’s Love Island episode will not be broadcast, the spokeswoman added: “Everybody at Love Island and ITV is shocked and saddened by this desperately sad news.”

Former contestants on the show have used social media to pay their respects and send messages of condolence to her loved ones.

  • TV presenter Caroline Flack dies at 40
  • Love Island episode cancelled after Flack death

Kady McDermott, who featured in the show’s second series, praised the presenter’s kindness.

“Devastated to hear the news about Caroline Flack,” she posted. “Caroline was nothing but kind to me and that’s how I will always remember her.

“Saddens me so much when people think the only way out is death. My prayers and thoughts go out to Caroline’s friends and family.”

Series five Love Island finalist Molly-Mae Hague shared a photo of herself with Flack on Instagram, with the caption: “I’m utterly shocked and heartbroken.

“Caroline you were such a special woman. Your huge smile will stay with me forever… Rest in peace”.

Wes Nelson, who featured in the 2018 series, posted: “Caroline Flack was an absolute diamond, my hearts genuinely broken!

“One of the warmest funniest people I’ve ever met, My tears, thoughts and prayers go out to her family at this extremely difficult time!”

Maura Higgins, who appeared in the 2019 series, posted: “Heartbreaking news,” adding a note reading: “In a world where you can be anything, be kind.”

Flack previously co-hosted The X Factor and won series 12 of the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing in 2014.

She stood down from hosting Love Island after she was charged with assaulting her partner, Lewis Burton, in December, and was due to stand trial next month.

Laura Whitmore, who took over presenting the winter version of the show following Flack’s arrest, posted a picture of the pair on Twitter and wrote: “I’m trying to find the words but I can’t.”

Flack’s fellow ITV presenters have also paid tribute, with Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly posting they were “devastated” by the news.

This Morning host Eamonn Holmes said he was “shocked beyond belief” and questioned whether there would be repercussions for Love Island.

Flack won Series 12 of the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing in 2014, with her professional dance partner Pasha Kovalev.

The pair achieved perfect scoring from the Judges on every performance in the final, the first couple to do so in Strictly history.

A statement on Twitter paid tribute to the star’s “infectious energy and passion for dance”.

It said the “entire Strictly Come Dancing family” is heartbroken.

Judge Bruno Tonioli said he couldn’t believe the news, and praised Flack as “always so much fun to be around”.

The show’s co-presenters, Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly both posted messages to Flack, with Winkleman saying the news was “heartbreaking”.

Daly wrote on Twitter: “Rest in peace Caroline you beautiful girl.”

Debbie McGee, a finalist in the 2017 series, said Flack had been “lovely” to her when she was doing the show, and praised her “warm bubbly personality”.

Dermot O’Leary, who hosted ITV’s X Factor programme, posted a photo of himself with Flack on Instagram, and sent his love to her family and friends.

TV and radio presenter Maya Jama, said Flack was “amazing” and “always someone I looked up to in our line of work”.

Flack’s friend Dawn O’Porter posted a string of messages on Twitter, saying: “At some point I will find my words, and I will write the tribute she deserves. My dear friend. I’m lost”.

In separate posts, she wrote “We had so much fun” and also tweeted “I’m broken.”

Channel 4 has also said it will no longer air The Surjury, a new cosmetic surgery-based TV series that Flack was to host.

A Channel 4 spokeswoman said: “We are shocked and saddened to hear the tragic news about Caroline Flack. Our deepest sympathies go out to Caroline’s family and friends.

Channel 4 news presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy, who appeared last year with Flack in The Great Celebrity Bake Off for Stand Up To Cancer, said the news was “just awful” and added: “In my brief experience of meeting her on GBBO she was big hearted, funny and very likeable.”

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Lady Gaga’s Chromatica is the fastest-selling album of 2020




Lady GagaImage copyright
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The star’s sixth album was originally due out in April, but was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic

Lady Gaga’s new album, Chromatica, has entered the UK charts at number one, after outselling the rest of the top 10 combined.

The record, which sees Gaga return to the rocket-powered pop of her debut, sold 53,000 copies, the biggest opening week of the year so far.

It is also the star’s fastest-selling album since 2013’s Artpop.

The album follows Gaga’s performance in A Star Is Born, for which she won an Oscar for best song in 2019.

Critics have called the record a return to form, after the country-leaning acoustics of her fifth album Joanne and the misfiring experiments of her Artpop project.

“Song for song, it’s her best yet,” wrote Variety magazine, adding: “She sounds like she knows exactly who she is, what she wants to say and how she wants to say it.”

“Her pop renaissance couldn’t come at a better time,” agreed Rolling Stone, while The Independent praised the star’s “anthems of self-doubt, self-reflection, self-destruction and self-reclamation”.

Gaga, who has suffered with chronic illness and depression, said the record was intended to be an antidote to hard times.

“I’m making a dance record again and this dance floor… it’s mine, I earned it, and all that stuff that I went through,” she told Zane Lowe in a recent interview.

“The beginning of the album really symbolises, for me, what I would call the beginning of my journey to healing,” she added, “and what I would hope would be an inspiration for people that are in need of healing through happiness, through dance.”

Top 5 albums – 5 June 2020

According to the Official Charts Company, Chromatica was the week’s most popular album in every format – physical, streaming and downloads – as well as the year’s fastest-seller on vinyl, with 8,500 copies sold.

Three of the tracks also made it into the singles chart, led by the Ariana Grande duet Rain On Me at number two.

Sour Candy, a collaboration with K-pop band Blackpink, debuted at 17; while Alice, inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland, was at 29.

Gaga is also expected to top the US Billboard charts next week, with projected sales of 250,000.

Top 5 Singles – 5 June 2020

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Abbey Road Studios re-opens after 10 weeks of closure




Abbey Road Studios, the recording venue made famous by The Beatles, has re-opened.

It was forced to close ten weeks ago due to the coronavirus pandemic, the first time it has closed in its 89 year history.

Special measures were taken, to allow for a recording of an album by jazz musician Melody Gardot.

The BBC’s arts editor Will Gompertz listened in.

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Alan Partridge to return with podcast from Norwich shed




Alan Partridge on the red carpet in Anglia Square, NorwichImage copyright
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Each episode will be recorded in Alan Partridge’s shed, which he calls is Oasthouse

Alan Partridge is set to return with a podcast produced from his shed.

Steve Coogan will again take on the role of the Norwich-based DJ for an 18-part series titled From the Oasthouse: The Alan Partridge Podcast.

The podcast will unveil a “more reflective Alan” as he tries to attract a young and diverse audience.

“All national treasures have a podcast”, Partridge said. “If David Dimbleby has one, then of course I needed to make one.”

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Steve Coogan brought his cult character back to the BBC in 2019 for mock TV magazine show This Time with Alan Partridge

“With this series, I want to give my fans an intimate view of who I really am,” said Partridge.

“You may think you know me, but trust me, you have no idea what goes on behind closed doors at my podcast innovation studio.”

The Bafta award-winning character, born in King’s Lynn, Norfolk, made his debut appearance in 1991 as a sports presenter on BBC Radio 4’s On the Hour.

He moved on to to television with programmes including The Day Today, Knowing Me Knowing You and I’m Alan Partridge.

Partridge had his big screen break in 2013 with the film Alpha Papa before in 2019 returning to TV with This Time with Alan Partridge.

The full series will be on Audible from 3 September while a free episode will be available on Amazon Alexa between 6 and 12 June.

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