A new Channel 4 documentary is to tell the story of the life and death of Caroline Flack tonight (17 March), as well as her experience of having issues with her mental health.
Flack took her own life at the age of 40 on 15 February 2020 while awaiting trial on an assault charge for an alleged attack on her boyfriend Lewis Burton.
Coroner Mary Hassell found that the former Love Island presenter killed herself because she knew she was being prosecuted, and could not face the press coverage.
Caroline Flack: Her Life And Death will see friends of Flack including singer Olly Murs and television presenter Dermot O’Leary pay tribute in an emotional, intimate and candid documentary celebrating her life and legacy.
Here is everything you need to know about it.
What is it about?
The hour-long documentary will hear from those closest to Flack, delving beyond the headlines to reveal the woman behind the public persona, as well as exploring the pressures that fame, mental health, press and social media had on Caroline throughout her life.
In the film, it’s revealed that Flack’s family “begged” her to give up show business because they feared for her mental health.
The presenters twin sister Jody recalls how her sister had been “terrified” to publicly admit the extent of her struggles, saying: “I would beg her to change jobs and leave showbiz but she never would. Life would have been easier but she wasn’t built for an easy life.
“She was always scared she’d be ridiculed, she was terrified to admit her mental health struggles.”
Jody also says Flack had been “fascinated by the subject of suicide”, adding: “I was prepared that it could happen.”
Flack’s mother Christine – who also appears in the film – says she had from a young age “found heartbreak impossible” and became distraught after her teenage relationship with a fairground worker known to the family as “Waltzer boy” broke down.
Flack’s family are hoping that the documentary will encourage viewers to speak out and be more open about their mental health struggles, and seek help where necessary.
“The documentary made this year bearable. It was therapy for us,” says her mother. “Charlie Russell, the director of the programme, was like a therapist for a year.”
Social media companies ‘need to step up’
The family also call on social media companies to tackle online trolling in the film, with Christine saying: “I don’t think they protect anyone. You can’t get away from it, it follows you on your phone. They are making money from it and need to step up.”
Speaking ahead of the film’s release, the mother said social media companies “fail to protect anybody”.
She added: “When I was young, if you were bullied at school you could get away from it. You can’t get away from it now because it follows you home, it follows you on your phone.
“Carrie was the worst one, she would look at her phone all the time. It took her over, what was being said there. There could be 30 nice things said, one bad thing said, and that was it.”
Christine said social media companies should take action over abuse online: “They are making so much money, it is not that there’s a lack of money or profits will suffer.”
“Someone’s got to take a responsibility somewhere for it,” she added.
When can I watch it?
Caroline Flack: Her Life And Death will be broadcast on Wednesday 17 March on Channel 4 at 9pm.
A version of this article originally appeared on our sister title, the Yorkshire Evening Post