I have a vague recollection of having seen Caroline Flack on Strictly Come Dancing. She was rather good, too. Of the rest of her career, I know almost nothing, apart from the fact that she was the host of Love Island, a programme probably not aimed at my demographic as a TV viewer. A brief look at Wikipedia, tells me she was also a presenter of the X Factor, Gladiators, Big Brother’s Big Mouth and countless other shows I have never seen. So, away from my tiny world, she was a very big star indeed and that’s why news of her death, at the age of 40, is all over the media.
First, I’ll give you my take. It’s desperately sad and upsetting. A relatively young woman is accused of assaulting her boyfriend, who despite his injuries does not want to pursue action against her through the courts, but the CPS does because of the alleged nature of the assault and injuries he suffered. She is removed from the new series of Love Island until the court case has taken place and yesterday she kills herself. How on earth can you get your head around that?
And here’s the point: only someone who was desperately unwell could decide to end her life like this. We cannot know the precise circumstances but surely the alleged assault and subsequent media coverage tipped her over the edge? How can we possibly come to any other conclusion?
I am not a regular consumer of the tabloids but a quick check with Mr Google reveals the most graphic coverage of the alleged assault, with Ms Flack being referred to in the most damaging way imaginable from the usual suspects in general but the Sun in particular. In fact, the Sun’s coverage is simply disgusting and I shall not even give an example for my loyal reader. That would make me no better than the people who buy this filthy, dirty, tawdry excuse for journalism.
It’s hard to imagine being Caroline Flack but it’s easier to imagine how she must have felt seeing the headlines and stories. Because if she was suffering from some mental affliction – and it’s hard to believe she wasn’t – could the Sun’s behaviour have contribute to what happened next?
Now, I expect to read plenty of ‘something should be done’ comments from people who are sick to the back teeth of the behaviour of the tabloids, but there is a simple solution: stop buying them. Unless you enjoy being lied to, having people’s private lives ruthlessly and uncaringly exposed and having the reputation of people defamed and libelled on a near daily basis, why would you go near it?
Finally, a word for another odious ghoul who never passes a chance to slide from the gutter to the sewer, Eamonn ‘I know Sir Alex Ferguson’ Holmes. Not long after leaping aboard the tabloid campaign of who can hate Meghan Markle the most, making a crass joke about Phillip Schofield’s ‘coming out’, the odious Ulsterman tweets the following: ‘Caroline Flack …. Dear God. Shocked beyond belief. May she have found peace . #Rip‘ All well and good until he adds, ‘Has to be repercussions for Love Island now surely ?’ To which I add, thanks to lowlife populists like Holmes, the epitome of everything that’s wrong with our media. Why add the last bit at all?
I’m just sad for Ms Flack, her family and friends. I hope she is at peace now, which given that she is dead is highly likely. But make no mistake, many of us media consumers are all guilty in one small way or another. Without us, these sleazy media outlets would simply not exist.