Johnnie Walker, 73, has spoken out about Love Island host Caroline Flack’s death after the presenter took her own life last month. The BBC Radio 2 DJ was asked about whether he blames the media for the tragic situation in an interview with this week’s Radio Times.
Johnnie insisted that he believes social media where people can be “as mean and hateful as they want to be” behind anonymity is as much to blame, as well as ITV.
The star explained he “wishes” Caroline was given support from the company “in the same way that they did Ant from Ant and Dec”.
He divulged: “I wish Caroline Flack had had more support from ITV.
“I really think they should have supported her in the same way that they did Ant from Ant and Dec” following his drink-driving conviction in 2018.
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The channel stood by Ant following the incident and throughout his battle with addiction.
Johnnie was then asked if he thinks the difference lies in “women being worth less than men”.
To which he replied: “No, I think it was down to the financial value of the individual. That’s the reality.
“Ant and Dec’s programmes earn a huge amount of income.”
Caroline Flack took her own life while she was awaiting trial for allegedly assaulting her boyfriend, Lewis Burton, which she pleaded not guilty to on December 23.
The court heard at the time that Mr Burton was not supporting the prosecution, as Paul Morris, defending, said he “has never supported” the case against Caroline.
An ITV spokesperson said in response to the news: “Everybody at Love Island and ITV is shocked and saddened by this desperately sad news.
“Caroline was a much loved member of the Love Island team and our sincere thoughts and condolences are with her family and friends.”
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Another statement was issued on Good Morning Britain from ITV to deny reports that they weren’t keeping in touch with Caroline before her death.
Richard Madeley, who read it out, said: “ITV have been in touch with this programme and asked us to make it clear that contrary to some reports they were actually constantly in touch with Caroline after the incident.
“They were regularly offering assistance and support. It’s important to put that on the record.”
Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden previously spoke out about Caroline’s death and claimed the star had been “thrown to the dogs”.
Read the full interview in this week’s Radio Times [RADIO TIMES]
She wrote in a post on Instagram: “For Caroline to feel that death was the only way out breaks my heart….
“Anger doesn’t even begin to cover how I feel about her being thrown to the dogs like she was..
“Why was she not shown the same level of consideration, protection, warmth and importance as other artists in our industry who have struggled recently?
“There are criminal gaps in the differences. I am certain there is more to her story… I know the truth will out. May she rest in peace and those responsible for this lack of humanity be brave enough to admit their shame.”
Read the full interview in this week’s Radio Times – out now.
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