Laura Whitmore has told how the coronavirus lockdown gave her the time and space to grieve for her close friend Caroline Flack.
Love Island host Flack died by suicide in February this year, at the age of 40, and Whitmore has previously told how she will never be okay with it.
The TV star – who had replaced Flack as the host of Love Island before the presenter’s death – opened up about her grief on the Women’s Health Going For Goal podcast.
She said it was particularly difficult because it had all been so public and that lockdown meant she could process her grief in private.
She said: “I think at the time I didn’t deal with it because I probably wasn’t in a position where I could, because I was still doing this show (Love Island) and I really didn’t know, it was like, you know when you are on a rollercoaster and you need to get through it?
“And also, I’ve never lost someone in my group of friends who is so young.”
She went on: “It’s hard, I’ll get tagged in something by a fan account of Caroline and I’ll think it’s Caroline and it’s only now it’s hit me, that’s not her.”
Listen: Laura Whitmore talks to Kate Thornton about the loss of her friend Caroline Flack
Whitmore went on: “I feel it’s okay to deal with grief privately if you choose to. Or find your group of friends, not that I was by myself, I had good people around me.
“I found it really difficult because it was so public, that is why lockdown was really great if I’m honest, because I had that privacy and I had that time.”
Flack, who had presented Love Island from 2015 to 2019, died on 15 February, triggering an outpouring of grief from fans and fellow celebrities.
The presenter was awaiting trial after pleading not guilty to charges of assaulting her boyfriend Lewis Burton.
For confidential emotional support at times of distress, contact The Samaritans at any time by calling 116 123 or emailing email@example.com.
Watch: Love Island dedicates the live finale to Caroline Flack