THE new series of Love Island will not feature an on-air tribute to late contestant Mike Thalassitis.
Viewers expecting to see the tragic star referenced after his death in March will be left disappointed when the show returns to ITV2 next month.
Bosses are currently planning a less substantial tribute on ITV’s on-demand service instead.
It will play alongside the 2017 series in which Mike starred, which will soon be available as a boxset on the ITV Hub.
A Love Island insider said “it felt more appropriate to do it there”.
The revelation comes after Mike, who was found hanged in a North London wood aged 26, was left out of a BAFTA tribute during Sunday’s ceremony, infuriating fans.
Last June, Love Island host Caroline Flack, 39, paid tribute to ex-contestant Sophie Gradon on spinoff show Aftersun after the beauty queen died during the series’ run.
She said: “She was a gorgeous person both inside and out. Everyone's thoughts here at Love Island are with Sophie's friends and family at this really terrible time. Sophie we will never forget you.”
A tribute message also appeared at the start of the episode that aired on the day Sophie passed, aged 32.
Love Island bosses announced they were making changes to their aftercare policy following the deaths of Mike and Sophie, who was confirmed to have committed suicide in an inquest last month.
In a letter to The Sun, creative director Richard Cowles said therapy would now be available to “all Islanders and not only those that reach out to us.”
He said: “When something so awful happens we naturally enter a period of soul searching and ask whether anything could have been done.”
Two weeks after Mike’s death, ITV exec Carolyn McCall claimed there was only an “extremely tenuous” link between Love Island and the tragedy.
She pointed out he had participated in two further reality shows – E4’s Celebs Go Dating and MTV’s Ex on the Beach – after his stint in the villa.
YOU'RE NOT ALONE
EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.
It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.
It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.
And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.
Yet it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.
That is why The Sun launched the You're Not Alone campaign.
The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.
Let's all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You're Not Alone.
If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:
- CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
- Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
- Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
- Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
- Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123
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