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Coronavirus in Westminster: Infected patient went to bus conference

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One of Britain’s nine confirmed coronavirus cases attended a Westminster bus conference just a stone’s throw from Parliament, it was revealed today.

The virus-carrier was reportedly one of 250 delegates at the UK Bus Summit at the QEII Centre on February 6, whose star speaker was Boris Johnson‘s Buses Minister, Baroness Vere of Norbiton. 

MailOnline understands the coronavirus patient who attended the conference was not the most recent case – a Chinese woman who took an Uber to A&E at Lewisham Hospital in south London on Sunday night.  

The patient’s presence in central London at a packed conference will spark fears among the hundreds of people there from the transport industry amid growing public anxiety about the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. 

Doctors have warned London’s status as a transport hub could exacerbate the spread of the highly contagious illness which can survive on door knobs and train handrails for hours and spreads via people’s breath.

The summit’s speakers included Baroness Vere, who posed with an all-electric bus outside the QEII Centre, which is around 100 yards from Westminster Underground Station.

Also in attendance were David Brown, chief executive of bus company Go-Ahead, Nottingham South MP Lilian Greenwood and Gareth Powell, head of Transport for London’s bus network.

Last night it emerged that more than 750 British patients were tested for coronavirus in one day as panic over the outbreak intensified across the country. Almost 65,000 patients around the world have now caught the virus and nearly 1,400 have died. 

Other developments in the coronavirus outbreak today include:

  • China reported another spike in deaths and cases yesterday with 121 succumbing to the virus and 5,090 people catching it  
  • The family of eight-month-old James Adlam, from Worthing, West Sussex, will find out today if the toddler has coronavirus 
  • More than 1,700 frontline medics were infected with coronavirus in Wuhan yesterday as health bosses grapple with shortage of masks and protective gear
  • Top scientists have ruled out the coronavirus was engineered, dispelling rumours the virus had escaped from a lab
  • Passengers on a cruise ship denied entry to five different countries have been allowed to disembark in Cambodia
  • Dentists in the UK are set to run out of face masks by next week because panic buying from manufacturers in China   
  • The Church of England will incorporate precautions at services to reduce the risk of infection – including refraining from shaking hands and sharing food and drink
The virus-carrier was reportedly one of 250 delegates at the UK Bus Summit at the QEII Centre on February 6 (Boris Johnson 's Buses Minister, Baroness Vere of Norbiton speaks at the summit)

The virus-carrier was reportedly one of 250 delegates at the UK Bus Summit at the QEII Centre on February 6 (Boris Johnson 's Buses Minister, Baroness Vere of Norbiton speaks at the summit)

The virus-carrier was reportedly one of 250 delegates at the UK Bus Summit at the QEII Centre on February 6 (Boris Johnson ‘s Buses Minister, Baroness Vere of Norbiton speaks at the summit)

The conference was held just yards from Parliament and was attended by David Brown, chief executive of bus company Go-Ahead, Nottingham South MP Lilian Greenwood and Gareth Powell, head of Transport for London's bus network

The conference was held just yards from Parliament and was attended by David Brown, chief executive of bus company Go-Ahead, Nottingham South MP Lilian Greenwood and Gareth Powell, head of Transport for London's bus network

The conference was held just yards from Parliament and was attended by David Brown, chief executive of bus company Go-Ahead, Nottingham South MP Lilian Greenwood and Gareth Powell, head of Transport for London’s bus network

The summit's speakers included Baroness Vere, who posed with an all-electric bus outside the QEII Centre, which is around 100 yards from Westminster Underground Station

The summit's speakers included Baroness Vere, who posed with an all-electric bus outside the QEII Centre, which is around 100 yards from Westminster Underground Station

The summit’s speakers included Baroness Vere, who posed with an all-electric bus outside the QEII Centre, which is around 100 yards from Westminster Underground Station

London has been on red alert for more coronavirus cases after the capital’s first confirmed patient took herself to A&E in an Uber on Sunday and walked into a public area of Lewisham Hospital – going against strict advice to stay at home and ring NHS 111. 

Two healthcare workers who came into contact with the Chinese woman at the hospital have been told to self-isolate and the taxi driver’s account has been temporarily suspended.

Another SPIKE in coronavirus cases in China 

China has reported another sharp rise in the number of people infected with the killer coronavirus, with the death toll now nearing 1,400. 

The National Health Commission said 121 more deaths were recorded yesterday, as well as 5,090 new confirmed cases.

The number of reported cases has been rising more quickly after the hardest-hit province changed its method of counting them. 

There are now almost 64,000 confirmed cases in mainland China, of which 1,380 have died, according to the national body.

Hubei province is now including cases based on a physician’s diagnosis and before they have been confirmed by lab tests.  

The acceleration in the number of cases does not necessarily represent a sudden surge in new infections of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The woman, who contracted coronavirus in China, ‘self-presented’ at Lewisham Hospital before being sent home to await the results of tests.  

She was rushed to St Thomas’s on Wednesday after her test results returned positive. She is believed to live with family in London and thought to be in her late 20s or early 30s.

All attendees at the UK Bus Summit have been emailed warning them that someone at the summit had the killer disease, according to the Financial Times.

Attached was a letter from Public Health England (PHE) telling anyone who develops flu-like symptoms to self-isolate at home and call the NHS’ 111 helpline. 

The email said: ‘While the degree of contact you may have had with the case at the summit is unlikely to have been significant, we are taking a precautionary approach and informing you.’

Official advice from PHE states that anyone who suspects they have coronavirus should stay at home, call NHS 111 and await transport to the nearest hospital assessment pod.

The Chinese patient was the first case in London and doctors are worried that the disease’s emergence in the capital will lead to it spreading quickly.

The latest coronavirus patient went to A&E in Lewisham in an Uber. When it was revealed she might be infected with the illness, an ambulance was called to take her home after tests

The latest coronavirus patient went to A&E in Lewisham in an Uber. When it was revealed she might be infected with the illness, an ambulance was called to take her home after tests

The latest coronavirus patient went to A&E in Lewisham in an Uber. When it was revealed she might be infected with the illness, an ambulance was called to take her home after tests

Nearly 1,400 patients have been killed by coronavirus since the outbreak began in Wuhan

Nearly 1,400 patients have been killed by coronavirus since the outbreak began in Wuhan

Nearly 1,400 patients have been killed by coronavirus since the outbreak began in Wuhan

Almost 65,000 patients around the world have now caught the virus after China reported 5,000 new cases yesterday

Almost 65,000 patients around the world have now caught the virus after China reported 5,000 new cases yesterday

Almost 65,000 patients around the world have now caught the virus after China reported 5,000 new cases yesterday

CofE issues advice to reduce coronavirus risk

In new guidance issued on Thursday, the Church of England said current Government advice did not suggest that the sharing of a ‘common cup’ during Holy Communion services should be suspended. 

‘Long-standing government advice has been that ‘In a pandemic, it makes good sense to take precautions to limit the spread of disease by not sharing common vessels for food and drink.’ 

COVID-19 has NOT been declared a pandemic,’ the guidance published on the church website said. 

It said parishioners with ‘coughs and sneezes’ should already be encouraged to receive Communion in ‘one kind only’ and ‘to refrain from handshaking during The Peace’. 

An integral part of Christian worship, Holy Communion, also known as the Eucharist, involves worshippers receiving consecrated bread and wine in memory of the Last Supper taken by Jesus and his disciples. 

During communion services, congregations also observe ‘the peace’, a pause in proceedings where people typically shake hands with those around them. 

In its new guidance, the church said: ‘It is also best practice for churches to have hand-sanitisers available for parishioners to use. 

Doctors warned the London Underground could be a hotbed for the virus, which can survive on handrails for hours and spreads via people’s breath.  

Dr Robin Thompson, an expert in mathematical epidemiology at Oxford University, said: ‘In general, if an initial case is in a densely populated area, then the risk of sustained person-to-person transmission following is higher. This is exacerbated by the fact that London is a transport hub, and the Underground could provide a network to spread the virus quickly.’

Yesterday morning paramedics in hazmat suits turned up to a flat in Paddington, central London, after a patient reported symptoms. Video footage shows a man in a black hoodie walking into an ambulance at 9.45am with two staff members in full body gowns.

One of the medics was said to have told bystanders there was ‘a confirmed case in the building’ and asked if people could refrain from taking pictures.

Elsewhere, two GP surgeries were closed after patients with suspicious symptoms turned up unannounced.

The Ritchie Street Health Centre in Islington, north London, posted a message on its website stating it would be closed until today ‘due to the coronavirus’. 

However it has emerged that no patients or staff at the practice have tested positive for the virus – and it remains unclear why management took the decision to shut. 

NHS officials say the move may have been precautionary after a patient was tested for the virus after turning up at the practice with symptoms. 

Paramedics in hazmat suits march into a flat in central London hours after the first coronavirus patient was confirmed in the capital

Paramedics in hazmat suits march into a flat in central London hours after the first coronavirus patient was confirmed in the capital

Paramedics in hazmat suits march into a flat in central London hours after the first coronavirus patient was confirmed in the capital

Two medics in full protective gowns, gloves and face masks got out of an ambulance and carried heavy-duty rucksacks into a block of flats in Paddington at 9.45am and brought a man in a black hood out with them

Two medics in full protective gowns, gloves and face masks got out of an ambulance and carried heavy-duty rucksacks into a block of flats in Paddington at 9.45am and brought a man in a black hood out with them

Two medics in full protective gowns, gloves and face masks got out of an ambulance and carried heavy-duty rucksacks into a block of flats in Paddington at 9.45am and brought a man in a black hood out with them

Mum of UK’s youngest suspected coronavirus victim says she’s terrified she’ll lose him

Eight-month-old James Adlam has ‘all the symptoms’ associated with the virus, including a boiling temperature, coughing fits, runny nose and extreme fatigue, according to his mother Stephanie Adlam. 

She says her terrified family say they are living ‘in hell’ because James’ four-year-old sister may also have been exposed.

James, who has blood defect haemophilia and a long-term lung condition, is now in isolation at home.  

He was treated for a leg injury by a doctor who was later confirmed to have the virus.

The family are now anxiously waiting test results to find out if the boy has the illness. 

The Ferns Medical Practice in Farnham, Surrey, said that it was undertaking a deep clean after a patient had come in after visiting ‘one of the affected coronavirus areas’.

Some 2,512 people in Britain have been tested since last month. Patients with suspected coronavirus have swabs taken of their nose and throat which are sent to one of 12 labs across the UK.

Results usually come back within 48 hours – although they can be turned around in 24 hours – and the NHS can test a maximum of 1,000 patients in a day.

Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty said officials were hoping to delay the spread of the coronavirus in this country until the summer.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘Delay is the next stage of what we need to do because if we are going to get an outbreak in the UK – this is an if, not a when – but if we do, putting it back in time into the summer period, away from winter pressures on the NHS, buying us a bit more time to understand the virus better… is a big advantage.’

He added that while it was ‘highly likely’ the UK would see more cases, the disease could be ‘dampened’ as the weather got warmer.

The head of the NHS, Simon Stevens, said that to contain the spread many more patients would need to self-isolate at home if they had suspicious symptoms.

Praising the coronavirus evacuees who left the Wirral yesterday after 14 days of isolation, he said the Arrowe Park Hospital ‘guests’ had ‘set an important example, recognising that over the coming weeks many more of us may need to self-isolate at home for a period to reduce this virus’s spread’.

A cabin is being used as an isolation pod at Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester

A cabin is being used as an isolation pod at Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester

A cabin is being used as an isolation pod at Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester 

At Eastbourne District General Hospital, windowless shipping containers at the side of what appears to be a road in the hospital grounds are used

At Eastbourne District General Hospital, windowless shipping containers at the side of what appears to be a road in the hospital grounds are used

At Eastbourne District General Hospital, windowless shipping containers at the side of what appears to be a road in the hospital grounds are used

Passengers on a cruise ship denied entry to five different countries have been allowed to disembark in Cambodia

Passengers on a cruise ship that was turned away from ports around Asia over fears they could be carrying the new coronavirus finally began disembarking in Cambodia on Friday.

Cambodia’s strongman premier Hun Sen welcomed around 100 tourists who were handed flowers and scarves as they stepped ashore after an uncertain two weeks at sea.

The Westerdam was supposed to be taking its 2,257 passengers and crew on a 14-day cruise around east Asia, beginning in Hong Kong on February 1 and ending on Saturday in Yokohama, Japan.

But the vessel was barred by Japan, Guam, the Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand over fears it was carrying someone with a new virus that has now killed around 1,400 people and sickened 64,000, mostly in China.

Cambodia – a staunch Beijing ally that receives huge sums of Chinese money every year – announced this week that the boat could dock in Sihanoukville.

Dozens of jubilant passengers took advantage of their new-found freedom and visited a nearby beach, while some hugged Hun Sen – Cambodia’s ruler for 35 years – as they disembarked. One man even kissed the ground.

‘Cambodia pays more attention to human rights… we respect the rights of the more than 2,000 people on the boat,’ Hun Sen said, relishing the rare positive focus on a leadership more commonly hammered for rights abuses.

‘We don’t have wealth like a rich country but we have sympathy for the passengers stranded on the ship.’

All passengers will be allowed to disembark, Hun Sen said, after no cases of the coronavirus were found aboard.

 

The developments come as a parents of a baby in Brighton fear he may have the coronavirus after he was treated by one of the infected GPs in the city. 

At least two doctors in Brighton are known to have caught the bug while on holiday with ‘super-spreader’ businessman, Steve Walsh, who caught it in Singapore.

The eight-month-old has ‘all the symptoms’ associated with the virus, including a boiling temperature, coughing fits, runny nose and extreme fatigue, according to his mother Stephanie Adlam. 

She says her terrified family say they are living ‘in hell’ because James’ four-year-old sister may also have been exposed.

James, who has blood defect haemophilia and a long-term lung condition, is now in isolation at home. 

The family were taken to Worthing A&E by paramedics in full hazmat suits on Wednesday for tests. They are anxiously waiting the results which come back today. 

The boy’s father said: ‘My little boy has haemophilia and a lung condition, so he’s already poorly. 

‘My ex-partner took him in to get checked out last Tuesday. We took him back yesterday morning, and as we arrived home at about 1pm we got a call from Worthing A&E.

‘They said both my son and his mum had been in direct contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus, and told us to stay at home.’

He said both his children have ‘flu-like symptoms, everything associated with the virus’. 

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said earlier this week that the coronavirus outbreak is a ‘serious and imminent’ threat to the British public. 

Makeshift coronavirus isolation ‘pods’ have emerged at hospitals across England as the country is on high alert for new cases of the illness. 

The NHS has ordered all hospitals to set up the isolation booths so they can send people there if they are suspected to have SARS-CoV-2.

Pictures show rusty portable cabins and windowless shipping containers being used for the purpose on the grounds outside of hospitals’ main buildings or in car parks. 

A crane delivers a cabin to University Hospital of North Tees, where it will be used as a coronavirus isolation pod

A crane delivers a cabin to University Hospital of North Tees, where it will be used as a coronavirus isolation pod

A crane delivers a cabin to University Hospital of North Tees, where it will be used as a coronavirus isolation pod

A contamination tent being set up outside A&E at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington a stone's throw from the Lindo Wing where all of Prince William and Kate Middleton's children were born

A contamination tent being set up outside A&E at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington a stone's throw from the Lindo Wing where all of Prince William and Kate Middleton's children were born

A contamination tent being set up outside A&E at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington a stone’s throw from the Lindo Wing where all of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s children were born

Blackpool Victoria Hospital has attached a sign to a permanent building, indicating that suspected coronavirus patients should go there

Blackpool Victoria Hospital has attached a sign to a permanent building, indicating that suspected coronavirus patients should go there

Blackpool Victoria Hospital has attached a sign to a permanent building, indicating that suspected coronavirus patients should go there

WHERE HAS THE WUHAN CORONAVIRUS SPREAD TO?

COUNTRIES  

CHINA

JAPAN

SINGAPORE

HONG KONG

THAILAND

SOUTH KOREA

MALAYSIA

TAIWAN

VIETNAM

GERMANY

AUSTRALIA

US

FRANCE

MACAU

UK

UAE

CANADA

INDIA

PHILIPPINES

ITALY

RUSSIA

SPAIN

BELGIUM

SWEDEN

FINLAND

NEPAL

SRI LANKA

CAMBODIA

WORLD TOTAL

CASES

63,855

251

58

53

33

28

19

18

16

16

15

15

11

10

9

8

7

3

3

3

2

2

1

1

1

1

1

1

60,394 

 

Health service bosses said there must be facilities in place to keep suspected patients away from the general public while they’re assessed over the phone by medics. 

Hospitals in London, Hartlepool, Stevenage, Preston, Blackpool, Eastbourne, Brighton and Bournemouth have been seen with the pods outside. 

A letter sent from NHS England to hospital directors two weeks ago instructed them all to have the pods up and running by Friday, February 7.

It said: ‘As part of managing care in Emergency Departments, trusts are being asked to organise a ‘Coronavirus Priority Assessment Pod’, which will mean people with symptoms indicative of infection will get quick assessment, while other patients also continue to get appropriate care.’

The letter said the pod must have a phone which is available 24 hours a day so worried patients can speak to a specialist response team at any time.

There must also be clear signs and posters directing people the the pod so they don’t have to come into contact with staff – people will not be allowed to just wander into the pods but must be referred there first.

Overnight, China reported another sharp rise in the number of people infected with the killer disease. 

The National Health Commission said 121 more deaths were recorded yesterday, as well as 5,090 new confirmed cases.

The number of reported cases has been rising more quickly after the hardest-hit province changed its method of counting them. 

There are now almost 64,000 confirmed cases in mainland China, of which 1,380 have died, according to the national body.

Hubei province is now including cases based on a physician’s diagnosis and before they have been confirmed by lab tests.  

The acceleration in the number of cases does not necessarily represent a sudden surge in new infections of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Paul Hunter, a professor of health protection at the University of East Anglia, said: ‘I suspect but can’t be certain that the underlying trend is still downwards.

‘It almost certainly does not mean that there has been a resurgence of the epidemic overnight.’

Medical workers check on the conditions of patients in Jinyintan Hospital, designated for critical COVID-19 patients, in Wuhan on Thursday

Medical workers check on the conditions of patients in Jinyintan Hospital, designated for critical COVID-19 patients, in Wuhan on Thursday

Medical workers check on the conditions of patients in Jinyintan Hospital, designated for critical COVID-19 patients, in Wuhan on Thursday

Chinese military medics arrive at the Tianhe International Airport in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province on Thursday

Chinese military medics arrive at the Tianhe International Airport in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province on Thursday

Chinese military medics arrive at the Tianhe International Airport in Wuhan, central China’s Hubei Province on Thursday

The sharp rises is thought to have been caused by a change in the way doctors in Hubei – the province at the centre of the outbreak – are diagnosing the virus.

Officials decided that people who have virus symptoms, plus a CT scan showing chest infection, are now being counted as confirmed cases.

Cases were previously only being confirmed using specialized testing kits in a laboratory.

But authorities have had to switch to the broader diagnostic tools because they are running out of the kits and hundreds of patients are going untested. 

It raises the prospect that deaths and infections could have been much higher if medics were using this method all along. 

And it could mean that going forward, more cases will be reported every day in the Chinese province.  

The official death toll now sits at 1,380 after China reported 121 new patients had been killed by the virus overnight.

This sparked confusion as it was reported on Thursday that 1,370 people succumbed to the illness.

WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE DEADLY CORONAVIRUS IN CHINA?

Someone who is infected with the coronavirus can spread it with just a simple cough or a sneeze, scientists say.

More than 1,380 people with the virus are now confirmed to have died and more than 64,400 have been infected in at least 28 countries and regions. But experts predict the true number of people with the disease could be as high as 350,000 in Wuhan alone, as they warn it may kill as many as two in 100 cases.  Here’s what we know so far:

What is the coronavirus? 

A coronavirus is a type of virus which can cause illness in animals and people. Viruses break into cells inside their host and use them to reproduce itself and disrupt the body’s normal functions. Coronaviruses are named after the Latin word ‘corona’, which means crown, because they are encased by a spiked shell which resembles a royal crown.

The coronavirus from Wuhan is one which has never been seen before this outbreak. It has been named SARS-CoV-2 by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. The name stands for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2.

Experts say the bug, which has killed around one in 50 patients since the outbreak began in December, is a ‘sister’ of the SARS illness which hit China in 2002, so has been named after it.

The disease that the virus causes has been named COVID-19, which stands for coronavirus disease 2019.

Dr Helena Maier, from the Pirbright Institute, said: ‘Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that infect a wide range of different species including humans, cattle, pigs, chickens, dogs, cats and wild animals. 

‘Until this new coronavirus was identified, there were only six different coronaviruses known to infect humans. Four of these cause a mild common cold-type illness, but since 2002 there has been the emergence of two new coronaviruses that can infect humans and result in more severe disease (Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronaviruses). 

‘Coronaviruses are known to be able to occasionally jump from one species to another and that is what happened in the case of SARS, MERS and the new coronavirus. The animal origin of the new coronavirus is not yet known.’ 

The first human cases were publicly reported from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where approximately 11million people live, after medics first started publicly reporting infections on December 31.

By January 8, 59 suspected cases had been reported and seven people were in critical condition. Tests were developed for the new virus and recorded cases started to surge.

The first person died that week and, by January 16, two were dead and 41 cases were confirmed. The next day, scientists predicted that 1,700 people had become infected, possibly up to 7,000.

Just a week after that, there had been more than 800 confirmed cases and those same scientists estimated that some 4,000 – possibly 9,700 – were infected in Wuhan alone. By that point, 26 people had died. 

By January 27, more than 2,800 people were confirmed to have been infected, 81 had died, and estimates of the total number of cases ranged from 100,000 to 350,000 in Wuhan alone.

By January 29, the number of deaths had risen to 132 and cases were in excess of 6,000.  

By February 5, there were more than 24,000 cases and 492 deaths.

By February 11, this had risen to more than 43,000 cases and 1,000 deaths. 

A change in the way cases are confirmed on February 13 – doctors decided to start using lung scans as a formal diagnosis, as well as laboratory tests – caused a spike in the number of cases, to more than 60,000 and to 1,369 deaths. 

Where does the virus come from?

According to scientists, the virus has almost certainly come from bats. Coronaviruses in general tend to originate in animals – the similar SARS and MERS viruses are believed to have originated in civet cats and camels, respectively.

The first cases of COVID-19 came from people visiting or working in a live animal market in the city, which has since been closed down for investigation.

Although the market is officially a seafood market, other dead and living animals were being sold there, including wolf cubs, salamanders, snakes, peacocks, porcupines and camel meat. 

A study by the Wuhan Institute of Virology, published in February 2020 in the scientific journal Nature, found that the genetic make-up virus samples found in patients in China is 96 per cent similar to a coronavirus they found in bats.

However, there were not many bats at the market so scientists say it was likely there was an animal which acted as a middle-man, contracting it from a bat before then transmitting it to a human. It has not yet been confirmed what type of animal this was.

Dr Michael Skinner, a virologist at Imperial College London, was not involved with the research but said: ‘The discovery definitely places the origin of nCoV in bats in China.

‘We still do not know whether another species served as an intermediate host to amplify the virus, and possibly even to bring it to the market, nor what species that host might have been.’  

So far the fatalities are quite low. Why are health experts so worried about it? 

Experts say the international community is concerned about the virus because so little is known about it and it appears to be spreading quickly.

It is similar to SARS, which infected 8,000 people and killed nearly 800 in an outbreak in Asia in 2003, in that it is a type of coronavirus which infects humans’ lungs.  

Another reason for concern is that nobody has any immunity to the virus because they’ve never encountered it before. This means it may be able to cause more damage than viruses we come across often, like the flu or common cold.

Speaking at a briefing in January, Oxford University professor, Dr Peter Horby, said: ‘Novel viruses can spread much faster through the population than viruses which circulate all the time because we have no immunity to them.

‘Most seasonal flu viruses have a case fatality rate of less than one in 1,000 people. Here we’re talking about a virus where we don’t understand fully the severity spectrum but it’s possible the case fatality rate could be as high as two per cent.’

If the death rate is truly two per cent, that means two out of every 100 patients who get it will die. 

‘My feeling is it’s lower,’ Dr Horby added. ‘We’re probably missing this iceberg of milder cases. But that’s the current circumstance we’re in.

‘Two per cent case fatality rate is comparable to the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918 so it is a significant concern globally.’

How does the virus spread?

The illness can spread between people just through coughs and sneezes, making it an extremely contagious infection. And it may also spread even before someone has symptoms.

It is believed to travel in the saliva and even through water in the eyes, therefore close contact, kissing, and sharing cutlery or utensils are all risky. 

Originally, people were thought to be catching it from a live animal market in Wuhan city. But cases soon began to emerge in people who had never been there, which forced medics to realise it was spreading from person to person.

There is now evidence that it can spread third hand – to someone from a person who caught it from another person.

What does the virus do to you? What are the symptoms?

Once someone has caught the COVID-19 virus it may take between two and 14 days, or even longer, for them to show any symptoms – but they may still be contagious during this time.

If and when they do become ill, typical signs include a runny nose, a cough, sore throat and a fever (high temperature). The vast majority of patients – at least 97 per cent, based on available data – will recover from these without any issues or medical help.

In a small group of patients, who seem mainly to be the elderly or those with long-term illnesses, it can lead to pneumonia. Pneumonia is an infection in which the insides of the lungs swell up and fill with fluid. It makes it increasingly difficult to breathe and, if left untreated, can be fatal and suffocate people. 

What have genetic tests revealed about the virus? 

Scientists in China have recorded the genetic sequences of around 19 strains of the virus and released them to experts working around the world. 

This allows others to study them, develop tests and potentially look into treating the illness they cause.   

Examinations have revealed the coronavirus did not change much – changing is known as mutating – much during the early stages of its spread.

However, the director-general of China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Gao Fu, said the virus was mutating and adapting as it spread through people.

This means efforts to study the virus and to potentially control it may be made extra difficult because the virus might look different every time scientists analyse it.   

More study may be able to reveal whether the virus first infected a small number of people then change and spread from them, or whether there were various versions of the virus coming from animals which have developed separately.

How dangerous is the virus?  

The virus has so far killed 1,383 people out of a total of at least 64,441 officially confirmed cases – a death rate of around two per cent. This is a similar death rate to the Spanish Flu outbreak which, in 1918, went on to kill around 50million people.

However, experts say the true number of patients is likely considerably higher and therefore the death rate considerably lower. Imperial College London researchers estimate that there were 4,000 (up to 9,700) cases in Wuhan city alone up to January 18 – officially there were only 444 there to that date. If cases are in fact 100 times more common than the official figures, the virus may be far less dangerous than currently believed, but also far more widespread. 

Experts say it is likely only the most seriously ill patients are seeking help and are therefore recorded – the vast majority will have only mild, cold-like symptoms. For those whose conditions do become more severe, there is a risk of developing pneumonia which can destroy the lungs and kill you.  

Can the virus be cured? 

The COVID-19 virus cannot currently be cured and it is proving difficult to contain.

Antibiotics do not work against viruses, so they are out of the question. Antiviral drugs can work, but the process of understanding a virus then developing and producing drugs to treat it would take years and huge amounts of money.

No vaccine exists for the coronavirus yet and it’s not likely one will be developed in time to be of any use in this outbreak, for similar reasons to the above.

The National Institutes of Health in the US, and Baylor University in Waco, Texas, say they are working on a vaccine based on what they know about coronaviruses in general, using information from the SARS outbreak. But this may take a year or more to develop, according to Pharmaceutical Technology.

Currently, governments and health authorities are working to contain the virus and to care for patients who are sick and stop them infecting other people.

People who catch the illness are being quarantined in hospitals, where their symptoms can be treated and they will be away from the uninfected public.

And airports around the world are putting in place screening measures such as having doctors on-site, taking people’s temperatures to check for fevers and using thermal screening to spot those who might be ill (infection causes a raised temperature).

However, it can take weeks for symptoms to appear, so there is only a small likelihood that patients will be spotted up in an airport.

Is this outbreak an epidemic or a pandemic?   

The outbreak is an epidemic, which is when a disease takes hold of one community such as a country or region. 

Although it has spread to dozens of countries, the outbreak is not yet classed as a pandemic, which is defined by the World Health Organization as the ‘worldwide spread of a new disease’.

The head of WHO’s global infectious hazard preparedness, Dr Sylvie Briand, said: ‘Currently we are not in a pandemic. We are at the phase where it is an epidemic with multiple foci, and we try to extinguish the transmission in each of these foci,’ the Guardian reported.

She said that most cases outside of Hubei had been ‘spillover’ from the epicentre, so the disease wasn’t actually spreading actively around the world.

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Kaufland supermarket CEO Dieter Schwarz is a ‘reclusive billionaire’

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The billionaire owner of German supermarket chain Kaufland is a reclusive businessman dubbed the ‘phantom’ – with only two photos of him known to exist.

Dieter Schwarz, 80, has been the CEO of chains Lidl and Kaufland for more than 40 years after taking control of the family business in 1977.  

Since then, he has managed to build a successful chain of supermarkets across the globe that made him the 36th richest person in the world with a net worth of $19.6billion. 

But despite his wealth and success, Schwarz has been known to live an extremely private life in Germany to the point that hardly anything is known about him. 

Lidl and Kaufland CEO Dieter Schwarz has been known to live an extremely private life in Germany to the point that hardly anything is known about him

Lidl and Kaufland CEO Dieter Schwarz has been known to live an extremely private life in Germany to the point that hardly anything is known about him

Lidl and Kaufland CEO Dieter Schwarz has been known to live an extremely private life in Germany to the point that hardly anything is known about him

Kaufland supermarket chains were expected to launch in Australia and create 2,400 jobs before the company announced its decision to pull out last month

Kaufland supermarket chains were expected to launch in Australia and create 2,400 jobs before the company announced its decision to pull out last month

Kaufland supermarket chains were expected to launch in Australia and create 2,400 jobs before the company announced its decision to pull out last month 

His reclusive nature has sparked rumours and theories over why he turned to such a life, including claims he and his family were targeted by terrorist gangs in the 1970s, news.com.au reported.  

A 2018 documentary, Die Lidl-Story, offered a glimpse into the man’s secretive life, claiming he was motivated to withdraw from the public after a group of criminals threatened him and his daughters.  

‘He is a mystery, lives out of sight, avoids all publicity. Extremely little is known about him, and very few people in his close circle dare talk to the press,’ the documentary said. 

In German media he is dubbed ‘Das Phantom von Heilbronn’ which translates to the ‘the phantom of Heilbronn’ – his hometown.

It is also claimed he visits churches disguised as a priest in order to go undetected and enjoys exercising to Swedish pop group ABBA. 

Only two photos of the man are reported to exist in public – with one being black and white, according to news.com.au.

The businessman’s hush-hush demeanor has also been apparent in the abrupt withdrawal of Kaufland in Australia earlier this year. 

About 200 local employees were left in limbo in January after the company made the shock decision to pull out of the country ahead of its launch. 

Kaufland said it would be undertaking an ‘orderly withdrawal’ from Australia to focus on growth in Europe. 

Frank Schumann, acting CEO of Kaufland International, apologised to employees for the ‘disruption this decision will cause’.

The Kaufland building site at Prospect in Adelaide, Wednesday, September 4, 2019

The Kaufland building site at Prospect in Adelaide, Wednesday, September 4, 2019

The Kaufland building site at Prospect in Adelaide, Wednesday, September 4, 2019

‘This was not an easy decision for us. We always felt welcome in Australia,’ he said, according to Brisbane Times.

‘In Europe, we see a great deal of growth potential. We will actively shape the consolidation of the European retail sector, thus further reinforcing our leading position.’ 

Kaufland was expected to prompt price competition between nation-wide industry leaders Coles and Woolworths, which have the monopoly on consumer choice.

The retailer also bared a striking resemblance to German supermarket Aldi with almost 39,000 more products, evoking fears it would destroy the low-cost store.   

The German supermarket giant was expected to create 2,400 jobs with the launch of nine new stores in Victoria and Queensland this year.

Kaufland was expected to be a cross between a supermarket and stores such as Target and Kmart, selling groceries as well as hardware such as toys, bikes, sports equipment, electronics and household goods.

The decision to leave Australia comes after the launch of Kaufland’s $255million distribution centre in Mickleham, in Melbourne’s north, last June. 

The 117,000 square metre warehouse was expected to create 600 jobs. 

Additional Victorian sites included Dandenong, Epping, Chirnside Park, Braybrook, Lyndhurst, Geelong, South Morang, Bendigo, Narre Warren, Warrnambool, Coburg and Pakenham 

Kaufland, which is the fourth largest retainer in the world, was expected to prompt price competition between nation-wide industry leaders Coles and Woolworths

Kaufland, which is the fourth largest retainer in the world, was expected to prompt price competition between nation-wide industry leaders Coles and Woolworths

Kaufland, which is the fourth largest retainer in the world, was expected to prompt price competition between nation-wide industry leaders Coles and Woolworths

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Caroline Flack’s boyfriend reveals ‘I am in in so much pain’ after her death

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Caroline Flack‘s boyfriend has posted an emotional tribute to the ex-Love Island presenter following her death yesterday – after she was told she would face a trial for allegedly assaulting him.

The TV presenter, aged 40, took her own life after a worried friend who was staying with her went to the shops, leaving her alone at her London flat. The producer friend couldn’t get back into the flat when she returned. She called Flack’s father Ian who was able to get into the property where he discovered the star’s body. 

Flack’s management team had described her as ‘vulnerable’ and criticised the CPS for pushing ahead with the case despite her boyfriend Lewis Burton saying he did not want to press charges. 

Mr Burton posted on Instagram today: ‘My heart is broken, we had something so special.

‘I am so lost for words I am in so much pain I miss you so much I know you felt safe with me you always said I don’t think about anything else when I am with you and I was not allowed to be there this time I kept asking and asking.

‘I will be your voice baby I promise I will ask all the questions you wanted and I will get all the answers nothing will bring you back but I will try make you proud everyday. I love you with all my heart.’

Mr Burton had alleged she hit him with a lamp at her former home in Islington in December before backtracking on the claim. As part of her bail conditions the pair were banned from contacting each other. 

A member of Flack’s management team said the CPS should ‘look at themselves’ and how they pursued a trial ‘without merit’ which resulted in ‘significant distress to Caroline’. 

The saga surrounding her court case saw her ‘step down’ from hosting Love Island – the first ever winter series is currently on air that is currently hosted by Laura Whitmore. ITV and Love Island’s producers will now come under scrutiny for that decision and what support they gave her. Reality shows have been warned by Ofcom that they have a duty of care towards their stars. 

Lewis Burton posted an emotional tribute on Instagram this morning following the news of Caroline Flack's death on Saturday

Lewis Burton posted an emotional tribute on Instagram this morning following the news of Caroline Flack's death on Saturday

Lewis Burton posted an emotional tribute on Instagram this morning following the news of Caroline Flack’s death on Saturday

The last post: A collage of pictures posted by Flack on Thursday to her 2.4million followers, showing her playing with her dog, Ruby

The last post: A collage of pictures posted by Flack on Thursday to her 2.4million followers, showing her playing with her dog, Ruby

The last post: A collage of pictures posted by Flack on Thursday to her 2.4million followers, showing her playing with her dog, Ruby

Caroline Flack has been found dead at her London flat aged 40. She is pictured above attending the Brit awards last year

Caroline Flack has been found dead at her London flat aged 40. She is pictured above attending the Brit awards last year

Caroline Flack has been found dead at her London flat aged 40. She is pictured above attending the Brit awards last year

The TV presenter, aged 40, took her own life after a worried friend who was staying with her went to the shops, leaving her alone at her London home (pictured)

The TV presenter, aged 40, took her own life after a worried friend who was staying with her went to the shops, leaving her alone at her London home (pictured)

The TV presenter, aged 40, took her own life after a worried friend who was staying with her went to the shops, leaving her alone at her London home (pictured)

Lewis Burton had posted a picture of him and Flack on Instagram and wrote: 'Happy Valentine's... Love You'

Lewis Burton had posted a picture of him and Flack on Instagram and wrote: 'Happy Valentine's... Love You'

Lewis Burton had posted a picture of him and Flack on Instagram and wrote: ‘Happy Valentine’s… Love You’

The Love Island host took to Instagram last month to announce that she planned to give her side of the story but made no further statement

The Love Island host took to Instagram last month to announce that she planned to give her side of the story but made no further statement

The Love Island host took to Instagram last month to announce that she planned to give her side of the story but made no further statement 

Sophie Gradon

Sophie Gradon

Mike Thalassitis

Mike Thalassitis

Contestants Mike Thalassitis and Sophie Gradon took their own lives following their appearances on the dating programme, throwing the show’s future into question

Flack has been described by friends as feeling ‘she was on her own’ and ‘couldn’t see a way out’, and she was struggling with her mental health and using anti-depressants before her death. 

The TV presenter’s death was confirmed by the family, who said: ‘We can confirm that our Caroline passed away today on the 15th February. We would ask that the press respect the privacy of the family at this difficult time.’

Flack’s death has led to calls for the ITV2 flagship show to be axed. She is the third person connected to the show to have killed themselves after contestants Mike Thalassitis and Sophie Gradon took their own lives. 

Love Island presenter Laura Whitmore led tributes to Flack last night as she posted on Twitter, ‘I’m trying to find the words but I can’t’ next to a broken heart emoji and posted a poem about loss. 

Former contestants Wes Nelson, Chris Hughes, Molly-Mae Hague also paid their respects to the star, while Piers Morgan called her a ‘fun, bright and sparky person’.

In developments following the tragedy: 

  • ITV axed a highlights episode of Love Island that was due to air at 9pm last night and replaced it with a double bill of You’ve Been Framed
  • Viewers called for Love Island to be cancelled following Flack’s death
  • Channel 4 said it had axed series The Surjury, which featured Flack as a presenter. A spokesman said in a statement they were ‘shocked and saddened’ to hear the tragic news
  • Tributes led by Love Island presenter Laura Whitmore poured in, which described Flack as a ‘star’, ‘much loved’ and ‘one of the warmest funniest people’
  • Her boyfriend Lewis Burton was understood to be travelling home from a skiing trip after hearing the news
  • Burton had posted a Valentine’s message to her on Friday saying ‘Happy Valentines. Love you’
  • Last week, Flack was revealed to be writing a ‘self-help’ book as she battled with depression
  • Her death was said to have occurred in non-suspicious circumstances. A post-mortem has been scheduled and an inquest will be opened in the coming days 

Flack’s management team brand the CPS case a ‘show trial’ that was ‘not in the public interest’ 

Caroline Flack’s management said everyone was devastated at the news and criticised the Crown Prosecution Service for pressing ahead with her ‘show trial’ even after her boyfriend said he did not support it.

In a statement, Francis Ridley of Money Talent Management, said: ‘We are devastated at the loss of our client and friend Caroline Flack.

‘An immensely talented young woman who was at the top of her game professionally and loved by television viewers across the country. In recent months Caroline had been under huge pressure because of an ongoing case and potential trial which has been well reported.

‘The Crown Prosecution Service pursued this when they knew not only how very vulnerable Caroline was but also that the alleged victim did not support the prosecution and had disputed the CPS version of events.

‘The CPS should look at themselves today and how they pursued a show trial that was not only without merit but not in the public interest. And ultimately resulted in significant distress to Caroline. Our thoughts are with Caroline’s family at this time.’

Friends of the presenter, who was paid a £1.2million salary for Love Island, have said she had been terrified of her impending court date. ‘She was on her own. She couldn’t take it anymore. Her family are devastated,’ one friend told The Mirror.

Another added: ‘Caroline couldn’t bear the thought of going  through the court case. She felt her career would never recover from this – and she felt humiliated in front of the world. In the end she just couldn’t see a way out. She didn’t know how to fix herself.’

One friend also said she had been on anti-depressants: ‘She went to a climbing wall with one of her pals, and they were trying to keep her spirits up but she was going deeper into her depression. In the last few weeks she was with a lot of her friends and rarely alone.’ 

The presenter was revealed to be writing a ‘self-help’ book. ‘Caroline has found the process incredibly cathartic,’ one of her friends said last week. ‘She wants it to be more than just a story about her. She wants to talk about the problems she’s encountered and how she’s overcome them.’

Flack leaves behind her twin sister Jody, her elder sister Elizabeth, her elder brother Paul, and her parents Christine and Ian. 

She also leaves behind her treasured French Bulldog Ruby. A mourner yesterday laid a single rose at Flack’s former address in Islington, which the celebrity moved from in recent weeks.  

Flack and Burton

Flack and Burton

Flack's death comes just weeks before she was due to go on trial for assaulting partner Lewis Burton, who in December accused her of hitting him with a lamp before backtracking on these claims

Flack's death comes just weeks before she was due to go on trial for assaulting partner Lewis Burton, who in December accused her of hitting him with a lamp before backtracking on these claims

Flack’s death comes just weeks before she was due to go on trial for assaulting partner Lewis Burton, who in December accused her of hitting him with a lamp before backtracking on these claims

Flack's personal woes began when police were seen outside the presenter's residence, where she lived with Burton, during the early hours of December 14 after reports emerged that a man had been attacked

Flack's personal woes began when police were seen outside the presenter's residence, where she lived with Burton, during the early hours of December 14 after reports emerged that a man had been attacked

Flack’s personal woes began when police were seen outside the presenter’s residence, where she lived with Burton, during the early hours of December 14 after reports emerged that a man had been attacked 

A mourner laid flowers at Caroline Flack's former home in Islington, north London, which she moved out of in recent weeks

A mourner laid flowers at Caroline Flack's former home in Islington, north London, which she moved out of in recent weeks

She was to go on trial after being accused by partner Lewis Burton of hitting him on the head with a lamp at the property in December. He later backtracked on the claims

She was to go on trial after being accused by partner Lewis Burton of hitting him on the head with a lamp at the property in December. He later backtracked on the claims

A mourner laid flowers at Caroline Flack’s former home in Islington, north London, which she moved out of in recent weeks. She was to go on trial after being accused by partner Lewis Burton of hitting him on the head with a lamp at the property in December. He later backtracked on the claims

A single rose was left outside Flack's former home in Islington after the family announced her tragic death

A single rose was left outside Flack's former home in Islington after the family announced her tragic death

A single rose was left outside Flack’s former home in Islington after the family announced her tragic death

Flack leaves behind her twin sister Jody (left)

Flack leaves behind her twin sister Jody (left)

Flack leaves behind her twin sister Jody (bottom left) and her elder brother Paul (top left), elder sister Elizabeth (top right), mother (middle) and father (behind the camera)

Flack leaves behind her twin sister Jody (bottom left) and her elder brother Paul (top left), elder sister Elizabeth (top right), mother (middle) and father (behind the camera)

Flack leaves behind her twin sister Jody (pictured together left) and her elder brother, elder sister, mother Christine and father Ian (family pictured right. Ian taking photo) 

Boy George has criticised the CPS for pursuing the case, saying he hopes they feel 'deep sorrow'. The 58-year-old tweeted: 'I hope all of you who attacked Caroline Flack even when her partner said he wanted no charges feel some sorrow today. This did not need to happen'

Boy George has criticised the CPS for pursuing the case, saying he hopes they feel 'deep sorrow'. The 58-year-old tweeted: 'I hope all of you who attacked Caroline Flack even when her partner said he wanted no charges feel some sorrow today. This did not need to happen'

Boy George has criticised the CPS for pursuing the case, saying he hopes they feel ‘deep sorrow’. The 58-year-old tweeted: ‘I hope all of you who attacked Caroline Flack even when her partner said he wanted no charges feel some sorrow today. This did not need to happen’

Flack’s friends are said to be furious that the CPS pursued the presenter’s prosecution despite Burton making it clear he did not want the case to go to trial as there had been no serious injury.

Her management criticised the CPS in a statement. Francis Ridley, of Money Talent Management, said: ‘We are devastated at the loss of our client and friend Caroline Flack. 

‘The Crown Prosecution Service pursued this when they knew not only how very vulnerable Caroline was but also that the alleged victim did not support the prosecution and had disputed the CPS version of events. 

Love Island is rocked by THIRD death tragedy that could spell the end for controversial ITV2 reality show

Caroline Flack’s tragic death could lead to ITV bosses pulling the plug on Love Island after she became the third person associated with the show to take their own life.

The hugely popular money-spinner had already been under intense scrutiny following the suicides of former contestants Sophie Gradon, 32, and Mike Thalassitis, 26, prompting calls for producers to take more care of its stars.

Flack’s death will reignite concerns over the support that the broadcaster shows to those suffering mental health problems and the perceived lack of support provided by production bosses.

‘ITV talk about duty of care but there was little to no support for her,’ a source close to Flack told The Sun.

‘She went from hosting one of the most popular shows on TV to be effectively cast out.’

Following the tragic news, ITV pulled last night’s highlights episode of Love Island: Unseen Bits that was due to air at 9pm on ITV2.

The programme announcer said: ‘In light of today’s sad news we’re replacing tonight’s episode of Love Island: Unseen Bits with a double bill of You’ve Been Framed.’

However it has not known whether Love Island will air tomorrow night as scheduled.  

‘The CPS should look at themselves today and how they pursued a show trial  that was not only without merit but not in the public interest. And ultimately resulted in significant distress to Caroline. Our thoughts are with Caroline’s family at this time.

‘An immensely talented young woman who was at the top of her game professionally and loved by television viewers across the country. In recent months Caroline had been under huge pressure because of an ongoing case and potential trial which has been well reported.’ 

Boy George has criticised the CPS for pursuing the case, saying he hopes they feel ‘deep sorrow’. The 58-year-old tweeted: ‘I hope all of you who attacked Caroline Flack even when her partner said he wanted no charges feel some sorrow today. This did not need to happen.

‘This is devastating news! And yes, I hope the @cpsuk feel even deeper sorrow.’

Comedian Keith Lemon paid tribute, saying: ‘Shocked. I’ve known Caroline all my telly life. I have no words. Love to her family.’ 

The CPS told MailOnline in a statement: ‘Our deepest sympathies go to the family and friends of Caroline  Flack. Given the tragic circumstances, we will not comment on the specifics of this case at  this stage.’ 

The presenter’s death has re-ignited questions about ITV’s aftercare as it was forced to enhance its procedures following public outcry over the suicides of two contestants. 

‘ITV talk about duty of care but there was little to no support for her,’ a source told The Sun.  

‘She went from hosting one of the most popular shows on TV to being effectively cast out. It was crushing. 

‘Whatever she said publicly, she told those close to her that she had in effect been sacked. She hadn’t been found guilty of anything and didn’t deserve to have her career ripped from her the way that she felt it had been.’

Broadcaster regulator OFCOM has been swamped with hundreds of complaints from viewers over contestants behaviour on the show and challenges developed by producers.

The regulator confirmed in a statement in May last year that it was examining whether ‘more could be done’ to safeguard the welfare of people on reality TV shows.  

Flack was best known for previously fronting the hugely popular ITV2 show Love Island, which was last night rocked by the third death of one of its former stars

Flack was best known for previously fronting the hugely popular ITV2 show Love Island, which was last night rocked by the third death of one of its former stars

Flack was best known for previously fronting the hugely popular ITV2 show Love Island, which was last night rocked by the third death of one of its former stars

Droplets of what appear to be blood were seen splattered on Caroline Flack's home following her arrest for assaulting her boyfriend Lewis Burton

Droplets of what appear to be blood were seen splattered on Caroline Flack's home following her arrest for assaulting her boyfriend Lewis Burton

Droplets of what appear to be blood were seen splattered on Caroline Flack’s home following her arrest for assaulting her boyfriend Lewis Burton

A tribute to Londoner Caroline Flack was last night written on a Tube billboard at one of the capital's stations

A tribute to Londoner Caroline Flack was last night written on a Tube billboard at one of the capital's stations

A tribute to Londoner Caroline Flack was last night written on a Tube billboard at one of the capital’s stations

CAROLINE FLACK’S TURBULENT LOVE LIFE

Prince Harry, aged 34

Short fling? Caroline revealed she was introduced to Prince Harry by their mutual friend Natalie Pinkham in 2009

Close: Caroline candidly admitted she nearly slept with Olly Murs when they presented The Xtra Factor together in 2011

  • Caroline revealed she was introduced to Prince Harry by their mutual friend Natalie Pinkham, a Formula One correspondent for Sky Sports
  • Sparks flew when the pair enjoyed a night out a decade ago in 2009, shortly after Caroline had split from another ex
  • She later penned in her book: ‘Once the story got out, that was it. We had to stop seeing each other
  • ‘I was no longer Caroline Flack, TV presenter. I was Caroline Flack, Prince Harry’s bit of rough’ 

 

Olly Murs, aged 35

  • Caroline candidly admitted she nearly slept with Olly when they presented The Xtra Factor together in 2011
  • They shared a kiss as they toasted her Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women Award with a private moment in the photobooth in November 2015
  • The pair’s on-screen chemistry was all everyone could talk about when they hosted The Xtra Factor together from 2011 until 2012
  • Rumours were swirling the pair were in the throes of love as they hosted The X Factor together in 2015 for a year 

Former lover: Back in 2011, Caroline was 31 when she started romancing 17-year-old Harry Styles

   Harry Styles, aged 25

  • Back in 2011, Caroline was 31 when she started romancing 17-year-old Harry
  • The television host admitted she knew the singer had a crush on her before she pursued a romance with the heartthrob 
  • She said of their brief fling in The Sun on Sunday: ‘I already knew that he had a crush on me, he’s made it pretty obvious as he’s said it in magazines. I’ve never felt I was much older than Harry. I still feel 18 and I probably act that way half the time’ 

 

Short-lived: The Love Island host caught music manager Jack Street’s eye when he was only 26 years old

Wedding bells: Caroline and Andrew Brady got engaged in April 2018 before calling it quits later that year

 

 Jack Street, aged 31 

  • The Love Island host caught Jack’s eye when he was 26 years old
  • Caroline and Jack’s love story goes back until 2014 and the couple dated happily for 18 months before their abrupt split.
  • They briefly rekindled the flames of their love in 2015 but the damage couldn’t be repaired and they went their separate ways for good

 

 

 

 

Andrew Brady, aged 28 

Smooch: In January, Caroline and Strictly dancer AJ Pritchard were pictured looking extremely cosy with during the National Television Awards' after-party

Smooch: In January, Caroline and Strictly dancer AJ Pritchard were pictured looking extremely cosy with during the National Television Awards' after-party

Smooch: In January, Caroline and Strictly dancer AJ Pritchard were pictured looking extremely cosy with during the National Television Awards’ after-party

  • Caroline was 38 while Andrew was 27 when they first started dating
  • The Love Island personality and the Apprentice star had a rocky on/off romance which had a heartbreaking end for the pair of them
  • The couple got engaged in April 2018 after just a few weeks of dating but they separated from each other a numerous times last year
  • Now Andrew has jetted off to Australia on a one-way ticket to get a fresh start in 2019 after they finally called it quits on their romance forever
  • Caroline got rid of the final traces of her ex as she proudly showed off she had his initials ‘AB’ erased from her wrist   

     

 

 AJ Pritchard, aged 24 

  • In January, Caroline and the Strictly dancer were pictured looking extremely cosy with during the National Television Awards’ after-party 
  • Insiders at the bash claimed the duo moved around for some privacy before they were spotted in the alleged clinch behind the scenes 
  • The pair, who reportedly snogged during the star-studded bash at London’s O2 Arena, denied rumours of a romance despite their close display 
Hunk: The presenter is said to have dated Danny Cipriani for around eight weeks earlier this year

Hunk: The presenter is said to have dated Danny Cipriani for around eight weeks earlier this year

Hunk: The presenter is said to have dated Danny Cipriani for around eight weeks earlier this year

 

Danny Cipriani, aged 31

  • The presenter is said to have dated the sportsman, 31, for around eight weeks earlier this year
  • They were were seen kissing after a two-night hotel stay back in April, but ended things shortly after as sources say Caroline feared there was no long-term future
  • An insider previously said: ‘Caroline and Danny had a lot of fun together and she’s very fond of him – but long-term it wasn’t going to work’
  • ‘They’ve decided to end it and stay friends. Caroline has a busy summer ahead of her and is already moving on by dating other people 

   

Lewis Burton, aged 36

Love Island host Caroline Flack pictured with Lewis Burton

Love Island host Caroline Flack pictured with Lewis Burton

Love Island host Caroline Flack pictured with Lewis Burton

  • The tennis player and actor is said to have started dating Caroline Flack in July last year
  • A restraining order prevented the pair from contacting each other. It was made after Flack was accused of hitting Burton over the head with a lamp at her former home in Islington
  • He posted a Valentines message yesterday saying he loved her and last night he is understood to be flying back from a skiing holiday
  • The pair have been pictured on numerous nights out and holidays since going public about their relationship in August 2019
  • Flack was spotted being furious with Lewis on a trip to Ibiza in October 2019 

Viewers have called for Love Island to be axed following the third death to rock the popular reality TV series. 

Flack had been addressing her struggles with mental health on social media in the months leading up to her death. She admitted in a post following World Mental Health Day on October 10 that she had been feeling ‘weird’ and revealed that ‘when I actually reached out to someone they said I was draining’. 

Caroline Flack: A cry for help?

Caroline Flack spoke often about her struggles, both in interviews and on social media. 

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Caroline said, following her Strictly success: ‘Fame doesn’t make you happy’

STRICTLY CURSE? 

The Strictly Come Dancing 2014 winner has said that she felt depressed following her victory on the BBC show.

After she won the series along with professional partner Pasha Kovalev, she admitted that she felt like she was ‘being held together by a piece of string which could snap at any time’.

In an unearthed interview cited by the Daily Star following her death, Caroline claimed that, ‘It all started the day after I won Strictly. I woke up and felt like somebody had covered my body in clingfilm. I couldn’t get up and just couldn’t pick myself up at all that next year.’ 

Ignored? 'When I actually reached out to someone they said I was draining,' Caroline admitted in October 2019

Ignored? ‘When I actually reached out to someone they said I was draining,’ Caroline admitted in October 201 

‘BEING A BURDEN IS MY BIGGEST FEAR’

In an Instagram post she uploaded on 14  October 2019 – to mark World Mental Health Day – Caroline captioned a photo of herself: ‘Some days it’s hard to write your feelings of your not in the right place.

‘The last few weeks I’ve been in a really weird place… I find it hard to talk about it… I guess it’s anxiety and pressure of life… and when I actually reached out to someone they said I was draining.

‘I feel like this is why some people keep their emotions to themselves. I certainly hate talking about my feelings. And being a burden is my biggest fear.’ 

SOCIAL SILENCE

Signs of suicide? She liked tweets about calling The Samaritans over Christmas

Signs of suicide? She liked tweets about calling The Samaritans over Christmas 

Caroline was told to stay off social media following her assault charge in December 2019.

However, she notably liked a string of tweets in the days afterwards, before Christmas, encouraging those feeling lonely over the holidays to seek help.

The tweets – posted by the likes of actress Sheridan Smith, journalist Stacey Dooley and comedian Luke Kempner – included the telephone number for The Samaritans’ suicide hotline.

She also posted to Instagram around the same time: ‘This kind of scrutiny and speculation is a lot to take on for one person to take on their own… I’m a human being at the end of the day and I’m not going to be silenced when I have a story to tell and a life to keep going with.’ 

SELF-HELP?

It was reported that Caroline had decided to write a book, during her recent time off.

‘Caroline has found the process incredibly cathartic,’ one of her friends told the Mail. ‘She wants it to be more than just a story about her. She wants to talk about the problems she’s encountered and how she’s overcome them.

‘She hopes to be able to help others who may be going through similar difficulties.’

 

In an Instagram post she uploaded on 14 October 2019, Flack captioned a photo of herself: ‘I wanted to write something about mental health day last week but I was knee deep in work. And some days it’s hard to write your feelings of your not in the right place.

‘The last few weeks I’ve been in a really weird place… I find it hard to talk about it… I guess it’s anxiety and pressure of life… and when I actually reached out to someone they said I was draining.

‘I feel like this is why some people keep their emotions to themselves. I certainly hate talking about my feelings. And being a burden is my biggest fear…

‘I’m lucky to be able to pick myself up when things feel s**t. But what happens if someone can’t. Be nice to people. You never know what’s going on. Ever.’ 

In December 2018 Flack revealed how she took anti-depressants for six months after winning Strictly Come Dancing in 2014 to help her handle the pressure.

‘People see the celebrity lifestyle and assume everything is perfect, but we’re just like everyone else,’ she told The I Newspaper. ‘Everyone is battling something emotional behind closed doors — that’s life. Fame doesn’t make you happy’. 

‘Anti-depressants helped me get up in the morning, and stopped me from being sad, but what they also do is stop you from being happy. So I was just in this numb state. I stopped laughing at jokes, and that’s just not me.’

Flack had been blocked from speaking to her boyfriend by a restraining order following allegations of assault, and was due to face trial on March 4, in less than three weeks.

She first appeared at Highbury magistrates court in December and was granted bail ahead of her trial. Flack’s mother Christine was pictured hugging and kissing her daughter.

During the trial it was allegedly heard that Flack said under caution that she would kill herself and also ‘I did it’ when asked about hitting her boyfriend. 

Despite the contact ban her boyfriend Burton posted a picture of himself and Flack on Instagram on Friday and wrote: ‘Happy Valentine’s… Love You’.

The snap followed his girlfriend’s last post on Thursday – of herself playing with her beloved French Bulldog Ruby. 

In a now-deleted comment, her boyfriend Lewis Burton said underneath the photo: ‘You’re both useless’ alongside a love heart emoji, even though Caroline had been ordered by a judge not to have any communication with him.

She was pictured laughing with a friend while at a climbing wall in London earlier this week. 

Flack threatened to break her silence about her personal life last month, writing that she would ‘tell all’ in an Instagram post. However, a source said she made the post ‘without thinking’ and then changed her mind, vowing to keep  quiet until the time was right. 

‘I’m going to speak today… mine and my family’s life is no longer up for entertainment or gossip,’ she wrote. 

ITV cancelled its love island highlights episode last night and replaced it with a double bill of You’ve Been Framed. A spokesman said in a statement: ‘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.’

Channel 4 also axed series The Surjury, which Flack was presenting. ‘We are shocked and saddened to hear the tragic news about Caroline Flack,’ a spokesman said. ‘Our deepest sympathies go out to Caroline’s family and friends. Under the circumstances, we have decided not to broadcast The Surgery.’  

Love Island host Caroline Flack leaves Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court in North London with two police officers. She appeared there on December 23 to be granted bail ahead of her trial on March 4

Love Island host Caroline Flack leaves Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court in North London with two police officers. She appeared there on December 23 to be granted bail ahead of her trial on March 4

Love Island host Caroline Flack leaves Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court in North London with two police officers. She appeared there on December 23 to be granted bail ahead of her trial on March 4

Mr Burton posted a picture of himself with Flack on his Instagram

Mr Burton posted a picture of himself with Flack on his Instagram

Flack pleaded not guilty to assaulting boyfriend Mr Burton

Flack pleaded not guilty to assaulting boyfriend Mr Burton

Mr Burton posted a picture of himself with Flack on his Instagram after the court appearance with the comment: ‘It’s heartbreaking I can’t see my girlfriend over Christmas. ‘What I witnessed today was horrible. Arguments do happen every day in every relationship. ‘Gutted I am not allowed to protect her right now.’ 

Flack gets a kiss from her mother Christine Flack

Flack gets a kiss from her mother Christine Flack

Flack hugs her mother Christine Flack

Flack hugs her mother Christine Flack

Flack gets a kiss and hug from her mother Christine Flack following case at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court

Love Island presenter Laura Whitmore led tributes to Flack last night as she posted on Twitter, ‘I’m trying  to find the words but I can’t’  with a broken heart emoji and posted a poem about loss.

She also posted a video of the pair dancing together on Instagram with the heartbreaking caption: ‘See you on the dance floor’.

Celebrities and former Love Island contestants flooded social media with tributes to the star presenter, describing her as ‘much loved’ and ‘one of the funniest, warmest people’.

David Walliams faces Twitter backlash over ‘cheap’ joke about Caroline Flack while presenting the National Television Awards 

David Walliams faced a Twitter backlash over a ‘cheap’ joke about Caroline Flack he made while presenting this year’s National Television Awards.

During the awards ceremony he said: ‘It’s nice to see Caroline Flack back on TV.’ His remark was met with boos from the audience'

During the awards ceremony he said: ‘It’s nice to see Caroline Flack back on TV.’ His remark was met with boos from the audience'

During the awards ceremony he said: ‘It’s nice to see Caroline Flack back on TV.’ His remark was met with boos from the audience’ 

The Little Britain star and Britain’s Got Talent judge was fiercely criticised for a comment he made about the late Love Island presenter’s career.

At the time, Flack had stepped down from hosting the ITV2 reality show and had retreated from public life after she was charged with assaulting boyfriend Lewis Burton.

During the awards ceremony in London last month, the Hedgehog character from ITV’s The Masked Singer appeared on stage and Walliams insinuated that Flack was inside the costume.

He said: ‘It’s nice to see Caroline Flack back on TV.’ His remark was met with boos from the audience.

After Flack’s death was announced, thousands of Twitter users demanded that Walliams should apologise to Flack’s family about the jibe.

Former contestant Wes Nelson said she is an ‘absolute diamond’ and that he is devastated by the loss.  

Series three contestant Chris Hughes who said: ‘Words can’t sum this up. So sad. Another amazing person taking from this cruel world… Can’t believe to imagine the pain. God bless Caroline and her family. Rest tight.’

Series five finalist Molly-Mae Hague said: ‘I’m utterly shocked and heartbroken. Caroline you were such a special woman. Your huge smile will stay with me forever… Rest in peace.’ And Series five contestant Maura Higgins posted: ‘Heartbreaking news. In a world where you can be anything, be kind.’

TV presenter and columnist Piers Morgan tweeted: ‘Caroline was a fun, bright and sparky person whose whole world collapsed recently, both professionally and personally. 

‘She told me it had been the worst time of her life, and was clearly struggling to cope with losing everything she held dear. This is such sad, awful news.’

Strictly Come Dancing also paid tribute  to the presenter, who won the series in 2014, saying: ‘The entire Strictly Come Dancing family are heartbroken to hear this incredibly sad news. Caroline had an infectious energy and passion for dance, she shone brightly in the Strictly ballroom every week and became an incredible champion.

‘Words cannot express our sadness, she was simply one of a kind. We are sending our love to all her family and friends during this difficult time.’

Series Two contestant Kady McDermott, who featured heavily in the show, paid tribute to the presenter’s kindness. ‘Devastated to hear the news about Caroline Flack,’ she posted. ‘Caroline was nothing but kind to me and that’s how I will always remember her.

‘Saddens me so much when people think the only way out is death. My prayers and thoughts go out to Caroline’s friends and family. Heartbreaking’. 

Love Island presenter Laura Whitmore led tributes to Caroline Flack last night, posting online saying she didn't know what to say. She also uploaded a photo of them both together at a party with the caption: 'See you on the dance floor'

Love Island presenter Laura Whitmore led tributes to Caroline Flack last night, posting online saying she didn't know what to say. She also uploaded a photo of them both together at a party with the caption: 'See you on the dance floor'

Love Island presenter Laura Whitmore led tributes to Caroline Flack last night, posting online saying she didn’t know what to say. She also uploaded a photo of them both together at a party with the caption: ‘See you on the dance floor’

Strictly Come Dancing also paid tribute to star Flack and used a picture of her winning the competition in 2014

Strictly Come Dancing also paid tribute to star Flack and used a picture of her winning the competition in 2014

Strictly Come Dancing also paid tribute to star Flack and used a picture of her winning the competition in 2014

TV presenter and columnist Piers Morgan paid tribute to the Love Island presenter and described her as a 'fun, bright and sparky' personality

TV presenter and columnist Piers Morgan paid tribute to the Love Island presenter and described her as a 'fun, bright and sparky' personality

TV presenter and columnist Piers Morgan paid tribute to the Love Island presenter and described her as a ‘fun, bright and sparky’ personality

Series two contestants Olivia Buckland and Malin Andersson paid their respects to the presenter while series three contestant Amber Davies tweeted: ‘My heart is actually broken’.

Last summer’s series participant Joe Garratt wrote: ‘Feel so sad, can’t believe what I’ve heard! Bless her heart… such an amazing woman with so much more life to live. RIP Caroline xx.’ 

‘You never know what others are going through’: Coleen Rooney pays tribute to Caroline Flack hours after star was found dead in her flat at the age of 40 

Coleen Rooney has shared a poignant tribute to Caroline Flack hours after the Love Island host was found dead in her flat aged 40.

Heartbreak: Coleen Rooney has shared a poignant tribute to Caroline Flack hours after the Love Island host was found dead in her flat aged 40

Heartbreak: Coleen Rooney has shared a poignant tribute to Caroline Flack hours after the Love Island host was found dead in her flat aged 40

Heartbreak: Coleen Rooney has shared a poignant tribute to Caroline Flack hours after the Love Island host was found dead in her flat aged 40

The former Love Island host, 40, was found dead at her London flat on Saturday, February 15, just weeks before she was due to go on trial for assaulting her boyfriend Lewis Burton, 27.

Coleen wrote: ‘Heartbreaking people really don’t know what others are going through or feel. Thoughts and prayers are with Caroline’s family and friends. Rest in PEACE Caroline.’

Caroline took her own life after a worried friend who was staying with her went to the shops, leaving the ex-Love Island presenter alone at her London flat.

Her management have slammed the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for pursuing the ‘show trial’ after Lewis said he did not want to press charges. 

Shocked Davina McCall said in a statement: ‘I might be quiet tonight on social media… just doesn’t seem right.’

Comedian and actor Jack Whitehall described Flack as a ‘fun, kind beautiful person’ in a tribute last night and said it was ‘so unfair that this has happened’.

‘Let’s pray we learn from this and remember to be a little bit more compassionate to people when they are down.’ 

Fellow ITV presenter Phillip Schofield shared one of Flack’s previous posts to his Instagram story. It read: ‘In a world where you can be anything, be kind. You  poor darling  girl my heart is breaking. #BeKind.’

This  Morning presenter Holly Willoughby shared a picture of herself with Flack and wrote: ‘Utterly heart breaking… life is so precious and yet so fragile.’

Stand-up comedian Keith Lemon posted a picture of himself with Flack on Instagram and wrote: ‘Shocked. I’ve known Carolne all my telly life. I have no words. Love her family.’

TV presenters Ant and Dec tweeted: ‘We are both devastated by the  news about Caroline Flack. It is beyond sad. Beyond words. So tragic. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family. Rest in peace Caroline.’

Kelly Osbourne posted on Instagram: ‘Words are way more powerful than you think… never forget to tell your loved ones that you love them. What a special person Caroline was. She lit up every room because she shined so bright.’

Cheryl posted on Instagram that the news of her death was ‘just so utterly gut wrenchingly tragic’.

‘I can’t even find my words,’ she said. ‘Rest in peace Caroline. I wish we could just be kinder. I wish we could just be open minded to  each other  and I wish  we could be more understanding  and mindful of one another and what issues  people may be struggling with beneath the  surface. We’re all human!’

This Morning presenter Eamonn Holmes, 60, tweeted: ‘Caroline Flack …. Dear God. Shocked beyond belief. May she have found peace. #Rip Has to be repercussions for Love Island now surely?’

A message left on a London Underground noticeboard read: ‘Rest in peace caroline flack. May you find the peace in heaven that you couldn’t find on earth; you will always be loved, forever missed and never forgotten. If only you could see your true worth. Thoughts and prayers to you, your family, you friends and your fans.’

A rose and bunch of flowers were also laid outside her former address in Islington. 

Her death has sparked calls for ITV bosses to pull the plug on Love Island as it follows the suicides of two former contestants of the reality show

Her death has sparked calls for ITV bosses to pull the plug on Love Island as it follows the suicides of two former contestants of the reality show

Her death has sparked calls for ITV bosses to pull the plug on Love Island as it follows the suicides of two former contestants of the reality show

Flack’s personal woes began when police were seen outside this Islington residence, where she lived with Burton, during the early hours of December 14 after reports emerged that a man had been attacked. 

Photographs of the Flack’s blood spattered front door emerged the day before. It was reported that Burton shouted ‘I was normal till I met her’ as she was arrested by police. 

Witnesses described ‘total chaos’ outside Flack’s home as police arrived to diffuse the situation with her boyfriend.

Flack was reportedly left in need of hospital treatment after accidentally cutting herself on broken glass during the incident.

Burton, who has been banned from contacting Flack, was recently forced to deny claims that the couple had split and that he had been texting another woman while she was on a recent trip to LA. 

Her death has sparked calls for ITV bosses to pull the plug on Love Island as it follows the suicides of two former contestants of the reality show.

If you have been affected by this story, you can call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org  

Sophie Gradon, 32, and Michael Thalassitis, 26, hanged themselves after going on Love Island 

Sophie Gradon, 32, from Newcastle. Died on 20 June, 2018

The former Love Island contestant hanged herself in her home in Newcastle after drinking  alcohol and taking cocaine two years following her appearance on the ITV2 show.

The former reality star and Miss Great Britain, 2009, was tragically found dead by her boyfriend Aaron Armstrong, who shared a picture of them together with the words: ‘I will never forget that smile I love you so so much baby your my world forever ever and always’.

Ms Gradon’s inquest heard the former contestant had been battling with crippling anxiety and depression in the months leading up to her death.

The inquest heard the last person she spoke to on the day of her death was friend Sondeep Gill, whom she told she was having ‘suicidal thoughts’ since the death of close friend Paul Burns, who had previously ‘saved her from suicide’.

Paying tribute to their daughter, her parents said in 2018: ‘Sophie spent an idyllic childhood in Gosforth, Newcastle, and then moved at the age of 10 to Ponteland in Northumberland.

‘Sophie told us she had just met someone new and had been on a lunch date with him.

‘She was excited at the prospect of starting a new relationship and it was her fullest intention to introduce us to him when the time was right.

‘At the time of Sophie’s sudden and tragic passing, she had only been involved with Armstrong for five weeks.’ 

The former Love Island star, right, was found by boyfriend Aaron Armstrong, left, who himself was found dead at home 20 days later

The former Love Island star, right, was found by boyfriend Aaron Armstrong, left, who himself was found dead at home 20 days later

The former Love Island star, right, was found by boyfriend Aaron Armstrong, left, who himself was found dead at home 20 days later

Miss Gradon was a former Miss Newcastle and competed in Miss Great Britain, pictured, in 2009

Miss Gradon was a former Miss Newcastle and competed in Miss Great Britain, pictured, in 2009

Miss Gradon was a contestant in the 2016 series of Love Island, coupling with barman Tom Powell and then glamour model Katy Salmon in the show's first same sex relationship

Miss Gradon was a contestant in the 2016 series of Love Island, coupling with barman Tom Powell and then glamour model Katy Salmon in the show's first same sex relationship

The former beauty pageant winner, left, competed on Love Island in 2016,right, and was involved in the show’s first same-sex coupling with Katy Salmon

Mike Thalassitis, 26, from North London. Died on 16 March 2019 

The former Love Island star hanged himself in a park near his home after his alcohol and cocaine binge.

Mr Thalassitis, 26, was found dead by a woman out jogging near his home in Edmonton, north London. He had left a harrowing note to his family in a  book next to his body which ‘clearly set out his intention that his life should come to an end’, his inquest heard.

His death was ruled a suicide after a toxicology report found he had taken a lethal amount of cocaine, alcohol and paracetamol before hanging  himself. 

His family paid tribute to the star as a ‘wonderful son and brother’. They attended his inquest along with all contestants on Love Island 2017.

Paying respect: Mr Thalassitis appeared on season three of Love Island in 2017 (pictured)

Paying respect: Mr Thalassitis appeared on season three of Love Island in 2017 (pictured)

Paying respect: Mr Thalassitis appeared on season three of Love Island in 2017 (pictured)

According to Montana Brown (pictured this morning), Mr Thalassitis had been in a 'dark place' in the months before he died

According to Montana Brown (pictured this morning), Mr Thalassitis had been in a 'dark place' in the months before he died

Mike Thalassitis left notes to his family before taking his own life

Mike Thalassitis left notes to his family before taking his own life

According to Montana Brown (pictured left this morning), Mike (right) had been in a ‘dark place’ in the months before he died

CAROLINE FLACK: A CALL FOR HELP?

 

Caroline Flack spoke often about her struggles, both in interviews and on social media. 

Caroline said, following her Strictly success: ‘Fame doesn’t make you happy’

STRICTLY CURSE? 

The Strictly Come Dancing 2014 winner has said that she felt depressed following her victory on the BBC show.

After she won the series along with professional partner Pasha Kovalev, she admitted that she felt like she was ‘being held together by a piece of string which could snap at any time’.

In an unearthed interview cited by the Daily Star following her death, Caroline claimed that, ‘It all started the day after I won Strictly. I woke up and felt like somebody had covered my body in clingfilm. I couldn’t get up and just couldn’t pick myself up at all that next year.’

She went on: ‘People see the celebrity lifestyle and assume everything is perfect, but we’re just like everyone else. Everyone is battling something emotional behind closed doors – that’s life.

Ignored? 'When I actually reached out to someone they said I was draining,' Caroline admitted in October 2019

Ignored? 'When I actually reached out to someone they said I was draining,' Caroline admitted in October 2019

Ignored? ‘When I actually reached out to someone they said I was draining,’ Caroline admitted in October 2019

‘Fame doesn’t make you happy.’

‘BEING A BURDEN IS MY BIGGEST FEAR’

In an Instagram post she uploaded on 14  October 2019 – to mark World Mental Health Day – Caroline captioned a photo of herself: ‘Some days it’s hard to write your feelings of your not in the right place.

‘The last few weeks I’ve been in a really weird place… I find it hard to talk about it… I guess it’s anxiety and pressure of life… and when I actually reached out to someone they said I was draining.

‘I feel like this is why some people keep their emotions to themselves. I certainly hate talking about my feelings. And being a burden is my biggest fear…

‘I’m lucky to be able to pick myself up when things feel s**t. But what happens if someone can’t. Be nice to people. You never know what’s going on. Ever.’ [sic] 

SOCIAL SILENCE

Signs of suicide? She liked tweets about calling The Samaritans over Christmas

Signs of suicide? She liked tweets about calling The Samaritans over Christmas

Signs of suicide? She liked tweets about calling The Samaritans over Christmas 

Caroline was told to stay off social media following her assault charge in December 2019.

However, she notably liked a string of tweets in the days afterwards, before Christmas, encouraging those feeling lonely over the holidays to seek help.

The tweets – posted by the likes of actress Sheridan Smith, journalist Stacey Dooley and comedian Luke Kempner – included the telephone number for The Samaritans’ suicide hotline.

She also posted to Instagram around the same time: ‘This kind of scrutiny and speculation is a lot to take on for one person to take on their own… I’m a human being at the end of the day and I’m not going to be silenced when I have a story to tell and a life to keep going with…

‘I’m taking some time out to get feeling better and learn some lessons from situations I’ve got myself into to. I have nothing but love to give and best wishes for everyone.’

SELF-HELP?

It was reported that Caroline had decided to write a book, during her recent time off.

‘Caroline has found the process incredibly cathartic,’ one of her friends told the Mail. ‘She wants it to be more than just a story about her. She wants to talk about the problems she’s encountered and how she’s overcome them.

‘She hopes to be able to help others who may be going through similar difficulties. Part self-help, part memoir is the style that Caroline is looking for.’

From CBBC star to household name: How Caroline Flack became one of the most famous faces on TV after landing I’m A Celeb job before earning army of fans by winning Strictly Come Dancing

By Laura Fox for MailOnline

Caroline Flack was the Love Island presenter who had a meteoric rise to fame, but lost her dream job just months before she was found dead aged 40.

The star first rose to prominence as a CBBC presenter in the mid 2000s, before landing a job as the host of The Xtra Factor in 2011.

After being crowned Strictly Come Dancing champion in 2014, Caroline landed the ultimate job as Love Island’s host in 2015, but stepped down late last year after she was arrested for assault.

Career: Caroline Flack was the Love Island presenter who had a meteoric rise to fame, but lost her dream job just months before she was found dead aged 40

Career: Caroline Flack was the Love Island presenter who had a meteoric rise to fame, but lost her dream job just months before she was found dead aged 40

Career: Caroline Flack was the Love Island presenter who had a meteoric rise to fame, but lost her dream job just months before she was found dead aged 40

Caroline grew up in Great Hockham near Norwich with her twin sister Jody, and gained a place at a Cambridge stage school aged just 16. 

She first rose to fame in the mid 2000s when she appeared on the CBBC series TMI with Sam Nixon and Mark Rhodes, and in 2008 took over from Kirsty Gallacher as the host of Gladiators. 

In 2009 the star landed the job as the host of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here Now! and in 2011 she joined forces with Olly Murs as the host of The Xtra Factor in replacement of Konnie Huq.

The pair took over as The X Factor’s main hosts in 2015, but were replaced by the returning Dermot O’ Leary following a mixed reaction from viewers.

TV star: She first rose to fame in the mid 2000s when she hosted the CBBC series TMI, and in 2008 (pictured) took over from Kirsty Gallacher as the host of Gladiators

TV star: She first rose to fame in the mid 2000s when she hosted the CBBC series TMI, and in 2008 (pictured) took over from Kirsty Gallacher as the host of Gladiators

TV star: She first rose to fame in the mid 2000s when she hosted the CBBC series TMI, and in 2008 (pictured) took over from Kirsty Gallacher as the host of Gladiators

Dynamic duo: In 2011 she took over as host of The Xtra Factor alongside Olly Murs (above in 2012) and they went onto present the main show in 2015

Dynamic duo: In 2011 she took over as host of The Xtra Factor alongside Olly Murs (above in 2012) and they went onto present the main show in 2015

Dynamic duo: In 2011 she took over as host of The Xtra Factor alongside Olly Murs (above in 2012) and they went onto present the main show in 2015

Caroline went on to earn a whole new army of fans when she was crowned the winner of Strictly Come Dancing in 2014 alongside professional partner Pasha Kovalev.

Four years later, she talked about the difficulties she faced after lifting the Glitterball Trophy, telling The Sun that she felt as though her body was ‘covered’ in ‘clingfilm’ the morning after her dancefloor triumph, adding that she felt ‘ridiculous’ feeling so low.

She added: ‘I couldn’t get up and just couldn’t pick myself up at all that next year.’

In March 2019, Caroline took part in an episode of Channel 4’s charity show The Great Celebrity Bake Off for Stand Up To Cancer alongside other celebrities including journalist Krishnan Guru-Murthy, actor Greg Wise and boxer Nicola Adams.

Caroline made her West End stage debut playing Roxie Hart in Chicago in 2018 having previously appeared on stage in a touring version of Crazy For You.

In 2015, she released an autobiography called Storm In A C Cup.

Aside from her career, Caroline’s love life has made headlines over the years thanks to romances with the likes of Harry Styles and Prince Harry.

In 2011, she was linked to One Direction star Harry, who had been on The X Factor the previous year, when he was 17 and she was 31.

Out: Caroline and Olly only hosted The X Factor for one series, but they were replaced by Dermot O'Leary after earning a mixed reaction from viewers

Out: Caroline and Olly only hosted The X Factor for one series, but they were replaced by Dermot O'Leary after earning a mixed reaction from viewers

Out: Caroline and Olly only hosted The X Factor for one series, but they were replaced by Dermot O’Leary after earning a mixed reaction from viewers

In her autobiography, Caroline went into detail about how she met Prince Harry on a night out in 2009 through mutual friend Natalie Pinkham after she had split with a boyfriend.

She said they ‘spent the evening chatting and laughing’, but ‘once the story got out, that was it. We had to stop seeing each other.

‘I was no longer Caroline Flack, TV presenter, I was Caroline Flack, Prince Harry’s bit of rough.’

Caroline became engaged to former Apprentice and Celebrity Big Brother star Andrew Brady in April 2018, but the pair split a few months later.

Most recently she had been in a relationship with former tennis player Lewis Burton.

But in December last year, Caroline denied assaulting him in an incident that left them both covered in blood in scenes likened to a ‘horror movie’.

The alleged incident saw Flack step down as host of the winter series of Love Island, after it was alleged she hit Burton, 27, over the head with a lamp, causing a head injury.

But former professional tennis player and model Lewis said he did not support the prosecution and insisted he was not a victim, Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court was told.

He spoke out in defence of Flack, saying she has become the subject of a ‘witch hunt’ following her arrest.  

Riding high: Caroline earned a new army of fans when she was crowned the winner of Strictly Come Dancing in 2014 alongside professional partner Pasha Kovalev

Riding high: Caroline earned a new army of fans when she was crowned the winner of Strictly Come Dancing in 2014 alongside professional partner Pasha Kovalev

Riding high: Caroline earned a new army of fans when she was crowned the winner of Strictly Come Dancing in 2014 alongside professional partner Pasha Kovalev

Bubbly, mischievous and admired by millions, Caroline Flack was a troubled romantic who never did find true love, writes KATIE HIND

By Katie Hind  for The Mail on Sunday

Caroline Flack took on the mantle of Cilla Black as Britain’s favourite matchmaker yet she was never able to find true happiness for herself. While Cilla relied on a sliding screen, puns and homespun contestants to dominate TV in the 1980s and 1990s with Blind Date, Caroline’s show – Love Island – was much more sexually charged, packed with highly visible wannabes with barely-there bikinis, spray tans and chiselled jaws.

What both Caroline and Cilla had in common was likeability – and millions of TV viewers tuned in.

On screen, Caroline was funny and mischievous and wore her heart on her sleeve. Off-screen she battled demons, driven in large part by an unfulfilled desire to find love and her looming court case, carrying with it the threat of prison.

She had found success relatively late in life. She did not become a household name until 2014 when she won Strictly Come Dancing, but Love Island propelled her to a different level.

It is perhaps unsurprising therefore that being forced to step aside for the current series of the ITV show – after being charged with beating her boyfriend Lewis Burton – was a hammer blow.

Caroline Flack and Andrew Brady. The pair got engaged in April 2018 after dating for three months

Caroline Flack and Andrew Brady. The pair got engaged in April 2018 after dating for three months

Caroline Flack and Andrew Brady. The pair got engaged in April 2018 after dating for three months

Caroline Flack and Pasha Kovalev were crowned the winners of BBC's Strictly Come Dancing in 2014

Caroline Flack and Pasha Kovalev were crowned the winners of BBC's Strictly Come Dancing in 2014

Caroline Flack and Pasha Kovalev were crowned the winners of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing in 2014

Her love life was complicated and often chaotic, yet she always insisted her search for ‘the one’ would continue.

‘Even though I’ve had ups and downs in my love life, I do still adore love,’ she said recently.

Early in her career, Caroline was romantically linked to Prince Harry, although she never confirmed the rumours.

In 2011, she began dating another Harry – Harry Styles, the One Direction singer. She was 32, he was 17 but she laughed off continuous teasing about dating such a young man.

She didn’t share the prevailing view that the relationship would not last and the pair moved in together.

Styles adored her fun-loving personality and lifestyle and she found him utterly handsome. Sadly, the pessimists were right and the relationship fizzled out.

In 2014-15, Caroline dated music manager Jack Street, but his work with chart-topping singer Sam Smith, which took him regularly to Hollywood while she was competing on Strictly, put a strain on the relationship.

They tried to move in together, but their romance ended when Street was rumoured to have grown close to Glee actress Dianna Agron.

Witty Caroline took to social media to write: ‘Fill yourself with GLEE Jack.’ She quickly deleted the message, though it indicates her often impulsive character.

There were always rumours that she and her X Factor co-star Olly Murs had secretly dated, though they both denied it.

Caroline's boyfriend Lewis Burton leaving Highbury Corner Magistrates Court in December

Caroline's boyfriend Lewis Burton leaving Highbury Corner Magistrates Court in December

Caroline’s boyfriend Lewis Burton leaving Highbury Corner Magistrates Court in December

Then Andrew Brady came along, a model 12 years her junior, and he soon moved into her London flat where she was found dead yesterday. Their relationship was turbulent, with regular rows. One report said Brady called police after she threatened to commit suicide. Finally, after taking advice from friends, she dumped him.

Next came Lewis Burton, a tennis player turned model, who at 27 was 13 years younger than Caroline. They met last August and she quickly fell in love with him.

Ever optimistic, she moved him into her bachelorette pad on the outskirts of trendy Islington. He remained there until the fateful night of December 12 when police were called in the early hours of the morning after the pair had enjoyed a meal with friends at Soho bar Bob Bob Ricard.

That was their last date and would be the last time they saw each other because, following a 999 call to police by Burton, Caroline was arrested on suspicion of assault.

Subsequent bail conditions meant they were unable to see one another or even communicate personally. Instead they used social media to share their love.

Caroline was extremely close to her family, particularly her twin sister Jodie. They both lived in London and spent much time together. Born and raised in what she described as the ‘middle of nowhere’ in Norfolk, Caroline’s first tilt at showbiz came when she sent a VHS video made on her dad Ian’s camcorder to talent agent John Noel.

She admitted to being ‘that girl’ at school who would persuade teachers to let her perform a dance routine in assembly, recruiting whoever in her music class was best at the keyboard to provide accompaniment.

After leaving school at 16 to attend a dance academy in Cambridge, she moved to London, aged 19, with the aim of acting, dancing or getting her name in lights. She landed a part in a 2001 film called Is Harry On The Boat? and would laugh about her one-scene role that she described as ‘the blonde who snogged Danny Dyer.’

Caroline Flack pictured with Jack Street. The pair dated for 18 months before breaking things off in 2014

Caroline Flack pictured with Jack Street. The pair dated for 18 months before breaking things off in 2014

Caroline Flack pictured with Jack Street. The pair dated for 18 months before breaking things off in 2014

In her autobiography Storm In A C Cup, she described how, after experiencing several knockbacks, she switched her dream to TV presenting. She recalled landing the role of presenter on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here Now! – a spin-off show supporting the main TV event – as the moment she felt she had ‘made it’ at the age of 30.

She also hosted ITV’s popular X Factor sister series The Xtra Factor in 2014 but after being unceremoniously dropped, the BBC offered her the chance to take part in that year’s series of Strictly Come Dancing.

She won – and her success alongside professional dancer Pasha Kovalev prompted X Factor mogul Simon Cowell to take her back – this time as host of the main show alongside Murs. The partnership only lasted one series – but then came her big break, when she landed Love Island.

Caroline was bubbly but tough as old boots when she needed to be. She rolled with the punches like nobody else I had ever met.

I remember once writing an opinion piece in a former job in 2014 where I was a little too critical about her departure from the Xtra Factor. Just a few weeks later I was having dinner in Soho club the Groucho when she arrived with a friend and carrying bags full of shopping. She sat down at a table opposite me and stuck her middle finger up at me.

She gave me a wink, I went over, we embraced and she said: ‘Don’t worry, Katie. I’m thick-skinned by now. You must know that. I have got no choice.’

To friends she was loyal – she would help anybody if she could. She was a giver, a person who wanted to put a smile on other people’s faces. A perfect example of this came when one of her closest friends celebrated her 40th birthday at the end of 2018.

Caroline had just joined the West End production of Chicago where she played the lead role of Roxie Hart, and had two weeks to get show-ready.

Her friend had long planned her celebrations in Margate and Caroline was gutted that she just couldn’t make it.

The birthday girl and the rest of the party fully understood, knowing Caroline would never miss a party if she didn’t have to.

However, at 11pm that night she turned up out of the blue, exclaiming: ‘I just couldn’t miss it!’

She stayed for two hours before getting a car home.

I last saw her in June at the House Festival at Kenwood House, North London. She was in a joyous mood, knocking back the vast array of drinks available and holding court with a bunch of journalists.

I will for ever remember her laughing – she had a loud giggle, and an equally loud voice.

Unlike many celebrities, she was an open book, she hid nothing from us and that’s why we loved her.

Her friend, the much-loved Love Island contestant Mike Thalassitis, had recently died and her beloved show was under attack, along with ITV. She was asked how she felt about the situation, and whether she thought the programme should be cancelled. She backed it to the hilt, insisting that it was her life.

How tremendously sad it is that perhaps a reason behind her tragic passing is that she was no longer allowed to be a part of it.

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Bondi Beach wave death: Russian DJ named as victim

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It was a late afternoon stroll which ended in tragedy.

A husband was killed – swept away while walking along rocks at Bondi Beach – while his wife was badly injured.

Watch the video above

Lifeguards said the couple – named as Russian DJ Andrei Ivanov and his wife Yulia – barely stood a chance against the monster wave which hit on Saturday.

The 47-year-old man drowned, while his 45-year-old wife was helped to safety after being swept into the surf.

 Russian DJ Andrei Ivanov.

“She was crying and shouting ‘My husband is inside the water’,” one witness told 7NEWS.

Experts aren’t sure if the man was knocked unconscious by the force of the wave, but he couldn’t be revived.

The tragedy prompted a warning by lifeguards.

The couple can be seen on the rocks in this footage.

“Avoid the rocks, stick to the beach, anything can happen… if you’re unsure about the conditions, come and talk to the lifeguards,” Waverley lifeguard Matt Du Plessis told 7NEWS.

NSW Ambulance duty operations manager Sally Groves said it was an “absolutely horrendous outcome”.

For more on 7NEWS.com.au

“Paramedics worked closely with other emergency services and did everything possible to try and save his life, but sadly he was unable to be saved,” Ms Groves added.

“No matter what you are doing near the water, please be vigilant – it is not worth risking your life.”

If you need help in a crisis, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For further information about depression contact beyondblue on 1300224636 or talk to your GP, local health professional or someone you trust.

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