CAROLINE Flack was a "complicated person" says her former Xtra Factor co-star Matt Richardson.
The comedian, 28, has described the tragic star as "kind, loyal and savvy" but revealed that negative comments from trolls on Twitter could ruin her whole night when they worked together.
Matt took over from Olly Murs to co-host the X Factor spin-off show in 2013 with Caroline.
"It's such a shame that it ended the way it did. I always thought she was dealing with it all, but obviously not," he told the Almost Famous podcast following her death by suicide earlier this month.
He continued: "She was a complicated person. She was very loyal, she was super kind."
Matt revealed that Caroline would scroll through Twitter reading trolls' comments during the ad breaks.
"You're getting 50,000 tweets a night, you really become obsessed with it. It's really easy to get stuck in," he said.
"Even back then I would really disagree with her with it because as soon as the break happened, she would be on her phone and looking.
"Whereas I would never bring my phone in, 'I'll do the show and then look'.
"Caroline always found it and it would really ruin her night, even if we had a great show."
He added: "It was frustrating, she's always had a thick skin, but there's only so much you can take before it wears you down."
Simon Cowell axed the show in an ITV shake-up in 2017 but the pair remained firm friends and Matt was often invited on Love Island's spin-off Aftersun.
After her death, he wrote on Instagram: "Caz was a very significant part of my life. I hadn’t seen her in a while and I’m now regretting that hugely.
"When I first started in telly she took me under her wing and defended me and protected me fiercely.
"She didn’t feel like a friend, she felt like a big sister.
"We laughed, we fought, we had so many inside jokes I can’t even list them all.
"She was always there, and rescued me from the depths of terrible relationships.
YOU'RE NOT ALONE
EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.
It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.
It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.
And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.
Yet it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.
That is why The Sun launched the You're Not Alone campaign.
The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.
Let's all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others.
You're Not Alone.
If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:
- CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
- Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
- Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
- Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
- Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123
"The thing that I will miss is her laugh and how making her laugh made me feel. I don’t think I can get my head around her not being here.
"She was the most fun, she always made me feel like I was the best me. And she was always someone I thought I’d have to speak to, to laugh with forever.
"I’m gutted. I was proud to be her friend, and I hope I made her proud to be mine."
- If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, please call the Samaritans for free on 116123
Moving tribute paid to Caroline Flack in Love Island finale
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