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Monday 17th June 2019

Love Island fans call for show to be cancelled after Mike Thalassitis and Sophie Gradon’s deaths

Bosses have said they take aftercare of the contestants "very seriously"

Love Island fans have called for the show to be cancelled following the tragic deaths of Mike Thalassitis and Sophie Gradon.

Mike, 26, was found dead in woodland in North London on Saturday morning after taking his own life just nine months after Sophie's suspected suicide in June last year.

On Sunday, police confirmed Mike - who starred on the show in 2017 - died of suicide by hanging.

Mike was found dead at the weekend after taking his own life (Credit: ITV)

Read more: Final photo of Mike Thalassitis and his beloved nan before their deaths

Sophie, who was on the reality series in 2016, passed away at the age of 32 last year.

She was found dead at her home in Ponteland, near Newcastle. Her boyfriend Aaron Armstrong was found dead just 20 days later.

An inquest into Sophie's death has been postponed to allow her family to consider new information, as her parents now believe there is nothing to support claims that she died by suicide.

It was due to be held on Thursday but the hearing was postponed by the South Northumberland Coroner.

In a statement the coroner’s office said: "Sophie’s parents have requested further time to consider a report which was only recently received."

Sophie passed away last June (Credit: ITV)

Following the pair's deaths, fans have demanded the show be cancelled to save lives.

Taking to Twitter, one person said: "This show needs shutting down. Your aftercare is shocking. These contestants need your support. Doesn't matter if they came first or not. I find this show disappointing after hearing about it."

Another wrote: "Please cancel @loveisland moving forward. It makes for good TV but it does nothing good for the mental heath of participants or the viewers."

A third added: "I think they should cancel Love Island now. Too much pressure and not enough support for these young people who are probably not prepared for the sudden fame etc."

Meanwhile, former contestants have called for the show to offer better aftercare.

Dom Lever, who appeared on Love Island the same year as Mike, wrote on Twitter: "You get a psychological evaluation before and after you go on the show but hands down once you are done on the show you don’t get any support unless you’re number one."

Dom's wife Jess Shears, who appeared on the same run of the show, posted: "Shows offer you 'support' but realistically it's only while you are in their care.

"Minute you get home and are no longer making them money it's out of sight out of mind.

"There should be ongoing support and also financial advice. Life after these shows isn’t all it’s cracked up to be."

Malin Andersson, who appeared on the series in 2016, wrote a series of tweets. Her first read simply: "Wake up, Love Island."

Kady McDermott, who has appeared on both Love Island and The Only Way Is Essex, shared: "Hopefully going forward reality shows will help more with the aftermath of being on one, because I can say it definitely didn’t happen after my series when lots of us needed it."

Love Island bosses have since defended the show following criticism about its aftercare for contestants.

A statement read: "Care for our Islanders is a process the show takes very seriously and is a continuous process for all those taking part in the show.

The show said its care for the Islanders "is a process the show takes very seriously" (Credit: ITV)

Read more: Love Island bosses respond to criticism about reality TV stars' after-care

"We ensure that all of our Contributors are able to access psychological support before, during and after appearing on the show. The programme will always provide ongoing support when needed and where appropriate.

"We also discuss at length with all of our Islanders, before and after the show, how their lives might change and they have access to support and advice to help with this."

If you or someone you know are struggling with mental illness or suicidal thoughts, call the Samaritans on 116 123.

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