Olly Murs says X Factor backlash was Caroline Flack’s downfall: ‘The abuse was awful’

Caroline Flack: Olly Murs gets emotional in teaser clip

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In a one-off Channel 4 documentary titled Caroline Flack: Her Life and Death, several of the presenter’s close friends and family share their fond memories of the late Love Island star as they discuss the internal struggles she endured leading up to her suicide in February 2020.

The documentary, which airs on Wednesday, will see Olly opening up for the first time about the negative reaction they both received when they started hosting together.

Speaking about his time with Caroline presenting The Xtra Factor, Olly began: “I walked in for the first time and thought, ‘Wow she is stunning, gorgeous and she was full of life.’

“At the time I was single and I think she was and straight away this chemistry came out of nowhere.

“It was exciting, everyone was talking about us like we were the next Richard and Judy, the next Ant and Dec, that’s why the show was such a success and the fact that everybody thought that we were together.”

In 2015, Caroline and Olly received a call from Simon Cowell, promoting them to host the main X Factor show.

In an unexpected re-vamp, Simon decided to replace regular host Dermot O’Leary with the dynamic duo.

Although, Olly believes this is when things started to spiral for Caroline.

“It should have been the most amazing experience of our lives,” The Voice coach explained. “But, it ended up being our downfall really.”

Olly added: “After the first two or three shows, we got it from all angles. ‘This show is good but it’s missing something, it’s missing Dermot’ and all of a sudden you’re just boom, beaten up again.

“It was constant for 10 weeks, it was always, ‘What are the media going to say now? What have people said on Twitter now?’

“The abuse she was getting, it was awful.

“Them comments did affect her every day, the comments did hurt.”

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The Troublemaker singer went on to explain that during the final of their first series of hosting The X Factor, they found out they had been axed from the show.

He explained: “I remember the final of The X Factor there was a big story and basically, we were getting sacked after the show.

It was an awful experience knowing that everyone hated us on the show. 

That X Factor experience for both of us was hard. But again Caroline, God, she got it so much more than me. I don’t know what it was.”

Elsewhere in the documentary, Polly Hill, who was Caroline’s agent between 2003 and 2015, said she tried to get Caroline off social media.

“We did try quite hard to try and wean her off social media but actually I don’t think we ever really got a handle on that, unfortunately,” she explained in the documentary.

 “It was slightly destroying her, I would say.

“She was suffering basically and then when you did see her face to face, nothing would get mentioned it would be a, ‘Yeah I’m fine’ whereas obviously, she wasn’t fine.”

If you or someone you know has been affected by this story, Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. Alternatively, you can find more information on the Samaritans website here.

Caroline Flack: Her Life & Death airs on Channel 4 on Wednesday at 9pm.

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