Laura was first recruited to present the series when the winter edition of the romance show aired in 2019 after Caroline – who took her own life at the age of 40 in February 2020 – stepped down from her hosting duties following an altercation in her home with her boyfriend Lewis Burton.
At the time, Caroline announced she would not take part in the series as she was due to stand trial over allegations she had assaulted Lewis – which she denied.
Following Caroline’s death, mother-of-one Laura – who is married to Love Island voiceover star Iain Stirling – was given the presenting role and this summer she fronted the much-loved show from Majorca.
And Caroline’s grief-stricken mum Christine has now shared that she has been able to tune into the reality show since Caroline’s death due to “the girl that’s taken her place.”
Christine explained that she cannot stand to see Laura “almost the same dress, in almost the same pose” as daughter Caroline.
“I haven’t watched Love Island since she died. Carrie loved that show, she loved the crew, she loved the contestants,” the grieving parent told The Sun.
“I watched Love Island because Carrie was in it. Now, it’s horrible when the advert comes up and the girl that’s taken her place is all in almost the same dress, in almost the same pose.”
Blasting ITV for not being respectful and tweaking the format after Caroline’s death, she added: “I think ITV2 could have done it a little differently. They could have done it out of respect. It’s all very well putting these films on saying, ‘Oh, we love Carrie blah blah blah’. But you know, just have a little bit of respect.”
Ahead of the 2021 summer series starting Laura paid tribute to Caroline on Instagram.
Sharing a promo shot of herself, she wrote: “I think we’re all ready for some love!
“So excited to watch the new islanders. Hope you enjoy talking about them and following their journey and just a reminder to treat them with love, compassion and respect when they leave the show and go back to real life.”
Laura added: “Caroline I hope we do you proud. One week to go!”
Dave Benett/Getty Images for EE)
Before her death, Caroline had touched on her mental health struggles publicly and urged her online followers to ‘be kind’ in a poignant Instagram post.
T-shirts printed with the message were sold and the money raised handed to mental health charities after Caroline tragically took her own life last year.
*If you’re struggling and need to talk, the Samaritans operate a free helpline open 24/7 on 116 123. Alternatively, you can email [email protected] or visit their site to find your local branch