Dancing On Ice hosts pay emotional tribute to Caroline Flack

By Julia Hunt, PA Entertainment Correspondent

Phillip Schofield became emotional as he and Holly Willoughby opened Sunday night’s instalment of Dancing On Ice with a tribute to Caroline Flack.

The former Love Island presenter was found dead at the age of 40 at her home in east London on Saturday, after taking her own life.

Schofield opened the ITV show by saying: “We’d like to begin tonight’s show by taking a moment to remember Caroline Flack in light of yesterday’s awful news.

“We wanted to say that our hearts go out to her family and friends.”

Caroline Flack (Ian West/PA)

His co-host Willoughby added: “Many of us here on the show knew Caroline as a friend and we will all miss her enormously.

“As Caroline herself recently posted, in a world where you can be anything, be kind.”

There was another tribute to Flack later in the programme, when contestant Joe Swash took to the ice.

The actor, who was friends with Flack, sent love to her family as he said it had been a very tough day.

The episode saw the six remaining contestants perform for judges Ashley Banjo, Jayne Torvill, Christopher Dean and John Barrowman – before Maura Higgins was eliminated.

The former Love Island contestant received her marching orders after ending up in a skate-off against Libby Clegg and her professional partner Mark Hanretty following the public vote.

The judges then had to pick who to send home.

They were divided, with Banjo and Barrowman opting to keep Higgins in the competition and Torvill and Dean deciding that Clegg was the more promising skater.

In the end, as Dean was the head judge, Higgins was sent home.

Alexander Demetriou and Maura Higgins (Matt Frost/ITV)

The TV star was in tears as she was eliminated, saying: “I really did want to stay.”

Her professional partner Alexander Demetriou paid tribute to Higgins, saying she was “one of the greatest women” he had met.

Dancing On Ice airs on ITV and in Ireland on Virgin Media Television.