Mike Thalassitis Dead: Love Island Responds To Aftercare Criticism From Former Stars

Many have claimed to have received a lack of support after leaving the show.

Love Island producers have insisted they take their duty of care to ex contestants “very seriously”, after many former stars criticised the lack of support they received after leaving the show.

Islanders including Dom Lever, Jessica Shears, Malin Andersson and Kady McDermott criticised bosses in the wake of Mike Thalassitis’ death over the weekend.

Mike Thalassitis was found dead on Saturday, at the age of 26
Mike Thalassitis was found dead on Saturday, at the age of 26
Dave J Hogan via Getty Images

The 26-year-old star was found dead in a park near Latymer Way, North London on Saturday morning. Police have since confirmed they are not treating his death as suspicious.

Following the news, Mike’s fellow Love Island stars urged the show to overhaul how they support participants amid the huge changes to their lives after they leave the villa.

Jessica Shears, who took part in the third series, claimed contestants were “out of sight, out of mind” the “minute you get home and are no longer making them money”.

Her husband, Dom Lever, added that while they received psychological evaluations before and after the show, they “don’t get any support unless you’re number one”.

Series two participant, Malin Andersson, also said she received no support from the team after the deaths of her mother and her daughter, adding: “Change needs to happen”.

As conversation about the issue continues online, with contestants from other reality shows also sharing their experiences with aftercare, Love Island bosses have now issued a statement on the matter.

They told HuffPost UK: “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.

“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.”

A rep for the show previously paid tribute to Mike, saying: “Everyone at ITV2 and Love Island are shocked and saddened by this terrible news. Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with Mike’s family and friends at this very sad time.”

It is not the first time former contestants have raised the issue of aftercare, as many criticised the show after series two contestant Sophie Gradon was found dead at the age of 32 last year.

Sophie Gradon was found dead last year after taking part in the second series of Love Island
Sophie Gradon was found dead last year after taking part in the second series of Love Island
Dominic Lipinski - PA Images via Getty Images

News of Mike’s death sent shockwaves through the showbiz world on Saturday night and many of his Love Island co-stars rushed to pay tribute.

The programme’s host, Caroline Flack, also shared her condolences with a post on Instagram.

“Mike, you were a total gentleman,” she wrote. “I won’t forget that ... it’s so so sad ...you will be missed. RIP.”

Mike was a late entry to the Love Island villa during the 2017 series, where he was briefly coupled up with Olivia Attwood.

After finding fame on the ITV2 series, Mike remained in the public eye and appeared on the 2018 series of Celebs Go Dating.

Prior to his reality TV appearances, Mike was a semi-professional footballer and played for numerous league and non-league clubs.

Useful websites and helplines:

  • Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393
  • Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.)
  • The Mix is a free support service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: help@themix.org.uk
  • Rethink Mental Illness offers practical help through its advice line which can be reached on 0300 5000 927 (open Monday to Friday 10am-4pm). More info can be found on www.rethink.org.
RIP Celebs: Stars We Lost In 2019