ENTERTAINMENT
11/10/2020 10:12 BST | Updated 11/10/2020 10:13 BST

Strictly Come Dancing's Caroline Flack Tribute Moves Viewers To Tears

"We saw how she transformed into that beautiful dancer," her partner Pasha Kovalev recalled. "A dancer with a big heart on her sleeve."

Strictly Come Dancing fans were moved to tears by an emotional tribute to Caroline Flack during a highlights show which aired on Saturday night.

In the lead-up to this year’s Strictly launch, the BBC has been showing celebrations of past performances in specially-curated highlights show, with Saturday night’s focussing on the best moments from finales gone by.

This included a celebration of former winner Caroline Flack – who died by suicide earlier this year – including tributes from those who knew and worked with her.

BBC
Caroline Flack and Pasha Kovalev in their show-stopping final routine

“For me, Caroline was one of the best, best dancers we’ve ever had come into Strictly Come Dancing,” professional dancer Janette Manrara recalled. “Whenever she was around you, you couldn’t help but smile.”

Through tears, she continued: “There was just something about Caroline [on the night of the Strictly final]. She was beaming and so for it to just culminate in that one moment…what an amazing moment for her.

“Watching her do that showdance and just how beautiful she looked in white is a memory I’m going to hold really close to my heart forever and ever.”

Caroline’s dance partner Pasha Kovalev agreed: “We saw how she transformed into that beautiful dancer. A dancer with a big heart on her sleeve.”

He added that the moment he and the star won the show “such an incredible experience” that “will always hold a special place in my heart”

BBC
Pasha Kovalev pays tribute to Caroline Flack

Long-serving judge Bruno Tonioli said: “I love Caroline, she was such fun. Great to be with, I mean she really was a joy.

“We will always love Caroline and we will never forget her. We love you, my love.”

The show ended with a dedication to Caroline’s memory.

BBC
The show was dedicated to Caroline's memory

Viewers praised the touching tributes on social media, with many revealing that they were crying as they watched:

After winning Strictly in 2014, Caroline hosted The X Factor alongside Olly Murs, as well as the revival of Love Island, which went on to become the presenting job she was most known for. She died in February, at the age of 40.

Rewatch Caroline and Pasha’s showdance below:

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).

CALM (the Campaign Against Living Miserably) offer a helpline open 5pm-midnight, 365 days a year, on 0800 58 58 58, and a webchat service.

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 (Monday to Friday 10am-4pm). More info can be found on rethink.org.