Louise Redknapp remembered friend Caroline Flack as “a nugget of gold”, as she vowed to try to be her voice from now on.
Former Love Island presenter Flack was found dead at her home in east London on Saturday, after taking her own life. She was 40.
Redknapp posted an emotional message on Instagram paying tribute to the “kindest” and most “sincere” person she had become friends with in the entertainment industry.
“I’m not quite sure where to start with this it is so heartbreaking,” she wrote.
“Caroline when things were tough for me and you were going through equally such a tough time you reached out to me and it was so nice to have someone that had been there and been through the same emotions and feelings as me even though different circumstances.
“I always think it takes a certain soul to be able to reach out to someone who they don’t really know that well and speak from the heart but you did that for me and from that moment a close friendship was founded. I feel so proud that I was someone that you felt you could trust and that you could speak to at any time about anything.”
Redknapp went on: “I know what really mattered to you was being loved and being cared for and I just wish you could see how loved you were by so many people.
“You didn’t deserve any of this what has happened.
“You were the kindest, brightest fun and sincere friend I’ve met in this industry.
“You turned up to every show I ever did coming back in to the industry you helped me believe I could go back and do something I never thought I could do again. Whether it was a little DJ set, a west-end show or a music gig you were there being the brightest loudest biggest loyalest supporter.”
Redknapp said she and Flack “spoke often about the people we wanted to become about being strong women about not letting people hurt us about standing up for what we believe in and supporting each other”.
“And i’m gonna do my best to be that person that you and I spoke about,” she said.
“Im gonna try and do this for us for all the good things we said and the positive conversations we had you were an absolute star a nugget of gold.
“I feel really lucky to have had you as a friend, you were the girl that everybody wanted to be friends with and be in your corner on a night out. We would always have so much fun.
“I know this will be hard for everyone to come to terms with but all I can say is I will try and speak your messages, I will try and live by all the things that we spoke about and I will try to be your voice and best be person I can be for you.”
She finished the moving message by saying: “Caroline I was so proud to be your friend you were our girl!”
Olly Murs and Laura Whitmore were also among the friends of Flack to express their grief on social media.
Murs, who worked alongside Flack for several years on The X Factor and its spin-off show The Xtra Factor, said his heart was “forever broken” and that he would tell his children about her.
“We always said we was friends for life and trust me you will be with me forever….” he said.
He added: “My kids will know you, my grandkids will and then I’ll see you again, give you a huge hug, a huge kiss, get mic’d up and have you by my side again.
“This will hurt forever, love you cazza, Your Ols.”
Whitmore – who has known Flack for around 10 years and replaced her as host on the current series of Love Island – broke down as she remembered her “vivacious and loving” friend on her Sunday morning radio show.
Whitmore said that “anyone who knew Caroline knew she was vivacious, loving, and had a passion for life, which is why none of this makes sense”.
She said Flack “loved music, she loved to dance”.
“Caroline, I’m so sad for you, for your family,” said Whitmore. “I’m angry that you saw this as your only option as I know how much love and support you had. I’m sorry you didn’t know that.”
“I’m not sure when but I know I’ll see you on the dancefloor again,” she said.
Jonathan Ross was also among the many people from the world of entertainment and beyond remembering the TV star.
The presenter tweeted: “I am very sad to hear that Caroline Flack is dead.
“I had been in touch with her recently and had hoped she was doing better.
“She was talented and smart and likeable and she will he missed.
Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly wrote on their joint Twitter account: “We are both devastated to hear the news about Caroline Flack.
“It is beyond sad. Beyond words. So tragic.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with her family. Rest In Peace Caroline XX.”
Former Girls Aloud star Cheryl said Flack’s death was “just so utterly gut wrenchingly tragic”.
“I can’t even find my words. rest in peace Caroline,” she said on Instagram.
“I wish we could just be kinder.
“I wish we could just be open minded to each other and I wish we could be more understanding and mindful of one another and what issues people may be struggling with beneath the surface. We’re all human!”