Strictly fans in tears as show pays a moving tribute to late former champion Caroline Flack


Strictly Come Dancing  fans were left in tears on Saturday as the show paid an emotional tribute to late former champion Caroline Flack in the special episode, The Best Of… The Final.

Caroline, who tragically took her own life aged 40 in February 2020, won the competition back in 2014 with dance partner Pasha Kovalev.

And viewers tuning in couldn’t help but sob as the BBC dance show remembered the Love Island star’s best moments in the competition in a seven minute tribute.

Tribute: Strictly Come Dancing fans were left in tears on Saturday as the show paid an emotional tribute to late former champion Caroline Flack in the special episode, The Best Of… The Final

The special episode looked back at some of the most memorable moments throughout the years and featured interviews with past contestants, judges and professional dancers.

It then featured a moving segment about former winner Caroline, sharing some of her highlights including her sensational show dance and eventual win.

As the emotional scenes played out, heartbroken viewers to Twitter to praise the tribute as many revealed they were in tears, while one declared: ‘My heart just broke again.’

Champion: The special episode paid tribute to Caroline's Strictly journey and featured clips of her performances as well as moving comments from judges, pros and contestants

Champion: The special episode paid tribute to Caroline’s Strictly journey and featured clips of her performances as well as moving comments from judges, pros and contestants

‘Sat crying my eyes out at the #Strictly tribute for Caroline Flack’ tweeted one fan.

While another emotional watcher said: ‘I’m not crying- you’re crying, nicely done.’

‘#strictly showing Caroline Flack is making me absolutely sob’ remarked a third upset fan.

Emotional: Viewers tuning in couldn't help but sob as the BBC dance show remembered the Love Island star's best moments in the competition in a seven minute tribute

Emotional: Viewers tuning in couldn’t help but sob as the BBC dance show remembered the Love Island star’s best moments in the competition in a seven minute tribute

‘Caroline’s Tribute. Absolutely sobbing. miss her so much, it hurts’ shared a forth.

A fifth watcher heartbreakingly shared: ‘My heart has just broke again.’

With another adding: ‘The Caroline Flack tribute on Strictly has had me in floods of tears, such a beautiful person and dancer and it’s still so hard to believe that she’s no longer with us.’

In loving memory: Following the poignant scenes, the show ended with a picture memorial of the star

In loving memory: Following the poignant scenes, the show ended with a picture memorial of the star

Following the poignant scenes, the show ended with a picture memorial of the star.

The presenter became the first celebrity to score a perfect 40 out of 40 for all three of her final dances.

During the tribute, professional dancers and judges alike shared their memories of Caroline. 

Natural dancer: Caroline, who tragically took her own life aged 40 in February 2020, won the competition back in 2014 with dance partner Pasha Kovalev (above)

Natural dancer: Caroline, who tragically took her own life aged 40 in February 2020, won the competition back in 2014 with dance partner Pasha Kovalev (above)

Dance icon: The show featured a moving segment about former winner Caroline, sharing some of her highlights including her sensational show dance and eventual win. (pictured 2014)

Dance icon: The show featured a moving segment about former winner Caroline, sharing some of her highlights including her sensational show dance and eventual win. (pictured 2014)

Special: Host Claudia Winkleman described her as a champion 'who stands out amongst them all' while Tess Daly said: 'She lit up the Strictly ballroom every single week'

Special: Host Claudia Winkleman described her as a champion ‘who stands out amongst them all’ while Tess Daly said: ‘She lit up the Strictly ballroom every single week’

Judge Bruno Tonioli broke down in tears as he said of Caroline: ‘She was such fun and great to be with.

‘She really was a joy. We will always love Caroline and we will never forget her.’

He then blew a kiss to camera and added: ‘We love you, my love.’

Her Strictly dance partner Pasha said his time with Caroline ‘will always hold a special place in my heart’, praising the star’s ‘beautiful’ dance ability.  

Emotional: Pasha and Caroline's most memorable dances also featured in the special, including their show dance to Beverley Knight's version of Angels

Emotional: Pasha and Caroline’s most memorable dances also featured in the special, including their show dance to Beverley Knight’s version of Angels

Host Claudia Winkleman described her as a champion ‘who stands out amongst them all’ while Tess Daly said: ‘She lit up the Strictly ballroom every single week.’ 

Fellow pro dancer Janette Manrara said: ‘The highlight was her show dance.

‘You could feel she was lost in the moment. As a performer you can’t ask for more. It is a memory I hold close to my heart.

‘I think overall she would have said her Strictly journey was magical. I’m so happy she was able to pick up that glitterball and win.’   

Memories: During the tribute, professional dancers and judges alike shared their memories of Caroline

Memories: During the tribute, professional dancers and judges alike shared their memories of Caroline

Judge Craig Revel Horwood said: ‘She could turn her hand to any style of dance and be incredible.

‘To perform three dances in the final to that level is phenomenal.’ 

Craig also told The Mirror that it was tough for him to make it through watching back the tribute without shedding a few tears. 

He said: ‘I found it really difficult [to film]. When it came to the tribute to Caroline, it was so heartbreaking. I was just thinking how amazing she was as a dancer, and she also came on tour with us so I got to know her quite well.’

Dynamic duo: Her Strictly dance partner Pasha said his time with Caroline 'will always hold a special place in my heart', praising the star's 'beautiful' dance ability'

Dynamic duo: Her Strictly dance partner Pasha said his time with Caroline ‘will always hold a special place in my heart’, praising the star’s ‘beautiful’ dance ability’

He added: ‘She was just such a beautiful, beautiful woman and dancer. It was just heart-wrenching, and I found it really difficult to talk about her without welling up, I really did.’ 

Pasha and Caroline’s most memorable dances also featured in the special, including their showdance to Beverley Knight’s version of Angels.    

MailOnline has contacted Strictly representatives for comment.

Much missed: Judge Bruno Tonioli broke down in tears as he says of Caroline: 'She was such fun and great to be with

Much missed: Judge Bruno Tonioli broke down in tears as he says of Caroline: ‘She was such fun and great to be with

Praise: Judge Craig Revel Horwood said: 'She could turn her hand to any style of dance and be incredible'

Praise: Judge Craig Revel Horwood said: ‘She could turn her hand to any style of dance and be incredible’

TV presenter Caroline was found dead on February 15, the day after hearing the Crown Prosecution Service would go ahead with a trial for allegedly attacking her model and former tennis player boyfriend Lewis Burton, 27, in December. 

Her death was ruled a suicide in an inquest in August this year, with coroner Mary Hassell, saying: ‘The key decision for me to make is whether Caroline took her own life. I have to be satisfied she acted in a way so as to cause her death, and secondly that she intended to cause her death.

‘In Caroline’s case I am entirely satisfied she intended to cause her own death. She hanged herself. She had only one expectation – her own death. There’s no doubt in my mind at all.’

The coroner said Flack had experienced ‘fluctuating ill health’ and was ‘distressed’ at the thought of facing a trial.

Emotion: Fellow pro dancer Janette Manrara said: 'The highlight was her show dance (pictured 2019)

Emotion: Fellow pro dancer Janette Manrara said: ‘The highlight was her show dance (pictured 2019)

Amazing: 'You could feel she was lost in the moment. As a performer you can't ask for more. It is a memory I hold close to my heart'

Amazing: ‘You could feel she was lost in the moment. As a performer you can’t ask for more. It is a memory I hold close to my heart’

She said: ‘Caroline had fluctuating mental ill health, she had had struggles in the past.

‘She had had difficulties. In spite of the fact she may have led – to some – a charmed life, actually the more famous she got the more some of these difficulties increased – she had to deal with the media in a way most of us don’t.

‘It was played out in the national press – and that was incredibly difficult for her. She faced the prospect of not working in the job she loved, losing a great deal.

‘I find the reason for her taking her life was she now knew she was being prosecuted for certainty, and she knew she would face the media, press, publicity – it would all come down upon her. To me, that’s it in essence.’

Flack’s mother, Christine, wept as she told the coroner over video-link: ‘I totally agree, I think you got it spot on.

‘We know you are not allowed to say certain things and it’s up to us if we want to take it any further, and we don’t. You’re spot on.’

Concluding, the coroner recorded a death of suicide caused by hanging.

Mrs Hassell said: ‘Caroline hanged herself at home on the morning of February 15 because of an exacerbation of fluctuating ill health and distress.’     

If you have been affected by this story, you can call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org 

RIP: Love Island host Caroline was found dead on February 15, the day after hearing the Crown Prosecution Service would go ahead with a trial for allegedly attacking her model and former tennis player boyfriend Lewis Burton, 27, in December

RIP: Love Island host Caroline was found dead on February 15, the day after hearing the Crown Prosecution Service would go ahead with a trial for allegedly attacking her model and former tennis player boyfriend Lewis Burton, 27, in December

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