Love Island bosses have apparently decided to not pay an on-air tribute to reality star Mike Thalassitis at the beginning of season five.
The former contestant, who took part on the 2017 series alongside Chris Hughes, Kem Cetinay and Olivia Attwood, was found dead in the woods near North London in March.
It is believed that the 26-year-old tragically took his own life after his experience with mental health issues. The inquest into his death is scheduled for this month, so more information is incoming.
The Love Island producers have decided to honour Mike in a tribute on ITV’s on-demand service, which plays the 2017 series and will soon be available as a box-set.
An insider told The Sun: "It felt more appropriate to do it there." It was recently claimed that contestants will have to pass STI tests and mental health screenings to gain acceptance to the new series following Mike's death.
“Bosses want stars to be safe mentally and physically. Their biggest nightmare would be someone contracting an STI, so potential contestants must have several rounds of medical tests," the source continued.
"Advance sessions with counsellors and psychologists have been ramped up to ensure that everyone can handle the fame.They are prepared to cut potentially strong personalities from the line-up if there is any hint of mental instability."
The hugely popular TV dating show returns the first weekend of June with a brand new crop of hopefuls seeking love and fame.
The suicide of 2016 contestant Sophie Gradon last year has led to a major shake-up for the 2019 series, with safeguards to look after contestants being introduced.
Participants will now be given social media training and financial management advice as well.
The creative director of ITV Studios wrote in a statement on the new initiatives: “When something so awful happens we naturally enter a period of soul searching and ask whether anything could have been done."
“This review has led us to extend our support processes to offer therapy to all Islanders and not only those that reach out to us," he continued. Social media, mental health and reality tv appear to go hand-in-hand.
Richard Cowles insisted Mike's death had nothing to do with the show, but improvements had to be made: "The key focus will be for us to no longer be reliant on the Islanders asking us for support but for us to proactively check in with them on a regular basis.”
Dame Carolyn McCall, ITV’s chief executive, insisted it would be ‘extremely tenuous’ to link the show to his passing; "I don’t think anybody has made a direct link between what happened to Mike and ‘Love Island’ and that is very important to say."