Stars of popular ITV2 show Love Island have come together to pay tribute to their co-star Mike Thalasstis after he was tragically found dead in a woodland in North London aged just 26.
The cause of his death is not yet known and police are yet to release any information.
According to The Sun, the former footballer, who starred on the 2017 series of the show alongside Olivia Attwood and Kem Cetinay and was affectionally given the nickname 'Muggy Mike' from Chris Hughes, was struggling to come to terms with the recent deaths of his grandmother and best friend Danny Cutts.
Show host Caroline Flack led the many tributes, writing on Instagram that he was a “total gentleman.”
Montana Brown, who appeared alongside Mike, echoed Caroline and insisted that he was falsely portrayed on TV.
She told BBC: "Mike was so misunderstood - on television he was known as playing the ladies and everyone had this perception that he was this classic lad that didn't have feelings.
"I can honestly say, Mike was thoughtful, caring, and so fiercely loyal to his friends and family and really would do anything for them.”
However, while many sent their condolences and expressed their shock at the news, some former stars voiced that they believe a lot more could be done to support the stars when the show is over and the bubble has burst.
Megan Barton Hanson, who was given the similar 'villian' treatment as Mike in the 2018 series, wrote on her Instagram story: “I'm in utter shock my heart goes out to Mikes family and friends. I have no words, I didn't know him personally but can relate to the shit he got based on pantomime press and bullshit headlines. So sad young people get vilified, every thing we do played out for people's entertainment. There clearly needs to be more support. Taken far too soon.”
Dom Lever, who was embroiled in a love triangle with Mike and his now wife Jessica Shears on the show, also called out the show for only offering the contestants one “psychological evaluation” before going into the villa.
He also claimed that it's only “the winners who get looked after” when the show wraps and the contestants have to adapt to a whole new life on the outside.
“You get a psychological evaluation before and after you go on the show but hands down once you are done on the show you don’t get any support unless you’re number one,” he tweeted.
Actress Sheridan Smith also shared her thoughts and stated that “this should be a massive wake up call.”
“I feel sick, reach out, sometimes to the most confident friend. we can only learn & try to change.”
Our thoughts are with Mike's family and friends.
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