It wasn’t only media attention that Caroline Flack had to deal with, but also trolls. After her death, there were calls from MPs for networks like Twitter to do more to prevent harassment. Laura is very active on social media and posts videos of her BBC 5 Live show. How does she filter out the negativity? ‘There’s a lot of anger out there,’ she says, ‘and often the worst thing people will say about you is something you’ve already thought about yourself, so that can be really hard.’
For Laura, it’s a case of blocking the trolls and curating her feed. ‘Social media has become a nicer place in lockdown,’ she says. ‘People are posting creative content and trying to help each other. So it’s not all bad, but just acknowledge that you’re never going to please everyone,’ she shrugs.
WhatsApp groups have been a lifeline for Laura in lockdown. When I ask about her favourites, she picks up her phone, grinning. ‘What have I got? There’s The LIC, which is the London Irish Crew, I think Niall Horan’s in there. There’s a group for Mick [their maltipoo], for when we need help with the dog. And there’s one called Therapy, which is my friends Alex and Ryan. If one of us is feeling down, we use that group to get positive energy from the other two. Luckily we never all feel down at the same time.’
She’s frank about the fact that lockdown has treated her quite well, actually. ‘I talk to my mum more, which is really nice. She’s in Ireland and had never used FaceTime before lockdown. Now she won’t bloody stop FaceTiming me.’ I wonder what it’s like to live with the voice of Love Island – does he ever do a comedy narration of their daily life? ‘Oh, that would be horrific!’ she shrieks. ‘It’s been nice to see more of him, because he usually has a lot of stand-up gigs, and I’m up early for radio or shoots, so we’d be passing in the night.’
Post-Love Island, would she and Iain like to work together on anything else? ‘We never actually worked a day together on Love Island,’ she reveals. ‘We had separate hotel rooms in Cape Town because he worked from 1pm to 9pm, and I wouldn’t go into the villa until about 1am when the voting comes in. To be honest with you, we’d be cautious about working together properly because it would be… a lot.’
Can she confirm that summer Love Island will be back this year? ‘I have been told that it’s coming back,’ she grins. There have been reports that islanders will enter a Covid-secure set in Mallorca in July. And anyone thinking she might take this series off as maternity leave has underestimated her. ‘I love doing it, it’s such a fun show,’ she says. ‘And I actually think it’s been good to have had that break, for everyone who works on it, because we all went through a loss. It’s nice to realise how much people missed the show. Apparently applications are crazy this year. Let’s just pray the vaccines kick in.’
And if none of the 20-somethings who make up Love Island’s contestant pool have been vaccinated yet? ‘I’ve got a friend who jokes we should do Love Island Extra Baggage, with people who have ex-husbands and kids,’ she laughs. ‘Maybe if it’s only the older people that have been vaccinated, we’ll do that.’
‘No One Can Change Your Life Except For You’ by Laura Whitmore (Orion, £14.99), is out on 4 March.
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