Reality shows have duty to care says minister after death of Love Island’s Mike
Reality TV stars from Merseyside paid tribute on social media this weekend after the death of Love island’s and today Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he was ‘very worried’ about the mental health support provided to reality TV show stars.
Mike was just 26-year-old, and was thrown into the spotlight following his appearance on the ITV dating show, he was found dead in a north London park on Saturday morning.
Cabinet minister Matt Hancock said he was “moved” by the news and “very worried” about the mental health support provided to reality TV show stars.
Speaking on Monday at The Spectator Health Summit, in central London, Mr Hancock said: “I am very worried about the support for the mental health of contestants on reality TV shows.
“The sudden exposure to massive fame, I suppose, can have significant impacts on people and I think that it is a duty on any organisation that is putting people in the position of making them famous overnight, that they should also look after them afterwards.
“I think that people need to take responsibility for their duties to people’s well being very seriously.”
Adele Roberts who was a contestant on Big Brother reflected on her time after being evicted from the show.
The producers of Big Brother told me they were happy I was being evicted instead of Jade because I could cope with it better than she could.
Gee thanks guys!
We didn’t even have social media then. I can’t imagine what today’s contestants go through. Thinking of Mike & his family https://t.co/nRgxdiFHe3
— Adele Roberts (@AdeleRoberts) 17 March 2019
Thalassitis, who was of Cypriot descent, appeared on the 2017 series of Love Island.
His death is not being treated as suspicious.
He earned the nickname “Muggy Mike” after partnering with fellow islander Chris Hughes’s girlfriend Olivia Attwood.
Rebecca Jane also appeared on Big Brother and had this to say.
I’m heartbroken for #MikeThalassitis but I’m angry too!
I’ve been ranting for a year about how reality TV fails mental health. Nearly a year since @sophiegradon and bosses have learnt NOTHING!
What will it take before they contact every person in the last 5 years & offer help?
— Rebecca Jane (@LadyDetectives1) 17 March 2019
Jonny Mitchell, who also starred in the 2017 series, told BBC Radio 5 Live on Monday that many people struggle to return to normal life after appearing on the dating programme.
“If you come off one of the biggest shows on TV, you can’t go back to working in Tesco, it would be almost impossible, so it creates a lot of stress and a lot of strain on people,” he said.
“I know a lot of people who have come off the show who have suffered with depression.”
He added: “To come off a show that’s that big, to be tossed out into the world with no help, no guidance, no anything, it’s a massive shock and then you start thinking, ‘well, I’m famous, but what do I do next?’
“How do I move forward? How do I feed this lifestyle? How am I going to do anything that’s going to keep me going?”
In June last year, former Love Island contestant Sophie Gradon was also found dead at her home in Ponteland, Northumberland.
An inquest into the death of the 32-year-old, which was to be held on Thursday, has been postponed to allow her family to consider new information.
Miss Gradon starred in the second series of Love Island in 2016 and was a former Miss Great Britain.
A statement from Love Island, read out on BBC Radio 5 Live, said: “Care for our islanders is a process the show takes very seriously and is a continuous process for all those taking part in the show.
“We ensure that all of our contributors are able to access psychological support before, during and after appearing on the show.
“The programme will always provide ongoing support when needed and where appropriate.
“We also discuss at length with all of our islanders before and after the show how their lives might change, and they have access to support and advice to help with this.”