'Love Island' Star Mike Thalassitis Has Died Aged 26
'Love Island' star Mike Thalassitis has died aged 26, his management confirmed in a statement.
The reality TV star and former footballer was reportedly found dead in his hometown of Essex on Friday, according to the BBC.
Thalassitis rose to fame after appearing on the 2017 series of the popular UK dating series, Love Island. He had previously played semi-professionally for football clubs including St Albans and Chelmsford.
Reality stars and fans are mourning the sudden loss of Thalassitis on social media, including Love Island host, Caroline Flack.
"Mike... you were a total gentleman... I won’t forget that ... it’s so so sad ...you will be missed. RIP," Flack wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of her and Thalassitis at a party.
Thalassitis' Love Island co-star Jonny Mitchell wrote on Instagram that he was "heartbroken" after hearing the news.
"One of the best people I’ve ever known taken from us far too soon, I’m heartbroken and can’t put into words how much I’m gonna miss you bro!" Mitchell wrote.
Love Island stars Alex Bowen, Tyla Rose Carr and The Only Way Is Essex's Ferne McCann have also paid tribute to their friend on Twitter.
Although no cause of death has been confirmed, Thalassitis' former Love Island cast member, Dom Lever, has called out the lack of support that reality stars receive from networks after the cameras stop rolling.
"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," wrote Lever.
A spokesperson for ITV -- the network that produces Love Island -- has responded to the news, writing that "everyone at ITV2 and Love Island are shocked and saddened by this terrible news".
"Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with Mike's family and friends at this very sad time," the statement said.