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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 27 March 2019

Mike Thalassitis: 'Love Island' star found dead at 26

Thalassitis found fame on the 2017 series of 'Love Island'

'Love Island' star Mike Thalassitis has been found dead aged 26. Instagram / Mike Thalassitis
'Love Island' star Mike Thalassitis has been found dead aged 26. Instagram / Mike Thalassitis

Mike Thalassitis, who shot to fame on the 2017 series of British ITV television show, Love Island, has been found dead aged 26.

It has been reported that his body was found in woodland near his Essex, England home on Friday, March 15.

This follows the recent death of his grandmother, friend Danny Cutts and the breakdown of his relationship with The Only Way is Essex star Megan McKenna.

According to The Sun's Dan Wootton: "He was grieving the loss of his nan. She was 94 and he had moved in to live with her because she needed a full-time carer. He assured me he was fine and was excited about the launch of his shop."

Before finding TV fame, he played football for Margate Football Club.

On the 2017 series of Love Island, Thalassitis was portrayed as a villain and given the nickname "Muggy Mike". Many tributes have referred to him being very different to his television persona. One particularly poignant post comes from Love Island co-star, Chris Hughes, who wrote: "His name wasn’t Muggy Mike. Please stop brandishing that. His name was Mike Thalassitis, and every inch of my heart goes out to his family & friends. A good guy, taken far, far too soon."

"There was so much in store for his future that this is truly senseless," Wootton also went on to say. "Mike wasn’t the lad you saw on Love Island. He was tender and sensitive and vulnerable and desperate for true love. Rest in peace, mate. I will miss you."

Tributes to the Love Island star

Thalassitis' TV co-stars have paid tribute on social media. Love Island presenter, Caroline Flack, posted an image with him on Instagram, with the caption, "Mike ... you were a total gentleman ... I won’t forget that ... it’s so so sad ... you will be missed. RIP."

Many TOWIE stars have also posted their condolences, including Ferne McCann, Joey Essex and Mario Falcone.

Along with a posted photo, Falcone wrote: "Truly heartbroken by the news. He was always a complete gentleman. I know you had your struggles. A young man with so much life left to live. Please guys, if you are struggling, talk to someone... RIP brother".

Falcone wrote: "Truly heartbroken by the news. He was always a complete gentleman. I know you had your struggles. A young man with so much life left to live. Please guys, if you are struggling, talk to someone... RIP brother".

A post shared by Mario Falcone (@mariofalcone) on

Criticism of Love Island post-show support

Following the news of Thalassitis' death, Love Island star Dom Lever spoke out against the show, slamming it for its lack of support for the stars after leaving the series.

"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," Lever wrote.

This isn't the first death of a Love Island contestant. Star of the 2016 show, Sophie Gradon, 32, who was also Miss Great Britain, died in June 2018. Her death has since been described as "likely suicide". The inquest, which was scheduled for next week, was yesterday halted as new information was received.

The link between Gradon and Thalassitis's deaths has been made by some on Twitter:

Updated: March 17, 2019 10:57 AM

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