News, Culture & Society

Reality TV’s death toll revealed: 38 stars suspected to have taken their own lives

Thirty-eight reality TV contestants are suspected to have taken their own lives since 1986, it has been revealed. 

The worldwide total includes two Love Island stars, Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis, who have died within the last nine months. 

Love Island’s bosses have vowed to overhaul their ‘aftercare’ policy as TV executives face scrutiny over the support given to their stars. 

The shocking toll of feared suicides, compiled by The Sun on Sunday, includes TV stars from Britain, America, France, Australia and India among others. 

Sophie Gradon

Former Love Island stars Mike Thalassitis, left, and Sophie Gradon, right, have both ended their own lives within the last year 

Thalassitis, 26, a semi-professional footballer, was found dead in north London on March 16. 

Sophie Gradon, 32, appeared on season two of the reality show in 2016 and was found dead in June last year.

Following their deaths, Love Island producers said ‘bespoke training’ will be offered to all future contestants.

The show said it will also offer support to all Love Island contestants rather than just those who ask for it.

The care will focus on helping contestants with social media and financial management after achieving overnight fame on Love Island, which has become a cultural phenomenon attracting millions of voters each season. 

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he was ‘very worried about the support for mental health’ for reality TV stars.

‘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,’ Mr Hancock said. 

‘I think that people need to take responsibility for their duties to people’s well being very seriously.’ 

Not pictured here are Sinisa Savija of Survivor; Rachel Brown of Hell’s Kitchen; Cheryl Kosewicz of Pirate Master; James Terrill of Supernanny; Paula Goodspeed of American Idol; Melanie Bell of Vegas Elvis; Kellie McGee of Extreme Makeover; and Thierry Costa of Survivor. 

For confidential support in the UK call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see for details. 

For confidential support in the United States call the National Suicide Prevention Line on 1-800-273-8255.  

For confidential support in Australia call the Lifeline 24-hour crisis support on 13 11 14.  

Lex McAllister, The Bachelor

Dixon McGlohon, Wicked Tuna

Lex McAllister, The Bachelor (left); Dixon McGlohon, Wicked Tuna (right)

Pratyusha Banerjee, Bigg Boss

Anastasia Tarasyuk, House 2

Pratyusha Banerjee, Bigg Boss (left; Anastasia Tarasyuk (right)


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