Strictly’s Pasha Kovalev pays a moving tribute to late former champion Caroline Flack

Pasha Kovalev paid an emotional tribute to Caroline Flack during an appearance on Thursday’s Lorraine.

The ballroom dancer, 40, gushed about the late former champion, who tragically took her own life aged 40 in February 2020.

Caroline won the competition back in 2014 with Pasha, and he said she ‘absolutely deserved’ to take the Glitterball trophy.

‘She put absolutely everything into the dancefloor’: Strictly’s Pasha Kovalev paid a moving tribute to late former champion Caroline Flack on Thursday’s Lorraine (pictured in 2014)

Pasha gushed: ‘I absolutely loved dancing with Caroline. We brought something to the show when we were competing. 

‘She absolutely deserved to win the show that year she put absolutely everything into the dancefloor.’

During her time on the show, Caroline became the first celebrity to score a perfect 40 out of 40 for all three of her final dances.  

Sweet: Caroline won the competition back in 2014 with Pasha, and he gushed 'I absolutely loved dancing with Caroline. We brought something to the show when we were competing'

Sweet: Caroline won the competition back in 2014 with Pasha, and he gushed ‘I absolutely loved dancing with Caroline. We brought something to the show when we were competing’

Gushing: Pasha added, 'She absolutely deserved to win the show that year she put absolutely everything into the dancefloor' (pictured in 2014)

Gushing: Pasha added, ‘She absolutely deserved to win the show that year she put absolutely everything into the dancefloor’ (pictured in 2014)

Pasha, who is married to Rachel Riley, also spoke about their daughter Maven and said of parenting: ‘I don’t find it scary at all. I find it absolutely fantastic I never knew what to expect. Being a father is the best thing that can happen to me.

‘We’re dancing a little bit already, she probably will dance before she can walk.’

Pasha also said of returning to the show this year: ‘We haven’t started yet, we will in a couple of days actually. It’s really, really exciting.

Fatherhood: Pasha, who is married to Rachel Riley, also spoke about their daughter Maven and said of parenting: 'I don't find it scary at all. I find it absolutely fantastic'

Fatherhood: Pasha, who is married to Rachel Riley, also spoke about their daughter Maven and said of parenting: ‘I don’t find it scary at all. I find it absolutely fantastic’

Sweet: Pasha said of his daughter, 'We're dancing a little bit already, she probably will dance before she can walk'

Sweet: Pasha said of his daughter, ‘We’re dancing a little bit already, she probably will dance before she can walk’

‘We have recorded some group numbers already. We all can’t wait to dance again and to dance on the Strictly floor really the whole country can’t wait, we really do need joy that strictly brings for us.’ 

Strictly Come Dancing will pay an emotional tribute to Caroline in the special episode, The Best Of… The Final.  

The episode, which will air Saturday on BBC One, will feature the best moments from the 17 series of the show, and include a seven minute tribute to Caroline’s time in the competition, with emotional words from Strictly dancers and the judges.

Dance icon: Strictly Come Dancing will pay tribute to late former champion Caroline in the upcoming special episode, The Best Of... The Final (pictured 2014)

Dance icon: Strictly Come Dancing will pay tribute to late former champion Caroline in the upcoming special episode, The Best Of… The Final (pictured 2014)

Judge Bruno Tonioli breaks down in tears as he says of Caroline: ‘She was such fun and great to be with.

‘She really was a joy. We will always love Caroline and we will never forget her.’

He then blows a kiss to camera and adds: ‘We love you, my love.’

Her Strictly dance partner Pasha says his time with Caroline ‘will always hold a special place in my heart’, praising the star’s ‘beautiful’ dance ability.  

Natural dancer: Caroline, who tragically took her own life aged 40 in February 2020, won the competition back in 2014 with dance partner Pasha (above)

Natural dancer: Caroline, who tragically took her own life aged 40 in February 2020, won the competition back in 2014 with dance partner Pasha (above)

Host Claudia Winkleman describes her as a champion ‘who stands out amongst them all’ while Tess Daly said: ‘She lit up the Strictly ballroom every single week.’ 

Fellow pro dancer Janette Manrara said: ‘The highlight was her showdance.

‘You could feel she was lost in the moment. As a performer you can’t ask for more. It is a memory I hold close to my heart.

‘I think overall she would have said her Strictly journey was magical. I’m so happy she was able to pick up that glitterball and win.’   

Judge Craig Revel Horwood says: ‘She could turn her hand to any style of dance and be incredible.

‘To perform three dances in the final to that level is phenomenal.’

Pasha and Caroline’s most memorable dances will also feature in the special, including their showdance to Beverley Knight’s version of Angels.   

Emotional: Pasha and Caroline's most memorable dances will also feature in the special, including their showdance to Beverley Knight's version of Angels

Emotional: Pasha and Caroline’s most memorable dances will also feature in the special, including their showdance to Beverley Knight’s version of Angels

Pasha and Caroline’s best dances are also shown, including their amazing showdance to Beverley Knight’s version of Angels. 

MailOnline has contacted Strictly representatives for comment.

TV presenter Caroline was found dead on February 15, the day after hearing the Crown Prosecution Service would go ahead with a trial for allegedly attacking her model and former tennis player boyfriend Lewis Burton, 27, in December. 

Her death was ruled a suicide in an inquest in August this year, with coroner Mary Hassell, saying: ‘The key decision for me to make is whether Caroline took her own life. I have to be satisfied she acted in a way so as to cause her death, and secondly that she intended to cause her death.

‘In Caroline’s case I am entirely satisfied she intended to cause her own death. She hanged herself. She had only one expectation – her own death. There’s no doubt in my mind at all.’

Much missed: Judge Bruno Tonioli breaks down in tears as he says of Caroline: 'She was such fun and great to be with

Much missed: Judge Bruno Tonioli breaks down in tears as he says of Caroline: ‘She was such fun and great to be with

Co-hosts: Host Claudia Winkleman describes her as a champion 'who stands out amongst them all' while Tess Daly said'She lit up the Strictly ballroom every single week.

Co-hosts: Host Claudia Winkleman describes her as a champion ‘who stands out amongst them all’ while Tess Daly said’She lit up the Strictly ballroom every single week.

The coroner said Flack had experienced ‘fluctuating ill health’ and was ‘distressed’ at the thought of facing a trial.

She said: ‘Caroline had fluctuating mental ill health, she had had struggles in the past.

‘She had had difficulties. In spite of the fact she may have led – to some – a charmed life, actually the more famous she got the more some of these difficulties increased – she had to deal with the media in a way most of us don’t.

‘It was played out in the national press – and that was incredibly difficult for her. She faced the prospect of not working in the job she loved, losing a great deal.

Emotion: Fellow pro dancer Janette Manrara said: 'The highlight was her showdance (pictured 2019)

Emotion: Fellow pro dancer Janette Manrara said: ‘The highlight was her showdance (pictured 2019)

‘I find the reason for her taking her life was she now knew she was being prosecuted for certainty, and she knew she would face the media, press, publicity – it would all come down upon her. To me, that’s it in essence.’

Flack’s mother, Christine, wept as she told the coroner over video-link: ‘I totally agree, I think you got it spot on.

‘We know you are not allowed to say certain things and it’s up to us if we want to take it any further, and we don’t. You’re spot on.’

Concluding, the coroner recorded a death of suicide caused by hanging.

Mrs Hassell said: ‘Caroline hanged herself at home on the morning of February 15 because of an exacerbation of fluctuating ill health and distress.’     

If you have been affected by this story, you can call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org 

RIP: Love Island host Caroline was found dead on February 15, the day after hearing the Crown Prosecution Service would go ahead with a trial for allegedly attacking her model and former tennis player boyfriend Lewis Burton, 27, in December

RIP: Love Island host Caroline was found dead on February 15, the day after hearing the Crown Prosecution Service would go ahead with a trial for allegedly attacking her model and former tennis player boyfriend Lewis Burton, 27, in December

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