7 Comfort Food Films for When the World Is a Dumpster Fire

romy and michele's high school reunion

We’re halfway through the year, and 2018 shows no signs of letting up the breakneck pace of horrific news that we’ve been subjected to since November, 2016. The only thing more brutal than the horrific state of affairs is how quickly we have adapted to it. You know it’s bad when you’re watching The Handmaid’s Tale to wind down from the news. In times like these, it’s easy to feel scared, overwhelmed, anxious, and helpless. Last week, Vivian shared her top seven feel-good TV shows, and it got us all thinking about our pop culture self-care faves. Here’s my list of my top seven comfort films for when the world is a dumpster fire.

1. Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion

romy and michele's high school reunion

This 1997 comedy about two awkward best friends road-tripping to their 10-year high school reunion has become a cult classic, and I’ve always loved it with a fangirlish passion. Romy and Michele features brilliantly funny leading performances from Mira Sorvino and Lisa Kudrow, as well as brilliant supporting cameos from Janeane Garofalo, Alan Cumming, and Camryn Manheim (you can even catch baby Justin Theroux in an early role as Clarence the Cowboy). This film is a must-see for anyone who felt left out or made fun of in high school, and its unabashed celebration of female friendship makes it as heartwarming as it is hilarious.

2. Sense and Sensibility

sense and sensibiity

While there have been countless adaptations of Jane Austen’s beloved novel, Ang Lee’s 1995 award-winning film is considered the gold standard, and with good reason. The film is beautifully shot, the costumes are gorgeous, and the central performances by Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet never fail to choke me up. The script, written by Thompson (who won an Oscar for her work), perfectly captures Austen’s sly and subversive humor with regards to class, marriage, and power. There’s nothing better than curling up with a blanket, a cup of tea, and this movie on DVD.

3. The Brady Bunch Movie and A Very Brady Sequel

christine taylor

If you haven’t seen 1995’s The Brady Bunch Movie and its 1996 followup, A Very Brady Sequel, then you are missing out on two of the funniest, most quotable comedies from the ’90s. Both films lovingly mock the stuck-in-the-’70s family, and the now-dated ’90s setting adds a fun new layer of nostalgia. Plus, both movies are helmed by female directors (Betty Thomas and Arlene Sanford). How can you not like a series that gave us one of the most relevant GIFs of our time? If you don’t believe me, you can take it up with my husband, George Gunther Glass.

4. Tank Girl

lori petty

Tank Girl was ahead of its time. When the adaptation of the cult comic book was released in 1995, audiences didn’t know what to make of a foul-mouthed female anti-hero who drank, smoked, and slept with kangaroos. Hollywood clearly didn’t know what to do with her either, and the movie crashed and burned as a result.

But the film has gained a cult following of ’90s alt girls who swore by the Courtney Love-curated soundtrack and loved Lori Petty’s take-no-prisoners portrayal of Rebecca. This film also had a female director, Rachel Talalay, who has since gone on to direct such geek fare as Sherlock, Doctor Who, and The Flash. Besides, you have to love a comic book movie that stops halfway through for a full-on Cole Porter musical number.

5. A League of Their Own

madonna

Yeah that’s right, two Lori Petty movies in a row. #SorryNotSorry. No feel-good movie list would be complete without Penny Marshall’s heartfelt tribute to the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. The film is brilliantly funny and features Geena Davis and Tom Hanks in two of their most memorable performances. Even Madonna is good in this movie, you guys; that’s how strong it is. Abbi Jacobsen is adapting the film for a new TV series on Amazon, and we honestly cannot wait.

6. Pleasantville

reese witherspoon

Pleasantville tells the story of a pair of ’90s teens, David (Tobey Maguire) and Jennifer (Reese Witherspoon), who get magically transported to the fictional universe of a ’50s television sitcom. What starts as a wacky fish-out-of-water fantasy turns surprisingly relevant and socially conscious as the teens begin to change the narrative of the fictional town and bring some much needed color (literally and figuratively) to the landscape.

Pleasantville showcases stunningly beautiful special effects and stirring performances from a supporting cast that includes Joan Allen, William H. Macy, and Jeff Daniels. My favorite, however, is Don Knotts’ cameo performance as the sly but sinister television repairman.

7. Singin’ in the Rain

Picking a favorite film is an almost impossible task. How do you compare your favorite comedies to your favorite dramas? How can you stack up an indie darling against a feel-good summer blockbuster? Whenever I’m asking this question, I always come back to the same film. Singin’ in the Rain earns the top spot for me because it is truly joyful to watch.

The 1952 send-up of the Hollywood studio system remains delightfully smart, subversive, and funny 66 years after it came out. With incredible dancing and warm, charismatic performances from Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, and Donald O’Connor, this film functions like cinematic Prozac. Just try to watch it all the way through and not crack a smile at Jean Hagen’s performance; I dare you.

Did your favorite feel-good film make the list? Share yours in the comments!

(image: Touchstone Pictures)

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Koko, the Gorilla Who Learned Sign Language, Passes Away at 46

koko

If you were a kid in the ’90s, you wanted to do three things: go to Space Camp, complete the Temple Run on Legends of the Hidden Temple, and meet Koko, the sign language gorilla. Sadly, the world-famous gorilla has passed away at the age of 46, at her home at The Gorilla Foundation in the Santa Cruz mountains. The Gorilla Foundation released a statement saying, “Her impact has been profound and what she has taught us about the emotional capacity of gorillas and their cognitive abilities will continue to shape the world. She was beloved and will be deeply missed.”

Koko was born on the Fourth of July in 1971 at the San Francisco Zoo, where she was named Hanabi-ko (Japanese for “fireworks child”). The western lowland gorilla was selected as an infant by animal psychologist Dr. Francine “Penny” Patterson, who developed a language research project designed to teach a modified form of American Sign Language, known as “Gorilla Sign Language” or GSL. Koko was able to master more than 1,000 signs in GSL, and reportedly understood up to 2,000 English verbal words. She quickly became world famous for her remarkable intelligence and empathy for others.

In addition to GSL, Koko showed extraordinary intelligence and aptitude, learning to play the recorder and operate a camera. Her self portrait made the cover of the National Geographic in 1978. Did Koko invent the selfie? Sure looks like it.

Koko was widely recognized in pop culture after meeting several celebrities, such as Mister Rogers, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, and Robin Williams. When Williams died in 2014, Koko’s handlers said she expressed sadness at the news.

Koko was also famous for her love of kittens, and for expressing grief when her kitten Ball died. The beloved gorilla inspired generations of children and adults with her compassion and playful nature, reminding us that we are not so different from our fellow mammals. Rest in Peace, Koko.

(via NPR, image: PBS)

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Things We Saw Today: MTV Is Rebooting Daria, so at Least One Good Thing Happened This Week

MTV's Daria

MTV is reviving the holy grail of smart sarcasm, Daria, and will be updating the series instead of going back to high school.

Daria served as a beloved voice of the late ’90s (an extremely witty, caustic voice). The bookish high schooler navigated life with the help of artsy best friend Jane, bubbly sister Quinn, slacker crush Trent—and the clever, cool Jodie Landon. Now MTV has ordered Daria & Jodie, a reboot that will explore where life has taken the friends.

Buzzfeed reports:

The updated iteration of the show will be called Daria & Jodie and will be written by Grace Edwards, who worked on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Inside Amy Schumer.

The show will be based on the classic animated character, Daria Morgendorffer, and her friend, Jodie Landon, as they “take on the world” and deal with cultural issues that are relevant today.

“She is a huge fan of Daria,” MTV president Chris McCarthy told the Hollywood Reporter about Edwards. “The story she wants to tell of Daria is different, it’s about Daria and Jodie and two close friends taking on the world today and what’s happening in our culture at large.”

I’m not exaggerating when I say that this is the best thing that has happened to me in this week of hellish news. In addition to Daria & Jodie, MTV is looking at doubling down on the ’90s nostalgia, with plans to bring back new versions of The Real WorldMade, and maybe even Beavis and Butthead, Celebrity Deathmatch, and Laguna Beach.

(I’m sorry. I apologize profusely.)

(via Buzzfeed, image: MTV)

  • There are all kinds of fun reports that Gal Gadot and Wonder Woman 1984 will be making a splash at SDCC soon. Yes, please. (via Syfywire)
  • In case you missed our earlier coverage—live, from this dumpster fire of a week/presidential administration:

  • All of the big video games coming at you in summer 2018. (via Kotaku)
  • “The Frustrating Almost-Greatness of Legion.” (via Pajiba)

What’d you see today? We hope it was something good. As for me:

Daria

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Paramount Just Hired a Screenwriter for an Upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016)

It has been two years since Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows came out and while movie ended up grossing $245 million against a $135 million budget, there were still no moves towards a sequel. Until now.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Paramount has hired screenwriter Andrew Dodge (Strong Words) to craft the next installment in the TMNT movie universe. The new chairman of the movie studio, Jim Gianopulos, is looking to bring some quality to the brand, which has always gotten a mixed response when it comes to critical reception.

There is no news yet if this upcoming movie will be a reboot or a relaunch of the series (I hope Megan Fox can stay on as April O’Neil), but there are some doubts if the Turtles are the kind of franchise people will come out for, especially since the last handful of Turtles movies were a mix of bad and creepy looking.

To which I say, heck yeah people will come out to see Turtles! The Ninja Turtles, for those who grew up with them, are right up there with Transformers and other major franchises. I even remember getting copies of the Mirage Studios original run of the comics. It is a property with legs, even if recent attempts to transform the series into blockbuster events haven’t worked out.

For me, to get the Turtles right isn’t just about nailing the humor, it’s also about nailing the fight scenes. The Turtles were inspired by Daredevil in both their origin and the ninja elements, so maybe it’s time to lean into that. What made the first season of Daredevil so good to watch was the incredible fight scenes and feeling the creativity of how Marvel/Netflix created a fighting style for Matt.

While the Turtles have gone too deep into the family franchise nexus to go back to their violent gritty roots, and honestly it’s for the better (I don’t think we need to see Donatello dripping with the blood of victims), but I think actually spending time to give each of them their own fighting style and taking the time to make those scenes interesting would be worth it. If you can come up with the equivalent of a “hallway scene” for the Turtles, that will go a long way in terms of word of mouth.

We’ve had funny Turtles movies—the 90s ones are … charming. Yet it’s been done before, and I’m not a fan of Mikey’s humor in modern day being turned into horny teenage boy humor. There is a way to balance both elements without needing to turn Mikey into Peter Quill, and it comes with not wanting to capture something nostalgic and instead, trying to just create a solid story.

The Turtles are rooted in Indie comics, so maybe it’s time to put someone with that sort of inclination behind the franchise instead of Michael Bay.

So, for me, bring on the Turtles. I loved seeing them pop up in Injustice 2 as DLC characters, but let’s just remember that these characters aren’t just comedic relief: they are badass ninja warriors, so let’s see some badass ninja fights.

And maybe let’s kill Splinter for real … just saying!

Master Splinter

(via SlashFilm, image: Paramount)

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Holly Willoughby discusses her dyslexia on This Morning after previously raising concerns about effect on her kids

The presenter doesn’t often talk about the condition

Holly Willoughby on ‘This Morning’ TV show, London 20 February 2018

Holly Willoughby has spoken of her dyslexia during a candid chat on This Morning, despite rarely discussing the topic.

The mum-of-three mentioned the fact that she has the condition when she and Phillip Schofield interviewed actor Martin Kemp – who is also dyslexic – on Thursday’s show, and she seemed particularly interested in how he still manages to read lines and prepare for roles.

‘You’re dyslexic and I’m dyslexic as well,’ Holly, 37, explained during the chat.

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MORE: Eek! Which Love Island star did Holly Willoughby just admit she ‘hates’?

‘You say the way you learn and the way you prepare for this is different to other people.

‘You have to find the way that works for you.’

Martin, 56, revealed that he developed dyslexia after being diagnosed with a brain tumour in 1995 and said that he has learned to do as much preparation as he can.

‘Once upon a time I lived not being dyslexic,’ the former EastEnders star told Holly and Phil.

‘So it’s a weird kind of process that happens in my brain. But when I read the script I digest it a lot more. Before I go into rehearsals I have to know every single word.’

Whilst Holly doesn’t often talk about having the condition, she previously confessed that she was concerned about her children Harry, 7, Belle, 5, and Chester, 2, inheriting her dyslexia.

‘I do bear it in mind quite a lot,’ she told Glasgow’s Sunday Post. ‘Although my mum hasn’t been officially tested she has very similar tendencies to me.

‘I don’t know whether that’s hereditary or not, but I do think about that. Schools are so much more advanced in looking out for it than when I was at school.

‘So if anything was to crop up it’d be noticed a lot quicker than it was with me. And children learn in a different way now.

‘It makes a lot more sense to me and things are a lot more visual. I feel the ways of teaching are better.’

Holly has also spoken in the past of how she uses coloured scripts to prepare for This Morning and also makes advanced checks on the autocue.

Dyslexia is a ‘specific learning difficulty’, according to the NHS, which causes problems with reading, writing and spelling. It’s a common issue and is thought to affect up to 1 in every 20 people in the UK.

Other celebrities to experience the condition include Tom Cruise, Keira Knightley and Kerry Katona.

The post Holly Willoughby discusses her dyslexia on This Morning after previously raising concerns about effect on her kids appeared first on CelebsNow.

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Will Love Island air tonight? Star calls for it be cancelled after Sophie Gradon death

The issue has sparked debate amongst fans

Sophie Gradon in Instagram photo, 19 May 2018

Love Island has faced calls to be cancelled tonight (Thursday 21 June) following the tragic death of former islander Sophie Gradon.

Malin Andersson – who appeared in the 2016 series with Sophie – argued in a stream of Twitter messages that the latest edition of the show should be pulled out of respect to Sophie.

READ MORE CELEBRITY NEWS

MORE: Love Island stars pay tribute after Sophie Gradon reported dead aged 32

‘IT SHOULD NOT AIR TONIGHT,’ pregnant Malin tweeted, though later appeared to delete the post.

She went on to say: ‘Love Island is now cancelled in my eyes.’

Several fans of the show also joined Malin’s calls for the newest episode not to air.

‘the show should have a memorial, or be cancelled tonight out of respect for sophie,’ one tweeted, whilst another said: ‘Tonight’s episode should be cancelled in memory of Sophie Gradon.’

And one added: ‘I don’t think there should be a show tonight. Doesn’t feel right.’

However, other fans have questioned whether it should be cancelled and instead suggested a tribute to Sophie be included instead, with one writing on Twitter: ‘I wonder if @LoveIsland will dedicate tonight’s show to Sophie Gradon. They should do something to remember her by’

A fellow comment reads: ‘The episode should air. She was very vocal about the series and how she loves her love island roots… but they should certainly pay tribute to her. Rest in peace Sophie’

The show appears to still be going ahead as the official Love Island account tweeted a preview clip on Thursday afternoon.

A few hours earlier the show sent their condolences to Sophie’s loved ones following the sad news of her death.

‘The whole ITV2 and Love Island team are profoundly saddened to hear the news about Sophie, and our deepest sympathies and thoughts go to her family and friends,’ the tweet read.

Tributes have been pouring in for 32-year-old Sophie from fellow Love Island stars and famous friends.

The former Miss Great Britain is said to have been found dead on Wednesday, with a Facebook post from her boyfriend Aaron Armstrong seemingly confirming the news.

Northumbira Police said in a statement: ‘At about 8.27pm yesterday (June 20) police attended a property in Medburn, Ponteland, where sadly a 32-year-old woman was found deceased.

‘There are not believed to be any suspicious circumstances surrounding her death. A report will now be prepared for the coroner.’

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Peter Andre reveals the strict rule he’s enforced on Junior as kids continue to live with him amid Katie Price drama

We bet you’re not the only one to do this, Pete!

Peter Andre and Junior Andre take a selfie, April 2017

Peter Andre might be taking care of his kids Junior and Princess right now but it doesn’t mean he’s not afraid to get strict with them.

The singer has revealed that he’s enforced a tough rule for 13-year-old Junior after getting concerned about how much time he spends playing the hugely popular computer game Fortnite.

‘I only allow Junior to play [Fortnite] for a maximum of an hour at a time,’ Pete, 45, writes in his new! magazine column. ‘He knows once his hour is up he has to come downstairs and socialise with the family.’

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MORE: Katie Price accuses Peter Andre of stopping Junior and Princess from attending her birthday party

Pete took action after hearing of cases where children and teens have become addicted to the game and he’s probably not the only parent to take this sort of action.

It comes after the dad-of-four confessed during an appearance on This Morning last week that he’d become pretty frustrated with his son playing Fortnite.

‘I’ve just got to get rid of that game they keep playing, Fortnite,’ Pete told Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby.

‘Honestly, I’ve snapped that cable so many times at the back of the PlayStation.

‘If he tries to push it, I’ll just take it away. Sometimes, his PlayStation cable will accidentally break, ha ha!’

Junior and his sister Princess, 10, are continuing to live with Pete after his ex-wife Katie Price confirmed the living situation earlier this month.

It followed reports that Pete had ‘banned’ the kids from seeing Katie, 40, due to becoming concerned about her partying lifestyle and relationship with personal trainer Kris Boyson after her split from Kieran Hayler.

Pete – who also has Amelia, 4, and Theo, 19 months, with wife Emily – hasn’t directly commented on the drama but recently spoke of how he’ll always provide a ‘stable home’ for the children.

‘J and P have gone, and will go, through tough times in their lives,’ he explained. ‘But no matter what, Emily and I will always provide a stable home for them. People can read in to that how they like.’

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‘She knows what she wants’: Kim Kardashian HITS BACK at backlash over North’s new appearance

Recent pictures of five-year-old North sparked controversy

Mandatory Credit: Photo by John Sheene/ACE Pictures/REX/Shutterstock (9665667i)
Kim Kardashian
Kim Kardashian out and about, New York, USA – 08 May 2018

Kim Kardashian has explained why she changed daughter North’s hair after it sparked a fierce debate online.

The reality star straightened her five-year-old’s naturally curly locks last weekend as the little one marked her birthday and now Kim has revealed that Nori ASKED for the new ‘do.

‘She wanted straight hair and I straightened her hair one time,’ says Kim, 37. ‘It’s funny, because online everyone thought that we pressed it and did this whole thing. It was just a flat iron. I even read that she had extensions on!

‘She has curly hair, so when you straighten her hair, it’s gonna look really long. I can’t believe people didn’t get that. Sometimes you just have to tune it out!’

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MORE: Kim Kardashian sparks outrage from fans over THESE photos of North

Kim has revealed that North had a ‘unicorn party’ with cousin Penelope so she allowed her to have straightened tresses for the occasion as well as their trip to New York.

It’s not something that she plans to do very often, though.

‘I’m not gonna let her straighten her hair all the time, but if she wants it that way two or three days a year, then that’s fine with me,’ Kim tells the Hollywood Reporter. ‘She loved it, but she loves her curly hair, too.

‘Chris [Appleton], who does my hair, braided the front of her hair and put it up in a ponytail and she absolutely loved it.’

And with fashion-conscious parents like Kim and Kanye West, it’s perhaps no big surprise that North is already carving out her own style.

‘She loved getting pampered. She loves fashion, too,’ mum-of-three Kim admits. ‘She knows what she wants to wear and what she doesn’t. She’s very vocal about it.’

We’re getting the impression that North has better fashion sense than us, tbh.

Nori’s not afraid to experiment with her mum’s make-up either, with Kim sharing an hilarious video of her applying eye shadow rather liberally earlier this week.

Yep, North is definitely a style icon in the making!

The post ‘She knows what she wants’: Kim Kardashian HITS BACK at backlash over North’s new appearance appeared first on CelebsNow.

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OMG! Lenny Henry looks unrecognisable after dramatic weight loss

We had to do a triple take!

It’s been quite some time since we’ve had regular Lenny Henry appearances on the TV, and so it’s fair to say it was a refreshing change to see the ‘fella out and about yesterday .

However, as pleased as we are to see Sir Lenny’s lovely face, we were pretty distracted by the 59-year-old comedy legend’s dramatic weight loss…

As you may remember, Lenny looked pretty much like this throughout his mega 40-year-long comic career…

Lenny Henry

However, as he attended the World Refugee Day gala performance of new play The Jungle yesterday, he revealed he currently looks a little something like this… 

Wowza!

Posing in a slick navy two-piece suit and glasses-and-hat combo, we literally did a triple take at the ‘fella – who appears to have slimmed down massively!

Back in 2011, after Lenny had lost three stone, the much-loved funny man had shared the he had lost some weight in a bid to remain as healthy as possible.

See: Dawn French is looking slimmer than EVER: see her weight-loss transformation!

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For fear of the risk of diabetes, which sadly his late mother struggled with leaving her forced to amputate both legs, Lenny had decided to ditch sugar and alcohol – and replace them with a good old spot of yoga and pilates,

Speaking to The Daily Mirror, Lenny shared: ‘I’ve lost between two-and-a-half and three stone, I was big. You’ve got to eat no sugar and drink hardly any alcohol… all the stuff you like’.

Sadly for us, he then sensibly added: ‘You can’t Hobnob your way through the day’.

*Sigh*, the sad realities of adult life.

Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high, and is diagnosed predominantly in two main types.

Type one is when the body’s immune system attacks the cells which produce insulin and type two is when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin.

We’re so impressed to see that Lenny’s health kick became a permanent fixture in his life!

For more information on diabetes and dietary advice from healthcare experts, head over *here* to the NHS website.

The post OMG! Lenny Henry looks unrecognisable after dramatic weight loss appeared first on CelebsNow.

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Love Island stars pay tribute after Sophie Gradon reported dead aged 32

Sophie appeared on the show in 2016

Sophie Gradon on ‘Love Island’, Series 2 TV show, Episode 09, 2016

Love Island star Sophie Gradon has reportedly passed away at the age of 32.

The former Miss Great Britain – who appeared in the 2016 series – is said to have been found dead on Wednesday, with a Facebook post from her boyfriend Aaron Armstrong seemingly confirming the news.

‘I will never forget that smile I love you so so much baby your my world forever ever and always,’ he wrote.

Northumbira Police said in a statement: ‘At about 8.27pm yesterday (June 20) police attended a property in Medburn, Ponteland, where sadly a 32-year-old woman was found deceased.

‘There are not believed to be any suspicious circumstances surrounding her death. A report will now be prepared for the coroner.’

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Since the news broke Sophie’s fellow Love Island cast members have spoken of their shock and have paid tribute to the popular star.

‘Such a awful day. my heart is broken & goes out to the very one effected,’ Cara De La Hoyde wrote, whilst Amber Davies posted: ‘I am in absolutely in shock! @sophiegradon what a beautiful woman you were. RIP’

Alex Bowen added: ‘We had lots of little chats and so many laughs. you were the the shoulder to cry on and a beautiful person with a beautiful soul. Shine bright in that sky Sophie gradon’

Others alluded to the notion that Sophie may have taken her own life, with Olivia Buckland tweeting: ‘Awful awful news this morning. I am gutted. I am so sorry the world failed you. You were such an intricate, creative, intelligent soul. Words fail me.

Former Miss Newcastle Sophie was a popular contestant on the 2016 series of Love Island and became part of the first same-sex couple when she paired up with Katie Salmon.

She went on to quit the villa so that she could be with Tom Powell but they eventually split.

Sophie had recently been tweeting about this year’s show and last took to social media earlier on Wednesday.

Last week she attended the funeral of Vicky Pattison’s best friend Paul Burns, who passed away suddenly at the age of 37.

Our thoughts are with Sophie’s loved ones at this incredibly sad time.

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