It was to have been presenter Caroline Flack's first show for Channel 4 and one of the most controversial reality TV shows of the year.

But Channel 4 has decided not to air The Surjury following Ms Flack's death at the weekend.

The Surjury's concept proved controversial from the moment it was announced last October, when a national newspaper labelled it "the sickest reality TV yet".

In it, people who want cosmetic surgery procedures explain why to a 'jury' of their peers, who then decide whether they should have the operation or not.

Channel 4's commisioning editor for factual entertainment, Becky Cadman, said at the time: "To many, cosmetic surgery can seem like a ‘quick fix’ to a problem, but with Caroline and the Jury’s help, this new series looks at who wants it, and why –  allowing those who make a strong enough case to their peers, to undergo the procedure of their choice.

"The show will neither glamorise nor condemn their choices: the aim is instead to interrogate the realities."

The programme filmed over three months last year and was due to launch this year.

One member of the on-screen jury spoke out today to pay tribute to the "caring and down to earth" presenter.

Les Langley of Low Coniscliffe near Darlington, was due to appear in Channel 4's The Surjury after filming with Ms Flack last year.

The Northern Echo: Les Langley, pictured with Caroline FlackLes Langley, pictured with Caroline Flack

Mr Langley had been part of the show's on-screen jury, made up of people from all walks of life, whose role was to decide if the life-changing surgery craved by a contestant would be granted.

He said: "She was fantastic, she would come in the morning, her timekeeping wasn’t great to be honest, but she would ask each one of us how we were this morning.

"She really cared for those people (contestants) on the show, some of those people were coming on for life-changing surgery and were extremely nervous about coming out on stage.

"She would make them feel at ease, and on more than one occasion she had a tear in her eye."

Mr Langley said that the ex-Love Island presenter did not act like a celebrity and that despite having her own make-up artist, she appeared down to earth.

He said: “There was no star feel to it, she was just one of us. She had her make-up artist, but she was one of us."

But describing the moment a Whatsapp group made up of fellow panellists erupted with anguish, he said the announcement of her death was difficult to process.

He said: "I was driving and my phone kept on bleeping – I thought it must have been about when the show was going to air.

"When I got home, I looked at my phone and was in total shock. I turned on the news, hoping it wasn't true. It was really upsetting."

Mr Langley said members of the group had come together to show their support for each other, while Channel 4 had contacted them to offer emotional support.

He added: "Channel 4 emailed us within hours of it being announced, I just hope they would have given the same support to Caroline."

A spokesperson for Channel 4 said: "We are shocked and saddened to hear the tragic news about Caroline Flack.

“Our deepest sympathies go out to Caroline's family and friends. Under the circumstances, we have decided not to broadcast The Surjury."