Jade Goody, the British reality star whose publicist called her “the world’s first world reality television star,” died at age 27 overnight from cervical cancer she was diagnosed with while on India’s Big Brother. Today is Mother’s Day in Britain, and she’s survived by two children from a previous relationship, and her new husband and Celebrity Big Brother co-star Jack Tweed.
As Damian Thompson wrote in the Telegraph, “The fascinating spectacle of a young woman dying on camera is over.” Less than seven years after she first appeared on the third season of the UK’s Big Brother, her impending death has been the subject of non-stop media coverage in Britain and elsewhere that has chronicled every detail of her dying life.
Jade died at 3:14 a.m. today, according to The Mirror, more than a week after reportedly being “hours” from death, and almost a week after OK! Magazine published its tribute issue to her that declared she was dead before she actually died. A friend told The Times, “This is clearly an obituary. They got it totally wrong. It’s totally insensitive, it’s bloody disgusting.”
Just as her life was public, her death will be, too, and Jade planned her funeral to be public. “She wants everybody to be there, with plenty of room outside for screens. She wants it to be a big celebration because it’s her final farewell to everybody. She’s the world’s first world reality television star. It will be a very Jade Goody event, exactly the way she wants it,” her publicist according to The People. A friend told the paper, “Jade has it all organised to make sure she leaves this world in true style. … There will be speakers and possibly screens to relay the service to the crowds expected outside the church.”
In addition, HarperCollins will publish Forever in My Heart, a book the Daily Mail describes as “a diary detailing her battle against cancer.” HarperCollins’ Belinda Budge called it “Jade in her own words. It is impossible not to be moved by her heart-warming voice which comes through loud and clear on every page of this last diary. This emotional book tells a fascinating story of our time, a story of a woman who rose to fame as a controversial reality TV star and has now won admiration in the eyes of many for the fortitude with which she is facing terminal cancer.”
Jade Goody dies in her sleep after losing cancer battle [Mirror]
OK! magazine publishes Jade Goody tribute issue before her death [Times]
Jade Goody to have funeral fit for Cockney ‘royalty’ [The People]
Jade Goody in her own words: Dying star pens cancer diary as a final love letter to her sons [Daily Mail]