British reality TV star Jade Goody has died today after losing her battle against cervical cancer. She was just 27 years old.

Tragically, she left behind two young sons - and today is Mother's day.

Jade shot to fame in 2002 when she appeared on reality TV show Big Brother.

Ironically, in 2002, after Big Brother, she launched an awareness-raising campaign for Cancer Research UK.

In 2006, she ran the London Marathon, but famous collapsed from exhaustion after 21 miles. Before the race, Goody described her preparations to TV chef, Gordon Ramsay. "I've been eating curry, Chinese and drinking."

She was also known for not being particularly bright, and she famously thought that the English region of East Anglia was a foreign country and pronounced "East Angular".

In 2007 she made national headlines when, whilst appaearing in Celebrity Big Brother, she racially abused Indian actress Shilpa Shetty.

Among Goody's comments were: "I've seen how she goes in and out of people's arseholes",as well as suggesting Shetty "makes [her] skin crawl".She also referred to Shetty as 'Shilpa ****awalla' and 'Shilpa Poppadom'. Goody said afterwards: "She is Indian, thinking of an Indian name and only thing I could think of was Indian food. Wasn't racial at all. It was not to offend any Indian out there."The fact that she was supporting anti-bullying charity Act Against Bullying during these events compounded her problems. By sheer coincidence, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was visiting India at the time.

Jade later apologised to Shilpa - who is buying a house in Britain as she wants to be a big star here - and the pair became friends.

In 2008, Goody appeared in the Indian version of Big Brother, Bigg Boss. She was rumoured to have been offered £100,000 to take part. Goody entered the house on 17 August and in the opening VT of herself she claimed the incident with Shetty was "in the past" and that she was "not proud of it". Two days into the show, Goody was told she had cervical cancer and she subsequently withdrew, immediately flying home to England. Scenes of Goody being told of her diagnosis and her emotional reaction were not broadcast in India.

Earlier this year, Jade was told her condition was terminal. There was nothing more the doctors coud do for her. She left hospital on 11th March after having surgery to relieve her pain. She died at her home in Upshire, Essex, at around 3:14am British time this morning.

In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, smear tests for cervical cancer are conducted on women aged 20 or over, whereas in England women have to be at least 25.

Mummy's gone to heaven: Heartbreak as Jade Goody loses her cancer battle on Mother's Day

By Julie Moult (external - login to view)
22nd March 2009
Daily Mail

Jade Goody: 5th June 1981 - 22nd March 2009

Jade Goody's young sons awoke on Mothering Sunday to the heartbreaking news she had died in the night.

Five year-old Bobby and his brother Freddie, four, were told by their father Jeff Brazier that 'mummy has gone to heaven'.

The 27-year-old reality TV star lost her battle against cervical cancer at 3.14am. Her mother Jackiey Budden, husband of just four weeks Jack Tweed, 21, and close friend Kevin Adams were by her bedside when she slipped away.

Jade Goody died today at her home in Essex with her mother Jackiey Budden, husband Jack Tweed and friend Kevin Adams by her side. She leaves behind two sons, four-year-old Freddie (left) and Bobby, five

Miss Budden, 50, briefly addressed the waiting media to confirm her only daughter had died and asked that the family are left to grieve in private ‘at last’.
She said: ‘My beautiful daughter is at peace.’

Jade has lived her entire adult life in the spotlight since shooting to fame on the third series of Big Brother in 2002. And it was her wish that she died in it too.

In her final months and weeks she generated tens of thousands of pounds to pay for private education for Bobby and his younger brother Freddie by publicising her health battles with newspaper, magazine and television deals.

Jade's devastated mum Jackiey passes a 'Happy Mother's Day' balloon as she leaves the house this afternoon

She told friend and publicist Max Clifford: ‘Max, I know I’m ignorant but my boys won't be. They’ll get the best education and they will know it was all down to their mum.’

The former dental nurse had left hospital twelve days ago to die at home in Upshire, Essex.

Final plans are now underway for a very public funeral with a cortege driving through the streets of Bermondsey, south-east London, where she grew up, followed by a service at St John the Baptist church in Buckhurst near her home in Essex.

The service may even be transmitted on large screens outside the church.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown led tributes saying he was ‘deeply saddened’ by the news as a sea of flowers gathered outside her house left by well-wishers.

Yesterday her children were being cared for by their TV presenter father Mr Brazier who flew back from filming in Glasgow.

Distraught: Jade's exhausted widower Jack Tweed leaves the property

United in grief: Jack is driven away by Jade's ex-boyfriend Jeff Brazier

‘I am devastated to learn that Jade has sadly left us on Mother's Day,' he said.

‘I am grateful the boys were able to say their goodbyes and spend that precious time with their wonderful mother.

‘Bobby and Freddie are my absolute priority now. I will be doing everything I can to be their rock and to give them all the love and support they need to get them through a confusing and upsetting time.

'We thank everyone for their strength and love and we want you to know that we are determined to get through this, as well as we can.’

The brothers last saw their ailing mother a week ago.

The mood was kept deliberately upbeat with face painting and football keeping the pair occupied as they played in the spring sunshine.

Jade lost her fight against cervical cancer in the early hours of Mothering Sunday

While she was alive Jade, who shot to fame on the third series of Big Brother, prepared the boys for her inevitable death by telling them ‘Mummy’s going to heaven soon.’

Since Jade was told the cancer was terminal in the New Year she took expert advice from bereavement counsellors on the best way to help her sons deal losing their mother at such a young age.

The former dental nurse also had herself and the boys christened and last week she told them: ‘I'm going to Jesus and he'll look after me.

‘You may not be able to see me anymore but you will feel me with you always. Just think of me and I'll be with you.

‘When you look up in the sky and see the brightest star, that's me looking down on you and loving you for always.’

Standing outside the reality star's home shortly after news of Jade's death broke, the star's mother Jackiey told reporters 'my beautiful daughter is at peace'

Devastated: Jackiey breaks down as she's led back into the house by Jade's close friend Kevin Adams

She was determined her sons would not see her in distress in her last hours.

According to Mr Clifford she has been heavily sedated throughout most of her final week in a bid to control the pain.

‘In recent days she slipped deeper and deeper into unconsciousness,' he said. ‘The last 24 hours she has been pretty much in a coma.

‘She has touched the hearts and minds of an awful lot of people.

‘The very fact that the Prime Minister is paying his respects shows the impact this 27-year-old mother has had.

‘People will remember her as a person they got to know through being in the spotlight. She’s a reality TV star worldwide.

'What you saw is what you got with Jade. She did things her own way and most people understand and respect that.

‘She’s provided a trust to make sure her sons have the best education and the best future.’

Jack left Jade's bedside to buy a Mother's Day card in Loughton, Essex, yesterday

Tweed's moving card

Jade discovered she had cervical cancer last August while taking part in the Indian version of Big Brother. She was told the disease had spread to her bowel and liver and was terminal in January.

She had suffered months of stomach pain and had collapsed several times before the diagnosis was made.

It later emerged that she first had pre-cancerous cells removed aged 16 and more recently had ignored hospital letters telling her the results of smear tests were abnormal.

Jade has urged women not to make the same mistakes as her and to go for regular screening.

As a result some hospitals have reported a 20 per cent increase in the uptake of cervical smears.

And she has forced a rethink on the age at which women should first be offered smear tests.

Last night tributes continued to pour in led by the Prime Minister.

Mr Brown said: ‘I was deeply saddened to hear the news of Jade Goody's death.

Soon after the news of Jade's death broke, well-wishers arrived at her home with flowers

Jade's mother stands near floral tributes left outside the house this morning

‘She was a courageous woman both in life and death and the whole country have admired her determination to provide a bright future for her children.

‘She will be remembered fondly by all who knew her and her family can be extremely proud of the work she has done to raise awareness of cervical cancer which will benefit thousands of women across the UK.

‘Every death from cancer is a tragedy and my thoughts go out to her two sons, husband and family at this time.’

And Conservative Party leader David Cameron added: ‘I was very sorry to hear the sad news about Jade.

‘Her brave fight has raised awareness of this terrible disease and her legacy will be to save the lives of more young women in the future.

By early afternoon a huge array of flowers had been placed outside Jade's home

A community support officer watches over the flowers left by well-wishers outside Jade's driveway

‘My thoughts are with her family and particularly her two young sons at this terrible time.’

Jade’s local vicar Rev Jonathan Blake who officiated at her wedding to Jack a month ago said: ‘Jade has become for us, so many different things, a saint from Upshire and a princess from Bermondsey, an exemplar of biblical proportions.

‘She laughed in the face of death and given us a completely different approach to the way we deal with cancer.

Tying the knot: Jade married boyfriend Jack last month as it became clear her cancer was terminal

‘The wonder of Jade was that she was raw, honest and genius deep within. Not a superficial person as so much of life is now. She spoke what she thought sometimes to the shock and outrage of others.’

And scores of well-wishers left flowers and cards outside her home.

Marjorie Loftus, 78, from Barnet, north London, wrote on a card: ‘You may not have known where East Anglia was but you knew the way to our hearts.'

Jade's former boyfriend Jeff Brazier, pictured with their two sons, said the news has left him 'devastated'

And Mrs Loftus's daughter Jacqui, 42, had added: ‘The girl from Bermondsey did good.
‘It seems to me that Jade Goody has saved hundreds of lives because of the publicity her cancer has had.

‘Who would have thought that? I think she has done more to raise awareness of cervical cancer than all the politicians put together and we have to thank her for that.’

Jade received the awful news about her cancer during an appearance on the Indian version of Big Brother

Jade was determined to survive for as long as possible for the sake of her sons Freddie (left) and Bobby, five

Jade's sons had marked Mothering Sunday early with a visit to their mum's bedside last week

Jade hit the headlines in 2007 when she was accused of racially bullying Indian actress Shilpa Shetty on Celebrity Big Brother. The pair became unlikely friends

The star's nurse looks shell-shocked as she leans against her car yesterday morning. Vandals shattered her rear window with a stone on Friday night

Jade launched an awareness-raising Cancer Research UK hot air balloon in 2002

Last edited by Blackleaf; Mar 22nd, 2009 at 01:57 PM..