Reality TV star Nikki Grahame, who rose to fame as a contestant on Big Brother, has died at the age of 38.
A statement from her representative said: “It is with immeasurable sadness that Nikki Grahame passed away in the early hours of Friday 9th April 2021. Please respect the privacy of Nikki’s friends and family at this tragic and difficult time”.
The star had been battling an eating disorder and reportedly been at a private hospital.
Grahame, originally from Northwood in London, had recently received treatment for an eating disorder at a specialist clinic following a fundraising campaign organised by friends and fans.
Prior to finding fame on Big Brother in 2006, Grahame, then an aspiring actress, appeared as an extra in the BBC soap opera EastEnders and played a footballer’s wife in Sky One’s Dream Team.
Her own show, Princess Nikki, won a National Television Award and following her Big Brother appearance she published two books, the autobiographies Dying To Be Thin and Fragile.
A statement on the Gofundme.com page said: “It is with great sadness, we have to let you know that our dear friend Nikki passed away in the early hours of Friday 9th April.
“It breaks our hearts to know that someone who is so precious was taken from us at such a young age. Nikki not only touched the lives of millions of people, but also her friends and family who will miss her immensely.”
After entering the Big Brother house dressed as a Playboy bunny, Grahame became known for her temper tantrums and Diary Room histrionics, including an infamous “who is she?” rant.
She formed an unlikely relationship with the show’s eventual winner Pete Bennett, but their romance ended a month after they left the house.
Many took to social media to pay tribute with her famous Big Brother rants being shared by fans.
Former Big Brother host Davina McCall tweeted she was “so desperately sad to hear” the news.
She added: “My thoughts are with her friends and family xx she really was the funniest , most bubbly sweetest girl x”.
Top Gear host Paddy McGuinness tweeted: “Bloody hell, just read the sad news about Nikki Grahame. Definitely one of the stars from the glory years of reality tv. I met her a long time ago and she was a lovely girl. RIP young lady.”
Coronation Street’s Daniel Brocklebank tweeted: “I’m deeply saddened to hear that Nikki Grahame has passed. We hung out a few times. The last time on stage together at Manchester Pride. A sweet, kind & fun lady. My love & thoughts go out to all who knew & loved her.”
Rip Nikki Grahame as fellow Big brother contestants we’ve gone through the same experience and having met you on tv shows! our heart goes out to your family and friends ❤️ pic.twitter.com/8iP7TLHEHi
— JEDWARD (@planetjedward) April 10, 2021
Nikki Grahame was a reality TV icon and I so dearly wanted her to be well. This is very sad.
— Juno Dawson (@junodawson) April 10, 2021
Beat is the UK’s eating disorder charity and the first national charity for people with eating disorders. Helpline: 0808 801 0677, Studentline: 0808 801 0811, Youthline: 0808 801 0711