Politicians lead tributes to 'courageous' Goody

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Reality TV star dies peacefully in her sleep, aged 27, after losing her struggle against cervical cancer

Moving tributes were paid yesterday to the reality TV star Jade Goody, who lost her battle against cervical cancer at the age of 27.

The death of the recently married mother at her home in Essex early on Mother's Day was announced by her publicist Max Clifford. Her family said she had died peacefully in her sleep.

Gordon Brown praised the former Big Brother star, whose suffering in the final months of her life had been played out in the full glare of the public eye. "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," he said. She left two sons, Bobby, five, and Freddy, four . The Tory leader David Cameron also paid tribute. He said: "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."

Her mother, Jackiey Budden, said: "My beautiful daughter is at peace."

The Indian actress, Shilpa Shetty, who Goody was accused of racially abusing during an ill-fated appearance on Celebrity Big Brother two years ago, said: "I am deeply saddened but I am glad Jade is out of pain and that she died peacefully with her family around her."

The death of the former dental nurse from Bermondsey, south-east London, prompted a widespread outpouring of sadness from fellow celebrities, politicians, royalty and ordinary people. Goody was told of her condition in August last year during the Indian version of the show that propelled her to fame in 2002. Since then, she had signed numerous magazine, newspaper and television deals in a bid to safeguard the financial future of her boys.

Prince Azim, the son of the Sultan of Brunei, who struck up an unexpected friendship with Goody over a dinner, said: "Jade was a warm and lovely lady." The comedian and actor Stephen Fry, who met her when they appeared on Jonathan Ross's chat show, described her as "a kind of Princess Di from the wrong side of the tracks". He said: "I warmed to her immensely. All impulsive spirit and smiles. What a life."

The model and presenter Danielle Lloyd, who found herself alongside Goody at the centre of the 2007 Celebrity Big Brother bullying row that caused a record 45,000 complaints to the TV watchdog Ofcom, described her as "a brave and courageous human being".

Another fellow Celebrity Big Brother inmate, the racing pundit John McCririck, said Goody's high-profile battle against cancer had "justified her whole existence" saving countless lives. He said: "For so many young girls it was a wannabe wish; they wanted to be like Jade Goody."

Outside Goody's home in Upshire, Essex, scores of well-wishers left flowers and cards. Marjorie Loftus, 78, who had come from Barnet, north London, to leave a heart-shaped card and flowers, referred to Goody's famous "East Angular" slip during her first appearance on Big Brother in which she finished fourth. She wrote on the card: "You may not have known where East Anglia was but you knew the way to our hearts."

Goody, who married Jack Tweed last month in an emotionally charged ceremony, had also planned every detail of her funeral. It is expected to be another highly public affair. Hundreds of admirers are expected to line the route when a cortege bearing her body drives through the streets of Bermondsey, where Goody grew up to the churchyard of St John the Baptist in Buckhurst Hill, Essex.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Ashdown Group: HR Assistant - Immediate Start - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant - Immediate ...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Human Resource Officer and Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...

Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events business) - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...

Recruitment Genius: Project Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This privately-owned company designs and manuf...

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders