August 09, 2019
She was mocked, shamed and then lionised after a very public death. Ten years on, the Big Brother star exists as a lesson in public prejudice – and the prison of the class system
Jade Goody: a scorned celebrity who held a mirror up to bitter Britain
‘She was never a fairytale person. She never believed in pretty things,” says Jackiey Budden gruffly at the beginning of Jade: The Reality Star Who Changed Britain, Channel 4’s three-part series about Budden’s daughter. We see Jade Goody herself, bald from her cancer treatment, flying in a helicopter to marry her boyfriend Jack Tweed. It ought to be a fairytale wedding but there’s something clearly wrong. Goody is in pain and is about to die.
Other pictures from the time show her wrapped in a blanket and sucking painkilling lollipops. But here, her eyes are wide in wonder as she looks down. Perhaps it’s the drugs, perhaps it’s the knowledge of what is coming, perhaps she is taking in her life. It is haunting. So maybe she was right never to believe in pretty things, right to grab everything fame gave her. Perhaps Goody knew happy endings were not for the likes of her.
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