Nikki Grahame Channel 4 doc viewers in tears over Big Brother icon as Dermot O’Leary and Vanessa Feltz appear

Niki Grahame’s life was celebrated and her struggles documented in a Channel 4 documentary on Thursday night. Viewers who tuned in were left in tears as family and friends remembered the star ahead of the first anniversary of her death from her.

The Big Brother icon tragically passed away on April 9 last year at the age of 39 following a long battle with an eating disorder. Nikki rose to fame during her appearance on series seven of the reality show in 2006 before returning to the show Ultimate Big Brother in 2010. She also regularly featured on spin-off show Bit On The Side and had her own reality series Princess Nikki on E4 .

The documentary, Nikki Grahame: Who Is She?, which is a nod to one of Nikki’s most memorable moments from her time in the famous house, saw her mum, Sue, speak fondly of her daughter while also recalling her final moments and the heartbreaking ritual she continues to do following Nikki’s death.

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Nikki’s Big Brother co-star and friend Imogen Thomas also made an appearance as did Dermot O’Leary, who hosted Big Brother spin-off Bit on the Side, and broadcaster Vanessa Feltz, who became friends when they appeared in Ultimate Big Brother together.

Dermot, who now hosts This Morning, said Nikki was TV gold, describing her as being “dynamite.” He said: “You don’t just think of what a great contestant she was, you think of what a lovely person she was, or how iconic she was during the time she was on television. The fundamental heart of it is she’s someone’s daughter and that’s the heartbreak,” Dermot added, speaking of Nikki’s mum Sue.”

After archive footage of the pair chatting about Nikki’s illness in scenes aired on Big Brother, a visibly emotional Vanessa said: “Nikki was a mischievous, hilarious girl with a really naughty sense of humor. She was just an adornment to the world, and I just loved her so much and it’s a terrible loss.”

Nikki’s mum Sue in the Channel 4 documentary

Later, Vanessa recalled the moment she saw a photo of Nikki on the GoFund me page that was set up to raise awareness of her battle with anorexia, shortly before her death. “The picture on the GoFundMe page was I mean, you know, absolutely devastating,” she said of her shock. “I’ll never forget it as long as I live. And I felt absolutely stricken at the idea that she was suffering.”

Viewers of the one-off Channel 4 documentary were soon heading to social media to share their sadness.

“Just utterly heartbreaking what a beautiful but tortured soul RIP Nikki #WhoIsShe #Nikkigrahame,” @laurabarr39 tweeted.

Nikki when she left the Big Brother house in 2006

@roxycampbell said: “I don’t think I’ve been in tears at tv program from start to finish before. Just heartbreaking. #nikkigrahame.”

“The World lost a beautiful precious soul in Nikki. We all laughed with Nikki Wanted to hug Nikki Most of all we have cried for Nikki. Thinking of Sue tonight especially and the family Nikki’s smile will forever live on and she will never be forgotten # nikkigrahame,” @atvfriend commented.

@MitchellWebb85 shared: “Nikki Grahame was the Ultimate Reality tv star she was vulnerable, funny and Kind the Queen of Big brother #nikkigrahame #WhoIsShe.”

“#nikkigrahame who is she heartbroken watching this such a beautiful soul we will never forget you sweetheart,” @Alexand48075077 added.

Anyone with an eating disorder who needs support should contact their GP, local community eating disorder service, or mental health crisis service to get the help they need.

Beat Eating Disorders: Beat provides helplines for adults and young people offering support and information about eating disorders. These helplines are free to call from all phones. Adult Helpline: 0808 801 0677, Studentline: 0808 801 0811, Youthline: 0808 801 0711.

If you are in need of urgent help for yourself or someone else outside of their Helpline opening hours, please contact 999 or the Samaritans on 116 123 if you or someone else is in immediate danger.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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