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Remembering Jade Goody 10 years on

A new documentary series pays tribute to her short but eventful life

Diane Shipley

With the first instalment of three-part documentary series Jade: The Reality Star airing on Channel 4 at 9pm on Wednesday night, we're taking a look at everything you need to know about late celebrity Jade Goody, from her sons and her high-profile relationships to how she shot to fame in the first place.

Reality show star Jade died in 2009

Who was Jade Goody?

Jade was a larger-than-life Essex girl who appeared on season three of long-running reality show Big Brother back in 2002, becoming one of the most memorable participants in the history of the show. Prior to becoming a reality star, she worked as a dental nurse. More than one newspaper labelled her "the most hated woman in Britain" because she was loud and portrayed as uncouth, but the public loved her innocence and ability to speak her mind.

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That did her no favours in 2007, however, when she took part in Celebrity Big Brother alongside Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty, who accused her of racism. (The public agreed, flooding regulator Ofcom with complaints about Jade's behaviour.) Davina McCall, who hosted the show at the time, told the Radio Times that when Jade left the house for a second time: “I remember thinking ‘Oh my God what’s happened?’ How it can all turn in a nano second."

What other TV shows was she on?

Jade popped up as a contestant on quiz show The Weakest Link and had a short-lived stint on the second season of the Indian version of Big Brother, Big Boss. She also filmed documentaries about the run up to her wedding and the ceremony itself, Jade: Bride to Be and Jade's Wedding, which aired on Sky Living.

Who were Jade's partners and children?

Jade married 21-year-old Jack Tweed in February 2009, a month before she died. Now a builder, he starred alongside her and her mother Jackiey Budden on season five of Celebrity Big Brother, where participants brought their family members, and the couple lived together with Jade's two sons, Freddie and Bobby Jack, who were just four and five when Jade died.

She shared the boys with her previous partner, TV presenter Jeff Frazier, 40, who has appeared on This Morning and Loose Women. He reveals in the show that the couple had their phones hacked, leading them to have difficulty trusting each other. After they split up, she briefly dated footballer Ryan Amoo.

Jade married Jack Tweed shortly before she died

How did Jady Goody die?

Jade died of cervical cancer on 22 March 2009 at the age of 27. She had tests in 2008 which revealed that her cancer was advanced and went on to have surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Although she was initially given a good prognosis, she revealed in October 2008 as part of an interview with Irish radio station RTE that she was planning her funeral. In February 2009, she confirmed that the cancer had spread, with tumours in her bowel, groin, and liver, and that doctors had told her the disease was terminal.

What is her legacy?

The Independent reported in December 2009 that Jade was the "most mourned" celebrity of that year, receiving more tributes than Patrick Swayze and original Charlie's Angel Farrah Fawcett. When the news broke that Jade's condition was untreatable, there was a surge in demand for smear tests from young women, with a 12 per cent increase in tests for women aged 25 to 64.

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What will the programme cover?

Expect more insights from early Big Brother presenters Davina McCall and Dermot O’Leary, as well as from tabloid journalists who covered the ups and downs of her career. Plus, her widower Jack and other family and friends, including Jeff, will weigh in on their experiences of life with Jade.

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