“Jade was going into that house as the nation’s sweetheart,” Davina recalls in a new Channel 4 documentary, which airs later this week. “We were excited about that. And I couldn’t wait to see what she brought. But I remember almost immediately thinking this is a bad combo.
“It’s like three British young girls [Jade, model Danielle Lloyd and S Club 7 singer Jo O’Meara] all coming together, and then forming a gang basically. It started to be bullying and I was like ‘man you are careering off the tracks you are so going in the wrong direction’.”
By the time Jade was evicted from CBB, she’d become the subject of national debates about whether her treatment of Shilpa – which included referring to her behind her back as “Shilpa poppadom” – was racist, with conversations even going on in the House Of Commons.
When Jade left the house, no eviction crowd had been invited to attend, with the reality star leaving to almost complete silence, where she was met by Davina.
The former Big Brother host continues: “I remember thinking ‘Oh my God what’s happened?’ How it can all turn in a nanosecond? She’s now become the most hated girl in Britain.
“It was a bit like knowing you’re about to ruin someone’s life forever, but they don’t know it yet.”
Dermot O’Leary, who hosted spin-off series Big Brother’s Little Brother, adds: “It was absolutely insane, the story just got so big so quickly. I remember seeing… guys burning effigies of Jade in India and I thought this shit has got absolutely out of hand.
“The incendiary nature of the whole thing made us really quite worried about her... at the same time it would have been remiss of me in my job not to hold her to account. Yeah, it was difficult.”
Jade’s career took a nosedive following her stint in Celebrity Big Brother, but eventually accepted a place on the Indian version of the show, presented by Shilpa Shetty, in August 2008.
This is where Jade discovered that she had been diagnosed with cancer, quitting the show immediately to pursue treatment. Jade died less than a year later, at the age of 27.
Jade: The Reality Star Who Changed Britain airs on Wednesday night at 9pm on Channel 4.
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