Reality TV star Nikki Grahame, who rose to fame as a contestant on Big Brother, has died aged 38.
A statement from her representative said: “It is with immeasurable sadness that Nikki Grahame passed away in the early hours of Friday 9th April 2021.
“Please respect the privacy of Nikki’s friends and family at this tragic and difficult time.”
Grahame, originally from Northwood in London, appeared on the seventh series of the reality TV show in 2006, and despite finishing fifth became one of its most recognisable characters.
She subsequently secured her own show, Princess Nikki, won a National Television Award and published two books, the autobiographies Dying To Be Thin and Fragile.
Grahame had recently received treatment for an eating disorder at a specialist clinic following a fundraising campaign organised by friends and fans.
A statement on the Gofundme.com page said: “It is with great sadness, we have to let you know that our dear friend Nikki passed away in the early hours of Friday 9th April.
“It breaks our hearts to know that someone who is so precious was taken from us at such a young age. Nikki not only touched the lives of millions of people, but also her friends and family who will miss her immensely.
“We would like to request privacy at this difficult time, while Nikki’s friends and family process the sad news.
“Full details will be released as and when we know them.”
Prior to finding fame on Big Brother, Grahame, then an aspiring actress, appeared as an extra in the BBC soap opera EastEnders and played a footballer’s wife in Sky One’s Dream Team.
She also appeared as a contestant on ITV dating show Blind Date and competed in the 2004 Miss Hertfordshire pageant.
After entering the Big Brother house dressed as a Playboy bunny, Grahame became known for her temper tantrums and Diary Room histrionics, including an infamous “who is she?” rant.
She formed an unlikely relationship with the show’s eventual winner Pete Bennett, but their romance ended a month after they left the house.
Nikki was evicted on day 58, but went back into the house after the remaining contestants picked her to return. She eventually finished in fifth place.
After Big Brother, she bagged her own reality show, Princess Nikki, which saw her attempt to keep various jobs.
She also appeared on Celebrity Scissorhands, 8 Out Of 10 Cats and The Weakest Link, and a Channel 4 poll named her the 12th most “written about” person of 2006 in the UK.
Grahame chronicled her battle with anorexia in the book Dying To Be Thin.