In a statement shared on a GoFundMe page for Big Brother veteran Nikki Grahame, it was announced that she passed away at age 38 on April 9 following a long battle with anorexia. Grahame had checked into a hospital for treatment last month when the GoFund Me page was set up for her.
Grahame competed on the seventh season of Big Brother UK in 2006, per The Daily Mail. She was popular enough to score her own series, Princess Nikki, and she also returned for later editions of Big Brother in the United Kingdom and Canada.
The ‘Big Brother’ Family Reacted to Grahame’s Shocking Death
Grahame’s death sent shockwaves through the Big Brother community. Several of her friends and costars posted tributes to her on social media, with some describing her as an “icon” on British TV.
Big Brother UK host Davina McCall took to Twitter to remember the beloved reality star.
“I am so desperately sad to hear about Nikki Grahame,” McCall wrote. “My thoughts are with her friends and family xx she really was the funniest, most bubbly sweetest girl.”
Many of Grahame’s co-stars from her original Big Brother season also posted tributes to her following her death. Grahame’s costar and friend Aisleyne Horgan-Wallace broke down in a series of tweets as she shared photos of her with Nikki.
“Just come home,” she wrote. “Tell us this isn’t real I LOVE YOU SO MUCH PLEASE COME HOME.”
“I will forever protect you… forever love you forever miss you good night sweet angel, rest now no more pain,” she added.
“Beyond Upset!” wrote BB UK’s Glyn Wise. “Devastating news about the passing of Nikki Grahame. A true icon and the real winner of Big Brother 7! I will always remember your laughter, your smile, your tantrums, and bluntness. But more than anything I’ll remember your zest for life. I love you always Nikki xxx.”
Pete Bennett, who was in a brief romance with Grahame during their BBUK stint broke down in an Instagarm video as he remembered his longtime friend. He also thanked fans for trying to save her via the fundraising page.
“I thought to myself, yeah, we can save her,” Bennett said. “But it’s OK. she’s in a good place. She’s not suffering anymore.”
Big Brother Canada host Arisa Cox also paid tribute to Grahame with photos of her from her time on the show.
“HEARTBROKEN to hear this devastating news that the incredible force of nature that is Nikki Grahame has passed away,” Cox tweeted. “We messaged some love to each other just a few weeks ago and I cannot believe this is happening. We love you, Nikki.”
Grahame’s Mother Revealed That Her Struggles With Her Eating Disorder Spiraled During the Pandemic
Grahame had fought a long battle with anorexia that was further fueled during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her mother, Susan, told a British morning show last week that her daughter had trouble when gyms closed down during lockdown because she would not eat if she couldn’t exercise.
“With Covid, it sounds crazy but stuff like gyms closing impacted her,” Grahame’s mother said, per The Sun. “In order for her to eat she needs to know she can exercise, so when they closed it was quite a worry, the isolation as well.”
Grahame’s final Instagram post in November after a second national lockdown was announced in England hinted at her struggles during the pandemic.