Davina McCall recalls TV moment she knew Jade Goody’s life ‘was ruined’

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Ahead of a new Channel 4 documentary, emotional TV host Davina McCall recalls her horror when she witnessed the Big Brother racism row involving Jade Goody – and how she knew the reality TV star’s life was “ruined forever” even before she left the show
Emotional TV host Davina McCall has recalled her horror when she witnessed the Big Brother racism row involving Jade Goody – and how she knew the reality TV star’s life was “ruined forever” even before she left the show.

A new three-part documentary series starting this week will look at the life of Jade ten years after her death from cervical cancer.

She became the first reality TV star to earn a million pounds before returning to the Big Brother house for a celebrity version of the show.

But on her second appearance she clashed with Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty and dubbed her ‘Shilpa Poppodom’ and alongside S Club 7’s Jo O’Meara and Danielle Lloyd also bullied the actress, leading to over 50,000 complaints.
Davina knew things would never be the same for Jade Goody after her Big Brother eviction
Davina interviews Jade Goody after her eviction from the Big Brother House

Looking back on the show and how keen people were to enter, former host Davina said: “It is not easy in there. The producers’ chat to potential housemates was ‘don’t do it – don’t go into Big Brother.

“It’s going to ruin your life, it’s going to ruin all of your friends lives it’s definitely going to ruin your family’s life’.

“But people wanted to be in there so much, they’d be like, ‘yeah yeah yeah, ruin my life, yeah…where do I sign?’.”

Referring to Jade’s second appearance and looking close to tears, she added: “Jade was going into that house as the nation’s sweetheart. 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 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’.”

Jade said she was ‘disgusted’ with herself after the rows on Big Brother (Image: PA)
Jade after being grilled by Dermot O’Leary (Image: ENTERPRISE NEWS AND PICTURES)

As she prepared to interview Jade for her exit interview following the race row, Davina admits to the doc she felt terrible about what was about to happen.

She added: “I remember thinking ‘Oh my God what’s happened?’ How it can all turn in a nano second. 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. Ooof.”

Dermot O’Leary, who hosted spin off show Big Brother’s Little Brother, also looks back on the incident with sadness.

He tells the documentary he struggled with the interview he had to conduct with her: “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 s*** 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.”

Shilpa Shetty – at the heart of the Big Brother racism row (Image: AFP/Getty Images)
Shilpa Shetty on the set of Big Brother, during her showdown with Jade Goody (Image: WENN)
After being evicted from the house, she later visited India where she apologised for her behaviour.

Jade also starred in pantomimes and in 2008 appeared on Bigg Boss, the Indian version of Big Brother.

The comments on the race row come in the second part of the three-part series, with the opening episode concentrating on her upbringing in Bermondsey, London without much money before she got her big break going into Big Brother and becoming a huge star.

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