Grim Reality

Not sure how well Big Brother’s doing in the US, but in the UK it’s still reasonably popular. One of our biggest reality TV stars—Jade Goody— was a contestant in 2002. She’s now loaded and rarely out of the newspapers, be it her yo-yo dieting, toyboy lover or her one-armed lesbian mum. She caused an international racism row in 2007 when she took part in the celebrity version of BB. She was accused of being racist towards an Asian contestant (Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty) – and pictures of her were burned in India. She’s had many more twists and turns, but that gives you an idea of who she is. .
So anyway to redeem herself she entered the Indian BB house a couple of weeks ago. A few days into her stay she had a phonecall in the diary room to say that she had cervical cancer and had to come back to the UK immediately for treatment. Since then some newspapers have accused her making the illness up for publicity, and timing the doctors call so that it would get her maximum exposure in the newspapers here.

The reality is that Jade is a 27-year-old mum of two who has cancer. It doesn’t matter what some newspaper editor may think of her, but the woman’s got to have a hysterectomy – having sympathy shouldn’t be something that’s up for debate.

The footage of her getting the phonecall in the Big Brother diary room, and her reaction to the news was aired on TV both here and in India. She didn’t give her permission, so what should have been a very personal moment was on TV news stations on both continents. And guess what the public watched…and watched…lapping it up.

We take the piss out of our reality TV stars/wannabe’s all the time… I mean essentially they’re fame hungry, money-hungry, and should really get a proper job. But it’s we the public and the media who feed into it, and create these stars. So is the blame then on us for Jade’s anguish and possible death into a free-for-all?

Last 5 posts by Hillary Crosley