Nikki Grahame, a reality televisiion star best known for her appearance on the seventh season of Big Brother UK, has died following a lengthy battle with anorexia.
She was 38 years old.
“It is with immeasurable sadness that Nikki Grahame passed away in the early hours of Friday 9th April 2021,” her rep said in a statement over the weekend.
“Please respect the privacy of Nikki’s friends and family at this tragic and difficult time.”
The British reality star’s death comes weeks after she checked herself into a private clinic for life-saving care after her eating disorder worsened amid the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.
Her passing was also announced on a GoFundMe page that was set up to raise money to pay for her treatment, with the entry reading as follows:
“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.”
The post concluded: “Rest In Peace, Nikki. We love you & not a day will go by without missing your smile. X X X.”
Grahame competed on Big Brother UK season seven back in 2006.
Four years later, she returned for the show’s All-Stars season, Ultimate Big Brother, finishing as the runner-up.
She also appeared on the 16th season of Big Brother UK in 2015.
Then, a year later, she joined Big Brother Canada season four as a “Wildcard Houseguest” — and, in 2018, she appeared on season 19 of Big Brother UK.
At one point, Grahame starred in her own reality series, Princess Nikki, which followed Grahame attempting several jobs — such as trash collecting and deep sea fishing — and seeing whether she would be able to keep them for a day or be fired.
While she achieved modest success in the professional realm, however, as outlined above… Nikki suffered greatly on the personal front.
She released two books on her bouts of anorexia nervosa, 2009’s Dying to Be Thin and Fragile, released in 2012.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Nikki’s mother, Sue, said her daughter attempted suicide as a younger adult and that, after COVID-19 broke out, her daughter, who lived alone, suffered from “terminal loneliness.”
“This last year has just about floored her.
“From the first lockdown, it was hellish. She struggled because she couldn’t go to the gym. Then in December she fell down and cracked her pelvis in two places and broke her wrist.
“I stayed with her for three or four weeks because she couldn’t do anything.”
Sue also talked about Nikki’s battle on ITV’s This Morning show.
“I think last year really put the cap on it, with COVID,” she said.
“It sounds crazy, but even stuff like gyms closing, which was quite important to Nikki, because in a lot of ways, in order for her to eat, she needs to know that she can exercise.
“So when they closed, it was quite a worry.”
For the record, no cause of death has been confirmed at this time.
Late on Saturday, a tribute to Nikki was posted on Big Brother UK’s Twitter page.
“Nikki Grahame was a much loved housemate and a huge part of the Big Brother family,” it reads.
“We are shocked and saddened by this awful news and our thoughts are with her family.”