“Big Brother” UK star Nikki Grahame has died at the age of 38, the reality star’s agent confirmed to Sky News. Her death was first reported on a GoFundMe page set up after her battle with anorexia returned, saying that Grahame died on Friday, April 9.
Here is what you need to know about the reality TV star’s life and death.
Grahame Starred on ‘Big Brother’ In Both the United Kingdom and Canada
In 2006, Grahame was one of 22 houseguests on “Big Brother 7” in the United Kingdom. She lasted 58 days before being evicted the first time but was subsequently voted back into the house along with three other evictees via the “House Next Door” vote. The remaining houseguests then got to choose which of the four stayed and Grahame was chosen. She then lasted until 93 and finished in fifth place.
Grahame continued to be part of the “Big Brother” franchise by appearing on “Ultimate Big Brother,” “Big Brother 16” and “Big Brother 19” in the UK, and then “Big Brother 4” in Canada.
In 2017, Grahame was featured on an episode of “In Therapy With Mandy Saligari” where she spoke candidly about her lifelong battle with anorexia. In an interview on British talk show “Lorraine” tied to that episode, Grahame credited “Big Brother” with saving her life.
“Before when I’ve had therapy, I’ve been so clouded by the eating disorder that I’ve not really utilized it, and to be given this opportunity, it brought so much clarity,” said Grahame, adding, “‘Big Brother’ literally opened my world to everything … I’m content and really at one with myself.”
Grahame Struggled With Anorexia Most of Her Life
Throughout her time in the spotlight, Grahame was open about her struggle with anorexia nervosa, writing two books about her experiences, “Dying To Be Thin: The True Story of My Lifelong Battle Against Anorexia” and “Fragile.”
The description of her first book details her struggles:
From the age of eight until she was 19, Nikki battled anorexia nervosa—but few cases have been quite as extreme as hers. What she has been through while suffering from this illness will surprise and shock readers. At just seven years old, Nikki began feeling that she was overweight. A remark about her being fat from a fellow pupil at a gymnastics class, along with insecurity brought about by her parents’ separation and her beloved grandfather’s death, were the catalysts for Nikki’s long-term eating disorder.
Aged just eight and weighing just under three stone, she was diagnosed as anorexic. For the next eight years, Nikki was in and out of seven institutions, during which time she attempted suicide twice and had to be sedated up to four times a day so that she could be force-fed. At one point, she was sedated for 14 days while doctors sewed a tube into her stomach, through which she was fed in order to get her weight out of the critical range.
The GoFundMe set up by her friends spoke of her recent relapse, writing, “Over the past years Nikki’s family and friends have tried so desperately to get Nikki all the help possible through the NHS but unfortunately the treatments have failed and we have exhausted every avenue possible, and now Nik is unfortunately in a very bad way, this is now our last hope. This is why we feel that getting her treatment in a specialist clinic is the only option left for her.”
Then an update came on Saturday, April 10 that announced that Grahame has died.
“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,” wrote her friend Leon Dee. “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.”
Sky News reported that Grahame had been in a private hospital at the time of her death. No other details have been released at this time.
Big Brother U.S. returns in summer 2021 for its 23rd season. Big Brother Canada returned for its ninth season on March 3.
READ NEXT: ‘Big Brother’ Contestants Who Have Died
More Heavy on Big Brother
Loading more stories