Preview: Jade – The Reality Star Who Changed Britain

Jade Goody - BBC Pictures

Ten years on from her death, this series explores the roller coaster life of Jade Goody, Britain’s most loved – and hated – reality TV star, to tell a bigger story of class, politics and cultural change in Britain, at a time when reality TV became the biggest and most polarising form of entertainment in the country.

With exclusive interviews and never-before-seen footage, the series explores how Jade’s life story mirrors a period of astonishing social change in Britain. When Jade Goody was first selected to be one of the contestants in the third series of Big Brother in 2002, the producers had no idea of what they had let themselves in for.

At first, viewers, egged on by the tabloids, hated her – but her wit and honesty won her the affection of millions. By the time she was voted out, she had the world at her feet and began to be a constant presence on TV and on the covers of newspapers and magazines. It was all a long way from her Bermondsey upbringing where she grew up as the daughter of drug addicts.

Revelling in the limelight, she was a new kind of TV celebrity at a time when Tony Blair was celebrating the expansion of the middle classes – and Jade couldn’t care less about the posh TV reviewers who continued to deride her. But the pact she formed with the paparazzi and the tabloids was always fragile.

Five years on from Big Brother she was looking for new ways to keep herself in the public eye, when the fateful offer of appearing in Celebrity Big Brother came her way. She had no idea quite how dramatically her life was about to change.

Jade: The Reality Star Who Changed Britain – Wednesday at 9.00pm on Channel 4.