Jade Goody and the reality TV PR bandwagon of death

Last year I said something pretty mean about Jade Goody and I’m sorry. I wrote she had PR cancer and then it turned out to be real. My bad, but even as she lies wasting away it appears the PR bit was right. I just read Shilpa Shetty is making a final dash to her bed side.

This is all kind of very sad and I know a lot of people have been moved by Jade Goody’s plight.

Each day a new story appears about Goody’s last days, but as we speed towards the end of this born and bred reality TV celebrity story it feels as if it is spinning out of control.

The lines between what is decent, dignified and acceptable and what is a PR money grabbing exercise are as blurred as 2am in an Essex nightclub.

I was listening to the Today programme this morning on R4. They had the story that Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty, who you will remember was branded ‘Shilpa Poppadom’ by Jade Goody in ‘Celebrity Big Brother’, has flown to Britain to “bid farewell to the cancer-stricken reality television star”.

Are there not real people that Jade Goody can see? People who give a frak rather than a minor Bollywood star?

We’re told that the two have become “good friends” since the whole racist incident and Jade Goody went to India last year and appeared on the Indian version of ‘Big Brother’ where she was fatefully told she was ill.

Shetty said: “All I can do is pray. I’m not giving up hope of seeing her one last time. I always want to remember Jade smiling, the feisty strong gregarious Jade, a true trouper.”

The arrival of Shetty on the scene came as OK! yesterday published its “tribute issue” to Jade Goody. I thought you had to be dead to get one of those so people could remember you in a dignified fashion.

Apparently not as OK! has a deal with Jade Goody’s people (Max Clifford) to get first dibs ahead of rivals. Apparently they did really well out of the wedding issue with bumper sales. Imagine what they will get if they beat everyone to the death/tribute issue.

There will be acres of more coverage. It will be well read I am sure. Jade Goody is doing much of this to ensure that her two children are provided for. Surely they are now. It feels like the cameras should be turned off, but there appears no chance of that.


  • anton rush

    Tough one this. I want to rail against it being bad taste and then I hear that loads of women are screening and some are getting saved as a result, then I think about dear old Max C and veer off in the other direction. I think I’m standing in the Essex night club next to you Gordon. Fancy another drink? It might dull the pain of trying to make up our minds on this one….

  • http://www.Seanie.info SEAN RUTTLEDGE

    OK I too hold my hands up on this one

    I backed Gordon fully on his “PR Cancer” post and I’m still singing from the same hymn sheet as him too

    Yes, I want you all to know that I am am truly sorry that Jade Goody has Cancer and I was sceptical of her and spinmeoster general Max Clifford when the story frst broke

    I apologise unreservedly to all those who took offense at my original scepticism

    Jade has monetised this “Story” right till the end, you can’t blame her for wanting her kids to be provided for after she departs this mortal coil I guess, at least we can say that when life threw lemons at Jade Goody she made as much lemonade as was humanly possible

    Again, SORRY

  • http://www.haimediagroup.com Lisa Devaney

    Agreed Gordon that It is such a circus and riddled with plenty of bad taste media and promotional moves, but I confess I can’t help but be utterly moved to tears and fascinated by Jade Goody’s story being played out across UK media. Not to mention the fear it strikes in the hearts of women, propelling us to beg our doctors for screening.

    It will be weird to find that soon Jade Goody collectible items will be sold on eBay. OK has its collector’s edition tribute to her life issue on the shelves already — very strange.

  • IanC

    I’m going to be dispassionate. I’ve slated everything Jade has ever done since she first got rich off the back of basically being a loud, foul-mouthed, selfish and almost ferral (I’m just expressing myself) individual. Sorry, it was true before she became ill so that hasn’t really changed. The biggest tragedy is obviously for her and her kids, but I also feel that another tradegy will be just as her and Kerry Katona et al had just about had their day, we’ll now see yet more coverage of the badly behaved, self absorbed big brother types who set such a shite example. Maybe I’m just old and grumpy!
    But I wish Jade and her family well, and do feel guilty for all that slating…


    I agree with IanC. I didn’t like Jade that much, wasn’t interested in her or her on-screen life or her PR machine. Before or after her death. As far as I could see she was just famous for being infamous, using PR spin to get coverage etc. I have to admit, like many, that I approached the whole Jade-cancer thing as a particularly nasty PR stunt.

    Now the whole thing reminds me of the boy who cried wolf story – I still can’t quite believe that the whole thing isn’t a tale somehow, even though I know she died. I feel bad for her family, especially her sons and I do accept the decisions she made about getting as much as she could from the media circus for those sons, but I can’t be a hypocrite and say that she was ‘a Lady Diana from the wrong side of the tracks’ as Stephen Fry has said.