Page last updated at 18:05 GMT, Friday, 20 February 2009

Profile: Jade Goody

Jade Goody
Jade Goody shot to fame in 2002 as a Big Brother contestant
Reality star Jade Goody is preparing to marry partner Jack Tweed after having been told she may only have months to live.

The 27-year-old was originally diagnosed with cervical cancer in August following an appearance of the Indian version of Big Brother.

Since then she has endured months of painful chemotherapy and radiotherapy, but has now discovered her cancer has spread.

Goody shot to fame in 2002 as a contestant in Big Brother 3, becoming a figure of ridicule in the media, depicted as a pig by one tabloid newspaper and denounced for being two-faced and ignorant.

In 2007, she again made headlines for the wrong reasons when she was accused of racism towards Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty in the UK version of Celebrity Big Brother.

Her clash with Shetty prompted a flood of complaints - and led to the appearance on the Indian show where she first learned that she could have cancer.

Run-down

Jade Goody
Goody wrote about her life in her autobiography
Goody was brought up in a run-down part of Bermondsey, south-east London, by her mother Jackiey Budden.

Her father, Andrew, left Budden when Goody was two years old. He spent four years in Wandsworth Prison for robbery.

Goody claims she did not get the chance to go to school often, and has spoken of how she had to help out her mother, who lost the use of her left arm and the sight in one eye after a motorbike accident.

In 2002, the dental nurse's life changed when she took part in Big Brother.

From the moment she entered house she became noticed - both by housemates and viewers at home.

On her first night she ended up getting drunk and asking what asparagus was. Questions such as, "Rio de Janeiro, ain't that a person?" and "Is East Angular abroad?" generated a huge amount of comment.

Celebrity frenzy

Yet, for all the negative press, Goody's fortunes turned around and she finished fourth in the competition.

Even at the series' peak, fame was fleeting for most Big Brother contestants, but Goody proved an exception. She became a newspaper and magazine regular.

She released several successful keep-fit DVDs, opened up her own beauty salon in Hertford and released an autobiography.

She went on to launch her own fragrance just before Christmas 2006, which rapidly became a best-seller.

Goody's small-screen career fame continued, with appearances on shows including Celebrity Wife Swap, Celebrity Driving School, Celebrity Weakest Link and Celebrity Stars in their Eyes.

She also fronted her own reality TV shows, including What Jade Did Next, Jade's Salon and Jade's PA.

PR disaster

Jade Goody with mother Jackiey Budden and boyfriend Jack Tweedy
In 2007, Goody entered Celebrity Big Brother with her mother and boyfriend
But her high-profile return - complete with mother Jackiey Budden and model boyfriend Jack Tweed - to the British Big Brother house in January 2007 was a PR disaster.

The show attracted 45,000 complaints to media regulator Ofcom over the alleged bullying of Shetty by Goody and fellow contestants, model Danielle Lloyd and singer Jo O'Meara.

In one incident, Goody referred to Shetty as "Shilpa Poppadom".

The controversy led to her perfume being taken off shelves and a paperback version of her autobiography was dropped by publishers.

Goody became something of a national villain in the eyes of many Indians and, a month after leaving the house, she visited the country telling Indians: "I am sorry for the hurt and pain that my actions caused."

Her appearance in the Bigg Boss house may have been seen as a further way for her to make amends as well as pocketing another substantial appearance fee.

Cancer battle

Goody's cancer diagnosis saw her propelled back into the public eye, and she has continued to give interviews talking about her cancer battle.

TV channel Living even commissioned a three-part series, which followed the star and documented her living with the illness.

Goody defended selling her story, saying she was trying to earn a living for her children.

After hearing her cancer may be terminal, she told the News of the World: "I've lived my whole adult life talking about my life. The only difference is that I'm talking about my death now. It's OK.

"I've lived in front of the cameras. And maybe I'll die in front of them. And I know some people don't like what I'm doing but at this point I really don't care what other people think. Now, it's about what I want."

TV presenter Jeff Brazier, who made his name appearing in Channel 4 reality show Shipwrecked, is the father of their two sons, Bobby and Freddy.

They split up after a two-year relationship, with their stormy rows becoming almost daily tabloid fodder.

Her current relationship with Tweed, 21, has also been turbulent. Last year he was sentenced to 18 months in prison after he was convicted of assaulting a 16-year-old boy in 2006. He served four months before being released in January 2009 on electronic monitoring.

But whatever her past disappointments, Jade Goody will be counting on the support of those around her in the weeks and months to come.

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