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Parkinson: 'Goody was exploited'

8 April 09 11:22 GMT

Sir Michael Parkinson has hit out at the media's treatment of the late reality TV star Jade Goody.

Writing in the Radio Times, the 74-year-old said Goody had become property of the media "to be manipulated and exploited 'til the day she died".

He added she came to represent "all that's paltry and wretched about Britain", and was "the perfect victim of our times".

Goody died on Mother's Day aged 27 after battling cervical cancer.

"Her death is as sad as the death of any young person but it's not the passing of a martyr or a saint or, God help us, Princess Di," Sir Michael wrote.

Exploitation

"When we clear the media smokescreen from around her death, what we're left with is a woman who came to represent all that's paltry and wretched about Britain today.

"She was brought up on a sink estate, as a child came to know both drugs and crime, was barely educated, ignorant and puerile.

"Then she was projected to celebrity by Big Brother and, from that point on, became a media chattel to be manipulated and exploited till the day she died," he said.

The broadcaster added it was not the fact that Goody became famous in the first place that bothered him: "What bothers me is that the media first of all recommended we hate Jade Goody.

"'A slapper with a face like a pig'; 'the most hated woman in Britain', remember? And shortly thereafter tried to persuade us to celebrate her."

He said Goody was "the perfect victim of our times...brought up in a cesspit of poverty and died to an orchestrated chorus of exploitation".

"All that is to be wished of such a troubled soul is: rest in peace," he concluded.

However, Bishop Jonathan Blake, who presided over Goody's wedding, has responded to Sir Michael's comments on his blog.

He criticised the presenter for "putting the boot in to a young woman so recently buried".

He added the star had achieved an "immense amount" in her short life because of "her inherent gifts and untutored intelligence".

Hundreds of well-wishers lined the streets to pay their respects to Goody as her funeral procession made its way through the streets from London to Essex on Saturday.

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