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Big Brother star Nikki Grahame has died at the age of 38.
The former contestant, who appeared on the show in 2006, had been battling anorexia. She checked into a private hospital last month after her eating disorder worsened throughout the lockdown.
The sad news comes after fans, friends and family members of Nikki raised more than £65,000 to enable her to pay for life-saving treatment.
Her manager confirmed that she had died on Friday morning.
A statement from her representative says, "It is with immeasurable sadness that Nikki Grahame passed away in the early hours of Friday 9th April 2021. Please respect the privacy of Nikki’s friends and family at this tragic and difficult time."
Organisers of the Go Fund Me fundraising page (opens in new tab) have also updated it to share the news with fans of the star. "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."
It continues, "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.
"We would like to request privacy at this difficult time, while Nikki's friends and family process the sad news.
"Full details will be released as and when we know them.
"All donations have been greatly appreciated and it was heartwarming for everyone including Nikki to see how much she was loved.
"Funds will be held safely in this GoFundMe until we have established an organisation supporting those suffering from anorexia to which we will make a donation in Nikki's memory. We will post updates for you with more details as soon as we have them. Rest In Peace, Nikki. We love you & not a day will go by without missing your smile. X X X".
Fans and friends of Nikki have also shared their condolences over the weekend with former Big Brother presenter Davina McCall leading the tributes.
TV presenter Rylan Clark-Neal wrote on Twitter, 'Thinking of Susan and Nikki’s close friends and family. A Big Brother Icon x', while former X-Factor contestant Joe McElderry said, 'Really sad to hear the passing of @NikkiGrahame grateful to have spent many fun times together ❤️ my thoughts are with her family. Rest in Peace lovely girl ❤️ '.
Nikki Grahame became known for her appearance on Big Brother in 2006, particularly her appearances in the Diary Room. She was hugely popular with viewers of the show and was voted back into the house just four weeks after she was first evicted. She finished the series in fifth place.
Last month, Nikki's mum told the Telegraph that lockdown had "floored her daughter."
“This last year has just about floored her,” she said, “From the first lockdown, it was hellish. She struggled because she couldn’t go to the gym."
"Then in December she fell down and cracked her pelvis in two places and broke her wrist. I stayed with her for three or four weeks because she couldn't do anything. We've been on this road a long time, 30 years on and off, and I've never seen her this bad. I'm frightened that I'll die and she'll have no one to support her. I don't want her to go through any of this alone."
Following the news of Nikki's passing, those struggling have been urged to contact eating disorder charity Beat (0808 801 firstname.lastname@example.org for adults/ email@example.com for youth support), Samaritans (116 123) or mental health charity, Mind (0300 123 3393).