Emotional TV host Davina McCall has recalled her horror when she witnessed the Big Brother
A new three-part documentary series starting this week will look at the life of Jade ten years after her death from cervical cancer.
She became the first reality TV star to earn a million pounds before returning to the Big Brother house for a celebrity version of the show.
But on her second appearance she clashed with Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty and dubbed her ‘Shilpa Poppodom’ and alongside S Club 7’s Jo O’Meara and Danielle Lloyd also bullied the actress, leading to over 50,000 complaints.
Looking back on the show and how keen people were to enter, former host Davina said: “It is not easy in there. The producers’ chat to potential housemates was ‘don’t do it – don’t go into Big Brother.
“It’s going to ruin your life, it’s going to ruin all of your friends lives it’s definitely going to ruin your family’s life’.
“But people wanted to be in there so much, they’d be like, ‘yeah yeah yeah, ruin my life, yeah…where do I sign?’.”
Referring to Jade’s second appearance and looking close to tears, she added: “Jade was going into that house as the nation’s sweetheart. We were excited about that. And I couldn’t wait to see what she brought.
“But I remember almost immediately thinking this is a bad combo.
“It’s like three British young girls all coming together, and then forming a gang basically. It started to be bullying and I was like ‘man you are careering off the tracks you are so going in the wrong direction’.”
As she prepared to interview Jade for her exit interview following the race row, Davina admits to the doc she felt terrible about what was about to happen.
She added: “I remember thinking ‘Oh my God what’s happened?’ How it can all turn in a nano second. She’s now become the most hated girl in Britain. It was a bit like knowing you’re about to ruin someone’s life forever, but they don’t know it yet. Ooof.”
Dermot O’Leary, who hosted spin off show Big Brother’s Little Brother, also looks back on the incident with sadness.
He tells the documentary he struggled with the interview he had to conduct with her: “It was absolutely insane, the story just got so big so quickly. I remember seeing… guys burning effigies of Jade in India and I thought this s*** has got absolutely out of hand.
“The incendiary nature of the whole thing made us really quite worried about her… at the same time it would have been remiss of me in my job not to hold her to account. Yeah, it was difficult.”
After being evicted from the house, she later visited India where she apologised for her behaviour.
Jade also starred in pantomimes and in 2008 appeared on Bigg Boss, the Indian version of Big Brother.
The comments on the race row come in the second part of the three-part series, with the opening episode concentrating on her upbringing in Bermondsey, London without much money before she got her big break going into Big Brother and becoming a huge star.
Jade: The Reality Star Who Changed Britain starts on Wednesday at 9pm on Channel 4