Warning: This article contains discussion of eating disorders that some readers may find distressing.
A year since her passing, Channel 4 is celebrating the life of reality TV star Nikki Grahame in a new documentary, titled Nikki Grahame: Who Is She?
Airing tonight (Thursday 7th April), the one-off film will explore the Big Brother star's life, from her ongoing battle with anorexia, to her 2006 stint on the Channel 4 show and her death in April 2021.
Throughout her life, Nikki struggled with an eating disorder, and in the new documentary, her family and friends reveal how Big Brother played a major part in "saving" her.
Speaking of the moment she found out Nikki was going on the show, Nikki's childhood friend Carly Cunningham says: "I’m sure other people were worried, but I wasn’t worried about her going in the house.
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"It’s almost like it gave her a reason to live again. It was like this new burst of energy... It was like that was revived in her when she went through those doors – 'now I’ve got something else to focus on, something to get better for. I’m not Nikki with an illness, I’m Nikki!'
"For a long time whilst doing Big Brother she had that new focus and I saw the 'Well Nikki' probably for the first time.”
She adds: "I don’t think she felt very accepted by people ever in life and she finally felt accepted and this is for me and not my illness. That was everything to Nikki.”
Despite fearing that people wouldn't understand Nikki when she signed up for the show, Nikki's mum Susan Grahame was pleasantly surprised about the positive impact the show had on her daughter's life.
“I think Big Brother played quite a role in saving Nikki’s life, I really do," she explains.
"When I’ve seen Nikki so sick and close to death on many occasions, it’s like her whole fortune has turned around. From now on, she was going to be alright. She suddenly came alive. It introduced her to a totally different world out there. She was so busy.
"I think there was a part of Nikki that never understood just how loved she was.”
Nikki died in April 2021, after being admitted to a private hospital with an eating disorder a month prior.
She became a huge sensation after appearing on season 7 of Big Brother, finishing in fifth place, and going on to star on the 16th run of Big Brother as a guest housemate, as well as Big Brother Canada, Celebrity Coach Trip and Pointless Celebrities.
For support and further information about eating disorders, please visit Beat.
Nikki Grahame: Who Is She? airs on Channel 4 and All 4 on Thursday 7th April at 9pm.
For more to watch, check out our TV Guide. Also visit our hub for more Documentaries news.