Big Brother star Nikki Grahame has tragically passed away at the age of 38.
Nikki rose to fame on series 7 of Big Brother in 2006 before returning to the show Ultimate Big Brother in 2010.
As well as her appearances on Big Brother, Nikki regularly featured on spin-off show Bit On The Side and had her own reality series Princess Nikki on E4.
A statement issued by friends and family today (10 April), read: “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 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.”
The sad news follows Nikki’s friends and family fundraising to help get her treatment for an eating disorder.
“All donations have been greatly appreciated and it was heartwarming for everyone including Nikki to see how much she was loved,” her family wrote on their Go Fund Me. “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.”
They added: “Rest In Peace, Nikki. We love you & not a day will go by without missing your smile. X X X”
Big Brother stars and presenters have been quick to pay tribute.
Davina McCall tweeted: “I am so desperately sad to hear about Nikki Graham x my thoughts are with her friends and family xx she really was the funniest , most bubbly sweetest girl x”
Rylan Clark-Neal added: “Thinking of Susan and Nikki’s close friends and family. A Big Brother Icon x”
Big Brother narrator Marcus Bentley said: “#Who is she’? The best housemate ever! Night, night Princess Nikki!”
Arisa Cox, host of Big Brother Canada, shared: “HEARTBROKEN to hear this devastating news that the incredible force of nature that is Nikki Grahame has passed away. We messaged some love to each other just a few weeks ago and I cannot believe this is happening. We love you Nikki.”
Other TV personalities have also spoken out, with Paddy McGuinness writing: “Bloody hell, just read the sad news about Nikki Grahame. Definitely one of the stars from the glory years of reality tv. I met her a long time ago and she was a lovely girl. RIP young lady.”
For help and support with eating disorders you can contact B-eat (Beat Eating Disorders) online or on the phone. Visit https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/support-services/helplines for more information.