FAMED for her constant tantrums Big Brother drama queen Nikki Grahame is certainly entertaining, but quite simply she should not be on our screens.
Yes, her hilarious Diary Room antics and crying fits make compelling viewing but this 24-year-old is essentially a very mixed-up and vulnerable girl who has spent most of her life battling anorexia.
Mum Sue confides: “Gradually she lost weight until she was less than three stone.
“One Boxing Day when Nikki was 15 I remember I’d just put a roast in the oven when I got a call from the hospital saying she’d got so thin she was critical.
“I went to see her and I was told by the doctor she’d pass away within 15 minutes. I cradled her in my arms. I’d nearly lost her but I kept on saying, ‘You’ve got to fight Nikki, because there is a life out there for you’."
Nikki developed her dangerous eating disorder aged EIGHT after a fellow gymnast commented that she looked fat in her leotard.
Sue insists that Nikki has recovered from her anorexia and if she was still struggling, she would never have let her daughter go on the show.
But experts doubt you can ever recover 100 per cent from this illness.
So why on earth has Sue let her daughter go on Big Brother, the modern-day equivalent of throwing the Christians to the lions?
Instead of being exposed to one of the most intrusive TV shows, Nikki should be protected and kept away from the harsh reality that comes along with Big Brother.
And the one person who should be fiercely guarding her the most is her mother.
Of course Sue more than anyone will want to believe her daughter is over her illness and at 24, she should be mature enough to make her own decisions. But she would have done better to advise Nikki against the ghoulish show.
And Endemol, the Big Brother programme makers, are worse still. The production company is essentially endangering their contestant’s mental state in favour of viewing figures.
The signs of Nikki’s frailty are there for all to see. The mark on her stomach is where her feeding tube used to go. The scar is so vivid because the tormented youngster used to rip out the feeding tube so regularly doctors had to sew it inside her stomach wall.
And Nikki herself has admitted that 16 years of battling against anorexia have eroded all the enamel on her teeth.
Add to that, she constantly feels the cold and draughts and eats her food with a teaspoon in a bid to control her secret urge to scoff meals.
She is constantly looking for reassurance about her body shape - especially from Pete. She is also an exercise junkie and is always feeling tired — all signs that the ghost of her eating disorder still looms.
The promotions model even had a boob job on the NHS because she hated her flat chest so much. A brief look at Nikki’s recent history of two attempted drug overdoses, eight years in hospital and two break-outs from hospital, makes it clear that mum and daughter have been through a terrible time.
Nikki, from Middlesex, was only 12 when she first tried to kill herself.
Her mum explains: “She stole paracetamol from a shop at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London where she was being treated for not eating.
“She must have swallowed virtually a whole pack of pills. She was very devious and took them off the shelves when no one was looking.”
A few years later Nikki stole more pills and did the same again. “As soon as I saw her I knew she’d overdosed,” says Sue. “I blamed myself. I was getting a divorce from her dad and her grandad had just died from cancer.”
Nikki spent the next eight years in and out of institutions. Kyla Padwich, a former friend who was being treated for anorexia alongside Nikki when they were teenagers, recalls: “I was with her in hospital when she tried to kill herself by overdosing on paracetamol. She really can’t cope with any stress at all."
Kyla, 24, continues: “It's obvious to anyone who’s had the condition she’s still not over it.”
But even though Sue is desperate to see her daughter put those miserable years behind her, there can’t be many worse places than Big Brother for someone as susceptible as Nikki.
Sue recalls: “It was hell seeing what she went through but she was the master of not eating. She’d attack staff who tried to help her.”
This is the longest postwoman Sue has gone without seeing her daughter.
She says: “That’s why I keep the TV on all the time and am constantly talking to it! During all those years of her being in an institution with everybody trying to keep her alive, I never got to really be a mum.”
Well, now is your chance. Sue. Get your daughter out of there — before it’s too late.
Deanne Jade, founder of the National Centre Of Eating Disorders, branded Big Brother “scurrilous” and warned vulnerable people were being put at risk.
She said: “If you are inches away from death from an eating disorder that is generally a sign there are more serious problems underneath.
“These people can remain very fragile with poor self-esteem or are carrying a lot of shame and could be very sensitive to public brickbats.
“I would seriously think twice about putting anyone through a scenario where they are under public scrutiny.”
If you or someone you know is suffering from an eating disorder, contact the National Centre for Eating Disorders on 0845 838 2040.
for the tl;dr people...
nikki has suffered from a load of mental problems, including but not limited to, 16 years of anorexia and two suicide attempts as a pre-teen/young teen.
this magazine is making it out like her mom shouldn't have allowed her 24 year old grown daughter to go on to BB7.
nikki on BB7 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> paula from RW key west.
lol, i love it :D