Vanessa Feltz reflects on Nikki Grahame friendship and her ‘terrible’ loss

Vanessa Feltz has paid tribute to her late friend Nikki Grahame a year on from her tragic death, describing her as “a mischievous, hilarious” girl.

Vanessa, 60, and Nikki, who died last April after battling anorexia from the age of eight, formed a tight friendship during their time together in the 2010 series, Ultimate Big Brother house.

And in Thursday 7 April’s moving Channel 4 documentary charting Nikki’s life and illness, This Morning’s agony aunt Vanessa is one of the famous faces reflecting on her fondest memories of the reality star.

After archive footage of the pair chatting about Nikki’s illness plays for viewers at home, a visibly emotional Vanessa tells the cameras, “Nikki was a mischievous, hilarious girl with a really naughty sense of humour.

“She was just an adornment to the world, and I just loved her so much and it’s a terrible loss.”

Vanessa also shared how important Big Brother was to Nikki, and that it came to mean much more to her than just a reality series and was where she seemed at her happiest.

“I think Big Brother was everything to Nikki. It was much, much more to her than just a television programme, or just an appearance, or even just the key to fame.

“I think to her it was a real thing, like a mum, like a dad, a home. It was the real entity to her.”

Later in the one-off documentary, Vanessa goes on to reflect on the moment she saw a photo of Nikki on the GoFund me page that was set up to raise awareness of her battle with anorexia, shortly before she passed away.

Speaking of her shock, the star said: “The picture on the GoFundMe page was I mean, you know, absolutely devastating.

“I’ll never forget it as long as I live. And I felt absolutely stricken at the idea that she was suffering.”

Elsewhere, former Big Brother’s Bit On The Side host Dermot O’Leary credits Nikki with being TV gold, saying she was "dynamite."

Dermot says: “You don't just think of what a great contestant she was, you think of what a lovely person she was, or how iconic she was during the time she was on television.

“The fundamental heart of it is she's someone's daughter and that's the heartbreak,” Dermot added, speaking of Nikki's mum Sue.

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This comes as Nikki’s former Big Brother housemate Glyn Wise also shared his memories of living with the much-loved reality star.

Speaking with fellow Big Brother alumni Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary on This Morning, Glyn, 33, said whenever he thought of Nikki, he couldn’t help but smile.

He continued: “She was such great energy. I sent a message to her mother because I know her mother is a woman of faith, as well, so that has helped her through.”

Glyn concluded: “I know Nikki will be looking down on us and smiling and laughing.”

For support on eating disorders, please visit: beateatingdisorders.org.uk

To read more moving tributes for Nikki Grahame, sign up to OK!'s daily celebrity newsletter. Nikki Grahame: Who Is She airs at 9pm on Channel 4

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