On 9th April 2021, The Big Brother star Nikki Grahame tragically passed away at age 38, following complications from her life long struggle with Anorexia Nervosa.
Although it's fair to say I was never really a fan, never invested in the programming she was involved in, her passing affected me more than I thought it would. I got quite teary looking back over her various interviews from the past decade.
I don't think I'd ever previously paid her much attention - she just existed in that culture of celebrity - but when I did, it was so clear to see her enthusiasm for life, her passion for the causes she cared about and the love that surrounded her life.
I think one of the inspirations for this podcast was the on going dialogue, focusing on what happened to her, how it happened, and most significantly, whose to blame. You get the sense that there's a significant portion of opinionated people who are convinced they know how this tragedy happened. I'm not professing to know either, but I get the impression that it always seems hyper focused on one particular aspect of her life.
In this episode, I thought it would be interesting to explore these various facets of her life (Big Brother, Fame, Covid-19 lockdown restrictions & hospital care) with a view to broadening the wider context in which her passing is being talked about.
As well as this, I want to address our societal & personal desires to attribute blame, and question whether this has any positive influence on our grief or empathy.
Above all, my aim was to be respectful to both Nikki and the loved ones affected by this bereavement. I hope that her close friends & family are getting the help & support they may need and I wish them all the best.
The Savage Balance Podcast is a weekly podcast offering a new story, essay, interview, thought or leftover scribble from the back of a napkin.