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DJ’s heart goes out to sick Jade

PUBLISHED: 16:42 18 February 2009 | UPDATED: 10:28 23 August 2010

THE SHOW GOES ON: Jade Goody when she made her debut as the Wicked Queen in Snow White at Woodville Halls.

THE SHOW GOES ON: Jade Goody when she made her debut as the Wicked Queen in Snow White at Woodville Halls.

A TOP radio DJ has offered his support for cancer-stricken Jade Goody calling her an absolute diamond as he recalled the time he interviewed the reality TV star. Gravesend-born Radio Kent DJ Paul James interviewed the star for the BBC when she made her

A TOP radio DJ has offered his support for cancer-stricken Jade Goody calling her an 'absolute diamond' as he recalled the time he interviewed the reality TV star.

Gravesend-born Radio Kent DJ Paul James interviewed the star for the BBC when she made her debut professional stage appearance in the Woodville Halls pantomime.

The 27-year-old played the Wicked Queen in Snow White during a month-long run for a reported £25,000, in the Gravesend Reporter sponsored production shortly after leaving the Big Brother house in 2002.

Paul James said: "When I interviewed her she was surrounded by people that really looked after her so that must be the same way now.

"She was very genuine. All she kept saying was that she couldn't believe her luck that her career took off as much as it did.

"When I got her on her own she was absolute sweetness, she was wonderful. She was a real sweetheart, an absolute diamond and an amazing lady. Nobody thought she could go this far. She's had some rough times but she has always been herself."

The 27-year-old also returned to the borough to open Coldharbour Library, Coldharbour Road, Northfleet, alongside comedienne and TV presenter Sandy Toksvig following its refurbishment in July 2006.

But in August last year while filming Bigg Boss, the Indian version of Big Brother the star was told the harrowing news that she had cervical cancer. By September the cancer had become life threatening and she lost all of her hair after undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

On February 4 her publicist Max Clifford confirmed the cancer had spread to her liver, bowel and groin.

She underwent emergency surgery in London to remove a golf ball-sized tumour in her bowel and last Saturday he confirmed reports that doctors had given her just months to live.

Following the news her partner Jack Tweed, 21, proposed on the banks of the River Thames. The two are expected to be married on Sunday.

Since being diagnosed with cervical cancer the former dental nurse has not shied away from publicity and has done a great deal to raise awareness of the illness. Mr James says he is not surprised by her openness and bravery.

He said: "That's just her. The more people that are aware of it the better really. She has had all the TV cameras following her most of her life and that's just the way it has been with her. She has been very brave about it but she must breakdown sometimes when the cameras are off. Anyone would. My thoughts are with her."

Sara Hiom, Cancer Research UK's director of health information, said: "If more young women take up their invitations to cervical screening because of what has happened to Jade then she has done a great public service.

"When celebrities talk openly about any illness they inevitably help to raise public awareness. This happens when soap operas feature a particular cancer and is certainly happening since Jade talked publicly about her cervical cancer."

Prior to her appearance at the Woodville Halls, Jade switched on the Christmas lights alongside then Mayor Narinderjit Thandi in front of hundreds of fans. Speaking to the Reporter before the event she was in typically high spirits.

She said: "Though I'm a nice person I should not have any trouble playing the wicked queen. It's more fun playing baddies anyway. Panto is just a giggle. Getting booed is just part of the fun.

"Being a cockney I know about Gravesend and it's going to be a lot of fun. People saw me as an angel or devil in Big Brother and I'll be the devil in Snow White.

Talking about her quick rise to fame, she added: "I'm very level-headed. I don't like to say I'm a celebrity. I'm just a recognised face. To everyone I know I'm just Jade.

It would be great if it lasted, but I'm not going to be too concerned if it doesn't. I take life day by day."

jason.goodyer@archant.co.uk

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