What happened with the Jade Goody and Shilpa Shetty 'race row' on CBB?

22 June 2020, 14:30

Jade Goody appeared in perhaps the most controversial CBB series ever
Jade Goody appeared in perhaps the most controversial CBB series ever. Picture: Channel 4

The 'race row' between Jade Goody and Shilpa Shetty in the Celebrity Big Brother house caused an international incident in 2007 - here's everything you need to know.

Jade Goody, who tragically died from cervical cancer aged 27 in 2009, became the nation's first 'reality star' after being catapulted into the spotlight when she appeared on the third series of Big Brother in 2003.

Read more: Jack Tweed hasn't found love again as 'no-one compares' to Jade Goody

After a lucrative TV career in the years following, she was asked to be a contestant on Celebrity Big Brother in 2007.

What happened with Jade Goody and Shilpa Shetty and who else was involved?

Jade Goody entered the CBB house in 2007 with Jackiey Budden and her boyfriend Jack Tweed.

Her appearance on the show soon sparked headlines for bad reasons after she, along with fellow contestants Jo O'Meara and Danielle Lloyd were accused of 'bullying' Shilpa Shetty.

Jade and Shilpa clashed in the Celebrity Big Brother house
Jade and Shilpa clashed in the Celebrity Big Brother house. Picture: Channel 4

They called the Bollywood actress 'Shilpa Poppadom', and said she needed a 'day in the slums'.

There was an international outcry at the actions of Jade, Jo and Danielle - in India, where Shilpa is a popular celebrity, people burnt effigies of Jade in the street. The situation was also debated in parliament.

During a visit to India, Prime Minister at the time Gordon Brown said: “I want Britain to be seen as a country of fairness and tolerance.

"Anything detracting from this I condemn.”

The aftermath

Jade was evicted from the house on Friday 19 January after receiving 82 per cent of the votes to evict.

In an unprecedented move, Channel 4 did not allow an audience for her eviction, and she came out to a non-existent crowd.

Read more: Jade Goody documentary leaves viewers in tears as heartbreaking past is revealed by mum Jackiey

Dermot O'Leary said in the documentary: “It was absolutely insane, the story just got so big so quickly.

Jade and Jack entered the CBB house together
Jade and Jack entered the CBB house together. Picture: PA

“I remember seeing… guys burning effigies of Jade in India and I thought this s*** has got absolutely out of hand.

“The incendiary nature of the whole thing made us really quite worried about her… at the same time it would have been remiss of me in my job not to hold her to account. Yeah, it was difficult.”

By the time Jade was evicted, the number of Ofcom complaints stood at around 40,000.

Jade Goody's cervical cancer diagnosis

Jade went on to appear on the Indian version of Big Brother in 2009, but was told that she had cervical cancer while in the house.

Devastatingly, Jade thought that her diagnosis was a punishment for her previous behaviour.

Speaking on the documentary, mother Jackiey Budden says: “One night she felt really scared because, obviously, she knew she was going very soon.

“She said, ‘Mum I feel like they’re coming to get me. They’re coming to get me. It’s going all dark.’

“She said, ‘Is that because I was so bad in Big Brother?'”