Monday 19 August 2019

Pick of the week: Jade: The Reality Star Who Changed Britain

Wednesday, Channel 4, 9pm

A life lived in public

Jade Goody
Jade Goody
Paul Whitington

Paul Whitington

Believe it or not, it's now 10 years since reality TV star Jade Goody died, as she had mainly lived, in the full glare of the cameras. Her decision to essentially expire in public was criticised by some, applauded by others, who argued that she was drawing attention to the dangers of cervical cancer. But by that stage the 27-year-old mother of two didn't care what anyone thought, because she'd been the object of media hate and vitriol ever since she first appeared on Big Brother in 2002. She won a lot of fans in her final months and days, showing great bravery and making touching jokes. "I lost my hair once before," she told The Sun during her chemo sessions, "when I smoked crack to get close to my mum."

Her dad was a pimp and drug addict, and she was looking after her disabled mother by the time she was five, but no one knew too much about Jade's appalling childhood when she first popped up on Big Brother, a television format that required villains. At first, she was merely laughed at for her spectacular ignorance: in Jade land, 'Portuganese' was a language, a ferret a kind of bird, 'East Angular' a place in England, abscess a green drink from France, and 'Pistachio' was the artist responsible for painting the Mona Lisa.

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But her erratic and sometimes regrettable behaviour on the show alienated the very tabloids that would later rush to canonise her: when she left the Big Brother house, a baying mob chanted "burn the pig". She was a victim of reality TV culture, but also a beneficiary, and with the help of her odious publicist Max Clifford turned her notoriety into a £2m business.

Things got worse when she went on Celebrity Big Brother and called Indian actress Shilpa Shetty "Shilpa Poppadom", among other things. She was hauled over the coals, but the ugliest thing about the whole story was not Jade herself, but media and public reactions to her. One wonders what she'd have made of Love Island. This is her story.


Sports picks

The Saturday Game Live

Today, RTÉ 2, 5pm

Anna Geary, Ann Marie Hayes and Kate Kelly join host Evanne Ní Chuilinn for the build-up to an All-Ireland camogie quarter-final double at Semple Stadium. First up it's Limerick versus Tipperary, which throws in at 5.30pm with commentary from Jill Horan and Gary Mac Donncha. Then, at 7.15pm, Galway take on Waterford, with Marty Morrissey and Elaine Aylward commentating.

The Sunday Game Live

Sunday, RTÉ 2, 3.30pm

Tyrone are one of maybe three sides (with Kerry and Mayo) who might be capable of derailing the Dublin juggernaut, and this afternoon at Healy Park the northerners will get their chance. Analysts Joe Brolly and Colm Cooper join Joanne Cantwell for live coverage of the Super 8s tie, which throws in at 4pm, with commentary from Dessie Dolan and Marty Morrissey.

FA Community Shield

Sunday, BT Sport 1, 2.30pm

While Manchester City have had to stomach losing their talisman and captain Vincent Kompany, who's gone back to Belgium to become player/manager at Anderlecht, things look very settled at Anfield. Jürgen Klopp has shown great faith in his squad, which could hardly have played better last season and will start this one virtually unchanged. The two sides face each other this afternoon at Wembley in the FA Community Shield, which may have a bit more edge than usual.

Live Dublin Horse Show

Friday, RTÉ 2, 1.45pm

The 2019 Stena Line Dublin Horse Show gets under way at the RDS this Wednesday, and on Friday the prestigious Longines Nations Cup will be staged, with the Aga Khan Trophy at stake. On Saturday, it's the Longines Dublin Stakes, on Sunday the Grand Prix of Ireland.


TV picks


Blarney – A Year on the Estate

Sunday, RTÉ One, 7.30pm

Behind the scenes

A look at the famous Blarney Castle estate as staff work to accommodate tens of thousands of summer tourists.



When Michael met Davy

Monday, RTÉ One, 6.30pm

Inspiring words

Wexford hurling manager Davy Fitzgerald asks visually impaired schoolboy Michael O’Brien to give his side a team talk.



Sacred Wonders

Wednesday, BBC1, 9pm

Places of worship

New series exploring sacred sites around the world, from Angkor Wat in Cambodia to the great medieval cathedrals of Europe.

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