Nikki Grahame's ex Pete Bennett begged her idol Kate Bush to give the Big Brother star a 'pep talk' before she died
NIKKI Grahame's ex Pete Bennett has revealed that he wrote to her idol Kate Bush begging her to give the Big Brother star "a pep talk" before her tragic death.
Nikki passed away on Friday [9th April] at the age of 38, following a three-decade battle with anorexia.
Pete dated the star when they both shot to fame on Big Brother in 2006, and the pair remained close friends ever since – with he even visiting her in a private hospital shortly before her death.
And the reality TV champ told today how he tried everything he could to support his pal as he spoke about her passing on Good Morning Britain.
He reflected on their close bond as he admitted that he'd hoped "love and support" from close friends would be enough to "save her".
Pete told hosts Kate Garraway and Adil Ray: "Maybe I was wrong but I just thought she needed some good friends and hey, I even wrote to Kate Bush.
"I wrote: 'Hey Kate Bush, do you fancy giving Nikki Grahame a pep talk, send her a little video message because she's a massive fan'.
Kate replied: "You tried everything you could," to which Pete agreed: "I tried."
Yesterday The Sun revealed that Nikki's final Facebook post featured a book about her idol Kate, as she reassured friends that she was "all good" shortly before entering a private hospital for specialist treatment.
On February 27, Nikki posted her last photograph – a vase of beautiful vibrant pink roses on a table in her home with the caption: "Thank you for the beautiful flowers" followed by emoticons of flowers and a smiley face covered with love hearts.
She did not address who the flowers were from but next to the vase was a book on singing icon Kate Bush Called Inside the Rainbow.
It's a collection of rare and unseen photographs of Kate with essays by her brother John Carder Bush about her life and music career.
Pete went on to fight back tears during his Good Morning Britain appearance as he reflected on his "magical" final night with his ex as he raced to visit her in hospital last month.
He admitted that he was "shocked" to see how ill she became when her desperate friends launched a GoFundMe page and immediately arranged to visit her.
He said: "When we saw each other again that night, when I went over there, it was magic – she came out of her shell.
"She was reminiscing about Big Brother, she wasn't well obviously but she was still there. It was one of the most special nights I ever had with Nikki.
"A lovely bond and experience to see each other again, the fondest memory I've got of her now."
Pete was visibly becoming more and more upset as the chat went on, adding to the presenters that Nikki had been "lonely" during lockdown because she didn't have her "coping mechanisms" any more – such as time with friends.
Kate then said for Pete to take some time to compose himself after picking up on his distress, with the Big Brother winner insisting that he was OK.
Earlier in the chat, the star revealed that Nikki had contacted him to "come and rescue her" after she was secretly hospitalised last year.
He said: "I knew she was ill, I'd see pictures of her out with Imogen [Thomas] and I knew she was looking thin, she contacted me in the last lockdown saying she'd been hospitalised again and she wanted me to come and rescue her or something.
"She got out again, we were still in contact… But recently when I saw the GoFundMe, it was a shock.
"When I saw her recently it was a complete difference."
You’re Not Alone
EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.
It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.
It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.
And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.
Yet it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.
That is why The Sun launched the You're Not Alone campaign.
The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.
Let's all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You're Not Alone.
If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:
- CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
- Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
- Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
- Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
- Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123
- Movember, www.uk.movember.com
- Anxiety UK www.anxietyuk.org.uk, 03444 775 774 Monday-Friday 9.30am-10pm, Saturday/Sunday 10am-8pm
Nikki's anorexia battle began when she was just seven years old after a gymnastics classmate cruelly accused her of having a "big bum".
She had been open with her illness since shooting to fame in Big Brother in 2006, releasing her first autobiography 'Dying To Be Thin' in 2009.
Last month, Nikki checked into a private hospital to treat her eating disorder after friends managed to raise over £65,000 for the specialist care.
However, her tragic passing was confirmed with an emotional statement on the same GoFundMe page that raised the cash.
- For help and support on eating disorders and body image, you can call BEAT on 0808 201 1677 for adults, or 0808 801 0711 if you are under 18.
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