Nikki Grahame on talkSPORT radio
June 22, 2009
Interview with Ian Collins on The Late Show
Nikki gave an excellent and entertaining interview about celebrity life after Big Brother and about her book.
The interview began with a discussion about Big Brother, with Ian saying that Nikki was in the show when it was at its peak. She explained why she had applied for the show and also described her appearance on Blind Date in which she got to pick her date who turned out not to be to Nikki's liking, although she had a good holiday in Portugal out of it!
The discussion then turned to Nikki's book and how she became anorexic. Nikki described this very well and agreed with Ian that anorexia was still an illness that was not taken seriously enough, which is why she now wants now to raise awareness of it and to stress that it is life threatening and can cause people irreversible damage, just as it has her. Ian asked her whether she thought that some people who had only known her as a bubbly loveable, albeit rather annoying person on Big Brother might now accuse her of using her illness to maintain her media profile. Nikki explained how she had to rebuild her life after her years in hospital and that it has taken her 10 years to be able to speak about her anorexia. She said that when she first came out of hospital she just wanted to be accepted as "normal" and not "that girl with anorexia" She was aware when she went into Big Brother that there may be stuff in the papers about it but she didn't mention it when she was in the show - again because she just wanted to be accepted as normal. There was a short break at this point as Nikki was clearly getting upset.
After the break they talked about Big Brother and whether reality TV was in any way exploitative. Nikki was asked about the psychological testing that she went through before Big Brother and Ian wondered whether she might have been put into the house deliberately because they could see a vulnerable girl who might be expected to have issues. He asked her if she had a game plan when she went in and Nikki said that from day 2 she forgot there were cameras there! She described her time in the house, and who she remembered and still saw.
Ian then asked Nikki about what is was like when she came out of the house and she described the whole thing as unbelievable. She had thought there might be a few photos in magazines, but she never imagined that she would get her own TV show, a Domino's advert, a National Television Award - or any of the other things that happened. She gave a funny account of her time on Princess Nikki and then went on to describe what she's doing now mentioning, in particular, her goal for this year being to open a drop-in centre for people suffering from anorexia. Ian agreed that it was a great idea for her to use her profile to do this, and how good it is if people can speak openly about such issues.
Talk then moved on to what Nikki likes to do in her spare time, whether she still goes to celebrity parties and how the whole celebrity business works. Nikki admitted that she doesn't like doing the pretentious things anymore and prefers to go out with friends to local pubs rather than glamorous nightclubs. She did, however, explain how wonderful and exciting it had been when she came out of the house to find all these people supporting her and being invited to red carpet events. She said she had found it completely overwhelming and simply couldn't believe it all.
After another break the programme continued with their "guest under the spotlight" feature, introduced by the Mastermind music. Fortunately this consisted of questions to Nikki from listeners about herself and not quantum physics!!
There were the usual questions from people wanting to know if she was single, her ideal man, what festivals she liked etc. Most interestingly, however, Ian said that they had received a lot of moving comments from people who had enjoyed her book, and a lot from people who applauded her for her bravery in talking about her anorexia and how inspirational it was to many of them.
The interview concluded with Ian thanking her for her time and how much he'd enjoyed having her on the show. He seemed genuinely taken with Nikki and was very complimentary towards her despite having had her moan about being cold and hungry when she arrived!
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