Jade Goody marries as cameras roll

By AFP

June 18, 2010 Updated Feb 22, 2009 at 6:11 PM EDT

Reality TV star Jade Goody tied the knot after a nine-day engagement on Sunday, the latest installment in her very public struggle with terminal cancer which has both enchanted and unnerved Britons.

Goody, 27, who found fame after appearing in the show "Big Brother" in 2002, wed Jack Tweed, 21, in a lavish televised ceremony and reception at a country house hotel north of London, her publicist Max Clifford confirmed.

"It was just a very heart-rending, happy ceremony with lots of tears and lots of smiles and lots of laughter," Clifford told reporters afterwards.

"It was just a very beautiful, very moving service," he said, adding that the two are "obviously very much in love."

Goody, who has lost her hair due to chemotherapy for cervical cancer and took painkillers to get through the day, and her wedding have stirred questions about the ethics of reality television, still a hugely popular format in Britain.

Her big day -- media rights for which were sold reportedly for one million pounds -- was organised in the nine days since Tweed proposed in hospital after her terminal diagnosis.

She has defended her decision to live her last weeks under the media spotlight, saying the money from film and photo rights would help provide for her two young sons, aged five and four.

"I've lived in front of the cameras. And maybe I'll die in front of them," the star told the News of the World newspaper last week.

"I know some people don't like what I'm doing but at this point I really don't care what other people think. Now, it's about what I want."

Some commentators admire her fortitude and determination to protect her children.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the leader of Catholics in England and Wales, told Sky News television: "A lot of people say: 'Well, it's better if she did everything in quiet.'

"But I think she's made a decision that she wants the last months of her life to teach people something."

Britain's only dedicated cervical cancer charity Jo's Trust has reported increased awareness of the need for regular tests among young women, with charity director Robert Music saying publicity of Goody's struggles has "had a huge impact."

Others see something ghoulish in the volume of newsprint devoted to her in recent days.

"There are precedents for the place that Jade Goody occupies in modern British life -- people once used to queue at fairgrounds to watch human freaks," the Guardian newspaper said in an editorial last week. "But her fame really is a story of our own media age."

Even Prime Minister Gordon Brown has described Goody's plight as a "tragedy", adding: "Everyone who suffers cancer has the thoughts of me, and I think the whole country, over what they've got to go through."

Exceptionally, Justice Secretary Jack Straw stepped in to ensure that Tweed -- freed from jail last month after attacking a teenager with a golf club -- can spend his wedding night with Goody, despite it breaching his bail terms.

Goody's rise to fame underlines the huge popularity that reality television shows have built up in Britain in the last decade.

On her first "Big Brother" appearance, the ex-dental nurse from south London came fourth and was best known for her loud mouth and lack of general knowledge, referring to East Anglia, an area of England, as "East Angular".

She later released an autobiography and her own perfume before returning as a contestant on "Celebrity Big Brother" in 2007.

This saw her spend weeks being filmed in a house with contestants including Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty, whom she referred to as "Shilpa Poppadom," sparking a major race row in Britain and India.

Goody's career subsequently nose-dived. Last year, she appeared in the Indian version of "Big Brother" -- "Bigg Boss" -- but pulled out after being diagnosed with cancer.

Shetty has said she is "sad" about Goody's illness and urged people to pray for her.




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