Why self-made Jade deserves admiration

JADE Goody isn't everyone's cup of tea.Loud, brash, and some might say common and dim.In the Big Brother house in 2002 the podgy star-struck wannabe was ridiculed for her crass stupidity, attention-seeking stripping and general vacuous behaviour.

JADE Goody isn't everyone's cup of tea.

Loud, brash, and some might say common and dim.

In the Big Brother house in 2002 the podgy star-struck wannabe was ridiculed for her crass stupidity, attention-seeking stripping and general vacuous behaviour.

Although, at the time, as her dreadful background emerged, more than dare admit it had sneaking admiration for this girl who, despite her disadvantages and limited parenting had enough gumption to go out and forge herself a career as a dental nurse rather than settle for a life on benefits.

Her father was a drug addict and habitual criminal in and out of prison for crimes including robbery before he died of a drugs overdose. Her one-armed mother had her share of problems leaving Jade to spend her childhood looking after her.

So the girl with the Burberry nova check pattern tattooed on her left buttock had done good even when we first met her, considering where she came from.

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Academically challenged perhaps, but this young woman wasn't as daft as we thought and by hard work and business nouse she used money made off the back of Big Brother to qualify as a beautician and open a salon.

Then, two years ago, a single mother of two young children, she blundered into her biggest controversy with her equally dimwitted boyfriend and mates on Celebrity Big Brother making racist comments about Bollywood beauty Shilpa Sheppy.

Today, as Celebrity Big Brother is daring to have another go after a year's break, Goody's life, to many, is at rock bottom.

She has undergone weeks of chemotherapy and was back in hospital over New Year for an emergency operation for to repair a blocked kidney.

But she wasn't sitting at home resting after her debilitating chemo treatment. She was getting dressed and made up twice a day and performing on stage in panto as the Wicked Witch in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in Lincoln.

How many other 'stars' can you imagine prising themselves off their sick bed to do panto facing the prospect of dying leaving two small sons?

This young woman has had more thrown at her in her 27 years than most in a lifetime.

But, whatever you think of her, she is remarkable. Her resilience to pick herself up and face her problems - some self-made, others dumped on her - full on is enviable. Breath-taking even. She's desperate to finish her panto run. Her work ethic is admirable and her lack of self-pity gob smacking.

She's been through hellish treatment and is making a documentary about her treatment for the Living channel.

True, she needs the money that working brings to fund her life as a single mother, but the independence and self-sufficiency of this woman is nothing short of staggering. Every penny she has, she has earned for herself.

The girl's a grafter and, when many lesser people would crawl away to weep asking 'why me?' she faces her disease with dignity, strength and practicality.

Only in October she opened her second beauty salon, Homme Fatel, catering exclusively for men.

Goody has earned herself the right to be an inspiration. Compare her to all the pampered princesses taking up column inches because their daddies are rich.

A few years ago mothers would shudder at the thought of Jade Goody as a role model for their daughters but this girl has come from nothing, expected nothing, had disadvantages pulling her down from all angles but by dogged sheer hard work she has made a life for herself.

The snooty commentators might decry her because she is Jade Goody but today Ms Goody stands for feisty, self-sufficient, independent, positive and hard working - what every young woman should be.

SEXUAL heath clinics could soon be open in every high school and college.

Many teenagers will have easier access to contraception, pregnancy testing and the morning after pill than decent teaching.

The three Rs might be suffering but, hey, our teenagers will have expert knowledge of everything sexual before they leave school.

It's amazing the government hasn't launched a GCSE in sex, contraception and STDs. The nation's A* tally would soar.

When schools are struggling - only at the weekend I heard that children studying a language would have to make do with worksheets and a teaching assistant while their teacher was on maternity leave. Hardly teaching is it? - money can be miraculously found to install sexual health clinics.

Will they be setting homework too, I wonder?

ISN'T January hilarious? After two months of bombardment with advertising enticing us to stuff our faces and party until we drop with excess as our watchword, we step into the month when austerity is the theme.

Diet ads, gym membership offers, fitness DVDs and health warnings about obesity. Everything thrown at us is designed to make us feel bad about what we've been encouraged to do before.

It's like stepping from the opulence and extravagance of pre- Revolution French aristocracy into the drudgery of life behind the old iron curtain.

Overnight, people scoffing a hundredweight of Quality Street and pints of Baileys last week are turning their noses up at a snifter of wine because they're on a 'detox' nibbling only celery sticks and sipping spring water.

Now scientists tell us we're being misled about detox products and most are a rip off. You don't say.

Trading standards officers are warning people to be 'sceptical' of products promising to ease aches, pains, headaches and tiredness; relieve stress, aid weight loss, increase energy levels and increase metabolism.

Some retailers have been forced to take some items off their shelves.

Detox products are just like expensive face creams. They might make you feel better about using them but they're pointless and a mug's game.

We'd all do better dropping that money into a charity box.

HEARTENING news for all those teenagers fretting about not feeling conventionally good-looking - quirky looking is in vogue.

Matt Smith, the new 26 year-old Doctor Who - it's not just police officers that are getting younger - is a case in point. When I first saw him in BBC2's Party Animals last year, he stuck out, not just as a promising acting talent but also as an unconventional face with a future.

Actress Kelly Reilly, DC Anna Travis in this week's Lynda Le Plant drama Above Suspicion, is the same, beautiful but in a different, edgy way.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and sometimes being different is what it takes.

TWO stories in Monday's papers gave me a giggle.

One stated that Monday was a good day for a tantrum to remedy the back to work post-Christmas blues.

Psychologists - nice job if you can get it - advise having an attack of the screaming abdabs to release tension and expel negative energies caused by stress.

The other stated that Monday was also the busiest day for divorce lawyers after relationships break down after a miserable Christmas and New Year.

Is that before or after the screaming starts or because of?

Sheryl Gascoigne has been divorced from fallen football star Paul Gascoigne for years but has kept his name - a more than likely calculated career move than force of habit or form of affection.

She was a single mother when she met him and took to life as a Wag like a duck to water.

Life with Gazza was hell. The drinking, the violence, the unpredictability but they divorced and she made her living as a property developer using the money from their break-up.

Now, as all property developers are suffering hard times, up she pops again, with her children, on a documentary - in the loosest meaning of the word - to stick the boot into a mentally ill man.

We might have all lapped up the unhinged Gazza. It was horrendous to watch - and totally unnecessary.

We know the man - once national hero - is suffering and in re-hab. He's an alcoholic and a broken wreck in need of psychiatric care.

Did his ex-wife need to show the world?

But the most painful aspect of all the filming was his 12-year-old son - already old for his years because he's seen too much - being expected to make public judgements on his father and put into the position of witnessing his father at his nadir.

He's a child and deserves protection and not exposure - public exposure - to the problems of his dad.

With ex-wives like Sheryl who needs an enemy?

And with a mother like Sheryl and a father like Gazza, our thoughts should be for the future of poor little Regan.

DARLING of the Moment Cheryl Cole, wronged wife, self-made star with the X-Factor human touch, managed to win over women of every age and size into the I Love Cheryl Brigade.

But she might just have shot herself in the foot with a throwaway comment about sometimes 'feeling fat.'

The spindle known as Cheryl burbled on about her horror at not being able to get into a pair of 28-inch waist jeans in Selfridges changing room and crying because she was nine and a half stone.

Considering the size of the average British woman is 14-16, she should expect very little sympathy from the sisterhood for her misery in that changing room.