Duncan James reveals pain at being unable to save Nikki Grahame
- Bang Showbiz
- 16 April 2021
Singer Duncan James is heartbroken that he couldn't save Nikki Grahame from anorexia
Duncan James has revealed his pain at not being able to save Nikki Grahame from anorexia.
The 43-year-old singer has opened up after the former 'Big Brother' star sadly died aged 38 following a three-decade battle with the eating disorder.
He told OK! magazine: "It's really sad because I wish I'd known. I wish someone had told me she was in a hospital.
"At least I could have tried to contact her and speak to her or at least say goodbye.
"That's the sad thing when somebody that you're fond of and you know and you care about when they die you don't get a chance to say goodbye. That's what was really hard."
Duncan had tried to encourage her to eat when they chatted while he was on a theatre tour.
He said: "When I was doing Chicago the musical a couple of years ago with Alexandra Burke she [Nikki] came and saw me. The picture of me I posted hugging her was backstage at the show.
"She looked so thin then. I said, ‘You need to eat. Why are you so thin?’ And she said, ‘Oh stop nagging me!’
"I said, ‘No, you've got to start to eat.’ And she said, ‘I’ve been battling this for years.’ I tried to encourage her."
Duncan recalled the last time he saw her, and he described anorexia as a "horrible illness".
He added: "She really was a beautiful person and I was devastated to hear the news of her death.
"Deep down, the last time I saw her she was so thin, you sometimes think, 'How can you help somebody?'
"It's a horrible illness, anorexia. It's mental health, it's in their mind, isn't it? She must have been really struggling in lockdown."
Nikki’s mum Sue recently discussed her daughter's anorexia battle, revealing that the closure of gyms amid the pandemic had a big impact on the TV star.
She said: "With COVID, it sounds crazy but stuff like gyms closing impacted her.
"In order for her to eat she needs to know she can exercise, so when they closed it was quite a worry, the isolation as well.
"I asked her if she would come and stay with me but she said she needs to be in her home."