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Goody’s family defend OK’s premature tribute

By | Published on Thursday 19 March 2009

Not really music media news, but an interesting c’leb media story anyway.

Max Clifford has told reporters that the family of Jade Goody approved this week’s special edition of terrible celeb mag OK which is a ‘Jade Goody Official Tribute Issue’ with the dates 1981-2009 splashed across its cover. While it’s not uncommon for OK et al to cash in on tragic celebrity deaths, the protocol to date has been to wait for said celebrity to tragically die before going overboard with the tributes. Presumably keen to cash in on the media interest in Goody’s recent wedding to other half Jack Tweed, OK have done away with protocol and beaten their competitors in the race to pay tribute to the Big Brother star.

As some media commentators hit out at OK’s premature tribute edition, and with punters making complaints to the Press Complaints Commission (even though the PCC will only ever consider complaints by those actually involved in a story), the magazine’s publishers issued a statement reading: “[Goody’s] family have spoken to OK! today to reiterate that they understand the tribute issue and view it as being very kind to Jade. They would like to also state that they are extremely grateful for the support that OK! has provided during this distressing period”.

A rep from Clifford’s company, who are Goody’s official spokespeople, backed up the OK publisher’s claims, telling the BBC that all of the dying celebrity’s family backed the pre-death tribute issue, though Clifford himself later admitted that Tweed’s mother was “not happy” with it.

Some reckon that OK’s Goody tribute special may not only be premature but also inaccurate. While Jade’s cancer could cause her death any time now, she could also live for months, her disease being as unpredictable as it is horrific. If by some chance she lived into 2010 would OK republish the tribute special with her dates amended? If so, at least the reprint wouldn’t have the unfortunate issue number of 666, which the one published this week does.

Still, if Jade herself is happy with the premature tribute, what harm does it do, and I think lots of us have a slightly morbid fascination with what would be said about us after we’re gone. So, personally I don’t have a problem with the OK special.