Jade’s ‘ludicrous’ £3,000 Christmas lights demand

DISGRACED Celebrity Big Brother housemate Jade Goody has been slammed after it emerged that she demanded £3,000 to switch on Ongar’s Christmas lights.

Organisers refused to pay such a “ludicrous” sum and instead asked Father Christmas to do the honours.

Jade, who lives at The Gables, off Fyfield Road, Ongar, made millions of pounds following her initial appearance in the third series of Big Brother but was unwilling to do something “for the good of the community”, the town’s business leader said this week.

Ian Goodman, chairman of the Ongar Town Forum which organises the lights, said such a demand was “ludicrous for a small town like Ongar”.

He said: “My understanding is that we decided we would look round and find someone to do the lights and her name was mentioned.

“It wasn’t a very popular choice because we felt it didn’t really reflect Ongar. Her name was put about and was just one of those in the mix because she’s local. Then I was at a meeting and someone said she wanted £3,000.

“Whether she was actually asked I’d be surprised. In all fairness to her it wasn’t her who said it, it was her agent.”

Mr Goodman added: “Ongar Town Forum struggles to find enough money to put the lights up.”

Instead organisers asked Father Christmas to turn on the lights as hundreds of people filled the High Street to mark the start of the festive season.

In previous years West Ham United and Scotland footballer Christian Dailly and boxing star Frank Bruno have switched on the lights free of charge.

“They’ve all been more than happy to do it just for the good of the community,” Mr Goodman said.

Mr Goodman, licensee of the Cock Tavern pub in Ongar High Street, said: “It doesn’t matter who you are but if you live in a community you’re part of the community.

“If you live in an area you either decide to put something back into it she (Jade) obviously decided that she wouldn’t.”

Jade, who went into the Celebrity Big Brother house with boyfriend Jack Tweed, who lives in Buckhurst Hill, and her mother, Jackiey Budden, went into hiding – staying at a hotel – after she was evicted in a public vote after she made racial’ comments towards fellow housemate and eventual winner, the Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty.

Jade’s management company, London-based John Noel Management, has failed to respond to our telephone and email requests for an interview or response.

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