Celebrities and politicians have paid tribute to Jade Goody, who died at her home in Upshire, Essex, in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Goody's battle with terminal cervical cancer has been covered in detail by the television and print media over the last few months and tributes to the star have poured in since her death on Mother's Day at the age of 27.

Her publicist Max Clifford, who has been her spokesperson for the last few months, described Goody as a "very, very brave girl" who faced death courageously.

Mr Clifford added that the media coverage of Goody's health problems had raised awareness of the dangers of the disease and would help save lives.

Speaking to the BBC, he said: "Living in the public eye was natural to her and of course dying in the public eye was the way that she wanted to do it. She was doing things her own way. It might not suit you, it might not suit me but it suited her.

"Since she went public with this last August, she's already saving young lives all over Britain... because of cervical cancer.

"In her own words, 'It was too late for me, Max, but the others can learn and it won't be too late for them.'"

Goody's local MP Simon Hughes, who represents North Southwark and Bermondsey, also praised her services to the community.

"Jade Goody was a Bermondsey girl who went from public ridicule and public rebukes to public respect and public sympathy," he said.

"The thoughts of millions will be with her children and family - and with the families of all those whose mothers die young from accident or disease."

Harpal Kumar from Cancer Research UK said publicity of her case had done a great public service as it had informed people of the importance of early screening to detect the disease.

Goody first shot to fame in Big Brother 2002 for her lack of general knowledge and after leaving the house launched a successful career with a perfume line, fitness videos and a book deal.

Upon rejoining the house in Celebrity Big Brother in 2007 she became embroiled in a race and bullying row after her conflict with Indian contestant Shilpa Shetty.

She was publicly vilified for her actions on the show and later appeared on the Indian version - Big Boss - where she learnt of her terminal disease.

Since then, Goody has said she would do all she could to secure the future of her young sons and has appeared in a documentary for Living TV which showcased her struggle with cancer.

She also sold the exclusive photography rights of her wedding to OK! Magazine as the media covered her last moments on a daily basis.

22/03/2009 11:55:16