Duncan James has shared his heartbreak over the death of Nikki Grahame.
The 38-year-old sadly passed away last Friday, following a long battle with anorexia.
The Blue star was friends with Nikki for 15 years, after they met following her appearance on Big Brother in 2006.
Speaking to OK! magazine, Duncan said he had no idea she was receiving specialist treatment for anorexia before she died.
“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,” he said.
“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 also revealed he expressed concern for Nikki back in 2018, when she came to see him in the musical Chicago.
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 continued: “I’ve got so many great, fond memories of her. So many fun events we’ve been to together.”
“So many times we hung out at parties or red carpet events and we’d always just end up spending the evening together having fun. 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.”
For help and support with eating disorders, contact Bodywhys on 01-2107906, or visit bodywhys.ie.