According to Max Clifford, the 27-year-old, who was told she had cancer in August while appearing on the Indian version of Big Brother, died in her sleep at her home in Essex, at 3.14am this morning.

Goody's mother, Jackie Budden, and husband Jack Tweed were at her side. A family friend, Kevin Adams, was also there. Budden, speaking outside the home in her jammies, said, "My beautiful daughter is at peace. Family and friends would like privacy at last."

Within minutes of the news breaking floral tributes were placed outside the family estate. Goody's body was taken out of her home and placed in the back of an estate car shortly before 8am.

Referring to how her public battle with cancer has raised awareness of the disease, Clifford said: "I think she's going to be remembered as a young girl who has, and who will, save an awful lot of lives."

Clifford said that the funeral service would be held at Goody's local church, St John the Baptist in Buckhurst. He said that she had wanted to be buried in the church cemetery, but it is full and so plans are still being made for a burial site. No date has yet been set for the funeral but it is likely to take place in the next 10 days.

Goody spoke many times of her "miserable, drug-blighted, poverty-stricken childhood" and was determined that her children would not have the same experience and propelled her to negotiate a number of media deals totaling over £1 million, which was placed in a trust fund for her two sons Freddy, four and Bobby, five.

According to The Guardian, Harpal Kumar (Cancer Research UK's chief executive) said: "Jade is one of 1,000 women to die from cervical cancer each year in the UK. It's critical that young women take up their invitations to cervical screening if we are to avoid more tragic cases like Jade's. She has done a great public service by raising awareness of the importance of screening during her last few months of life."