And then the girl from Southgate, London died. She was 27.
What followed in the very same press was an outpouring of sorrow, sympathy and admiration – the genuine sincerity of which seemed debatable. She sold their papers in life, now they were going to ensure she sold them in death too.
Many of these fans have made the trip to see her statue at the Stables Market, Camden Town in North London. Even though subjects are generally meant to have been dead for 20 years before their statue can be erected, in a rare act of bureaucratic generosity, the local council gave special dispensation in this case.
The life-size statue is near to her Camden home and was unveiled in 2014 by her friend and giant of the British TV screen Dame Barbara Windsor.