Former Big Brother contestant Sophia Brown, who appeared on the tenth series of the show in 2009, has died aged just 30.

Although no cause of death was confirmed Sophia, who was a bank worker from London, had been a lifelong sufferer of the autoimmune disorder lupus.

News of her death emerged after some of her fellow former housemates began paying their respects via their Twitter pages.

Series winner Sophie Reade said she was “devastated” by the news and added, “such an amazing lady and a pleasure to have known her.”

Rodrigo Lopes said on his page, “I don’t know what to say…I’m so glad to have met you Sophia…I will always have you in my heart.”

Presenter Davina McCall also paid tribute, saying, “That’s really sad. My thoughts are with her family,” while narrator Marcus Bentley added, “Such very sad news…god bless Sophia.”

The diminutive housemate – who was just 4ft 11 inches tall – described herself as “fun, fierce and feisty” when she first appeared, but found herself having to fight for housemate status in a twist which only saw certain contestants enter the house straight away.

She was later voted in by viewers, but was subsequently evicted on day nine with a massive 91.2 of the public vote, following a heated row with fellow contestant Saffia Cordon.