Jade Goody’s spokesman Max Clifford has led tributes to the former Big Brother star, who died of cancer in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Fighting back tears, Clifford told reporters that the 27-year-old had been “a very very brave girl”.

“I think she’s going to be remembered as a young girl who has, and who will, save an awful lot of lives,” he said.

She was a very, very brave girl and she faced her death in the way she faced her whole life – full on, with a lot of courage.”

He added it was “ironic” that Jade – who had spoken in her final weeks of her wish to safeguard the future of her young sons Bobby and Freddy – should have passed away on Mother’s Day.

“She has touched the hearts and minds of an awful lot of people worldwide. The closer I got to her, the more admiration I had for her,” Mr Clifford said. It takes an awful lot of courage to face death the way she did.”

He added that he hoped Jade’s family would be left alone to grieve in peace.

Cancer Research chief executive Harpal Kumar also paid tribute to the star.

“Her brave battle with an aggressive form of cervical cancer has received widespread public attention and encouraged thousands of women to seek advice on how to prevent the disease.

She has done a great public service by raising awareness of the importance of screening during her last few months of life.”

Phil Gould, associate editor of OK! Magazine – who covered Jade’s recent wedding to Jack Tweed and the christening of her and her two sons, said, “Most women that I know who are in their 20s have now gone for smear tests or are trying to get smear tests because of what’s happened to Jade.”