Prime Minister Gordon Brown is among those who have paid tribute to Jade Goody following her death in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The prime minister said he was ‘deeply saddened’ by the news and described the 27-year-old, who died of cervical cancer, as ‘a courageous woman both in life and death’.

“The whole country has admired her determination to provide a bright future for her children,” he added.

“She will be remembered fondly by all who knew her and her family can be extremely proud of the work she has done to raise awareness of cervical cancer, which will benefit thousands of women across the UK.”

Other tributes have been pouring in since news of the former Big Brother star’s death broke.

Bishop Jonathan Blake, who conducted the marriage ceremony at Jade’s wedding to Jack Tweed, said she was an ‘extraordinary person’.

“She’s become for all of us almost like a saint, a saint of Upshire, a princess from Bermondsey,” he added.

“Reflecting on her life it’s almost that she’s become an exemplar of biblical proportions because she’s touched so many people not only in this country but across the world.”

He also said she had transformed the way people approached cancer with her sense of humour and by making her dreams come true before she died.

“I think that’s been an inspiration, a light, a torch of hope burning brightly across the world,” he said.

Actor and TV presenter Stephen Fry, who met Jade when they were both guests on BBC1’s Friday Night With Jonathan Ross, also paid tribute to her.

Writing on the website Twitter, he said: “Poor, dear Jade… I warmed to her immensely. All impulsive spirit and smiles. What a life.

“Jade lived life under a magnifying glass. Magnifying glasses magnify (obviously) but they distort and they burn.

“I suppose she was a kind of Princess D from the wrong side of the tracks.”

Racing pundit John McCririck, who was a former housemate on Celebrity Big Brother, said Jade went through a “rollercoaster of emotions” during her time in the spotlight.

“In the media they hated and loathed her, then they began to envy her, then they began to see the other side of her,” he said.

“In the shallow, fleeting world of fame and celebrity she lived the dream and there are millions and millions of others who want to climb on and do what Jade Goody did.

“In the end I think the public warmed to her and saw that she was a decent person… the cervical smear tests are fantastic… she added to the joy and gaiety of nations, we’ll miss Jade Goody.”