Russell Brand has described Jade Goody as a "Primark Princess" in an online tribute to the late reality television star.
In a blog on his personal website, the Forgetting Sarah Marshall star said people identified with Goody, who died last weekend after a battle with cancer, because of her "authenticity and accessibility".
The comedian, who knew Goody through his work on Big Brother's Big Mouth, said the mother-of-two had been criticised in the media as she was "just a normal girl with no trade or practised skills".
"Well people didn't care", he wrote. "Our heroes are not prescribed to us.
"We have the right to choose them and the people chose Jade."
He continued: "Fame has long been bequeathed by virtue of wealth and birth," Brand continued.
"This was the first generation where it was democratically distributed by that most lowbrow of modern phenomena - reality television.
"When Big Brother 3 made her famous, she was vilified in the paper and bullied in the house.
"But through her spirit she won people back round and became a kind of Primark Princess with perfumes and fitness videos and endless media coverage - because people were interested in her. They remain interested."
The 33-year-old broadcaster added that a close friend of his was "genuinely heartbroken" at Goody's death.
"Herself a mother from a working class background, she obviously connects with this sad narrative in a way that she doesn't seem to with J-Lo or Jennifer Aniston or Posh Spice, most likely because of Jade's authenticity and accessibility," he explained.
Goody's funeral takes place in Buckhurst Hill, Essex, on April 4th.