Lorraine Kelly celebrates the life of Dame Deborah James

In a very special episode of the programme, Lorraine Kelly paid tribute to bowel cancer campaigner Deborah James, who has died at the age of 40.

The cancer campaigner, blogger, broadcaster and former teacher, Dame Deborah died yesterday surrounded by her family. For the past few weeks, the regular on ITV’s Lorraine show had been receiving end-of-life care for bowel cancer at home and had raised millions for cancer research.

In her final interview with Lorraine in April Deborah spoke of raising awareness, something she did right up to the end,

“Trust your gut. Don’t ever feel like you’re wasting somebody else’s time, especially not a GP’s time. I wish that I had pushed and pushed and pushed six months earlier. Just gotta remember to trust your gut. There’s No Butts about it!… for me, the ‘No Butts’ campaign is all about just catching things early, because we know that when cancer is caught early, it’s really curable. We want people to not be embarrassed to talk about anything when it comes to poo.”

Dame Deborah, a mother of two, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016.

Her family announced her death in a post on her Instagram page. “We are deeply saddened to announce the death of Dame Deborah James; the most amazing wife, daughter, sister, mummy,”

Dame Deborah’s charity, BowlBabe Fund, named after her podcast, aimed to originally raise £250,000 and, to date, it has now raised almost £7 million.

Paying tribute Lorraine Kelly dedicated her show this morning to Dame Deborah with the ITV programme bringing together those who knew the campaigner to celebrate her life, and mark the work she had done in raising awareness of Bowel Cancer.

Lorraine Kelly speaking on her ITV Daytime programme:

“Dame Deborah James was a real life wonder-woman and a force of nature. She just 35 when she was diagonsed with incurable stage four bowel cancer, but detremined to stay positive and help others living with the disease. She shared her experienses with bravery and honesty from her hospital bed and from her home. Documenting the highs and lows online as BowelBabe while also writing about her cancer with humour and candor.

“She did the hugely popular podcast ‘You, Me and the Big C’, about living with cancer alongside her close friends also touched by the disease, and she got bums on seats to talk about bowel cancer and break the poo taboo with our ‘No Butts’ campaign. In one incredible week Deborah raised millions of pounds for cancer charities which led to her being honoured with a damehood and an unpresidented royal visit to her home by the Duke of Cambridge. …We remember her as a dear friend of the show and has the heart and soul of our bowel cancer campaign…”

“The legacy is astonishing.”

Lorraine, weekdays from 9am on ITV and the ITV Hub

Share Button