Deborah James funeral to take place today with family and friends expected to attend

The funeral of Dame Deborah James is set to take place on today, Wednesday 20 July.

The podcast host and mother-of-two, who had the nickname Bowelbabe thanks to her social media handle, passed away last month on 28 June at the age of 40 after being diagnosed with bowel cancer back in 2016.

Close friends and family are expected to attend the private service in her memory.

The former deputy headteacher was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016 and subsequently kept her nearly 1million Instagram followers up to date with her treatments.

Her candid posts about her progress and diagnosis, including videos of her dancing her way through treatment, won praise from the public and media alike.

Deborah devastatingly announced on 9 May that she had moved to end-of-life care. She explained that despite all of her treatments, her body just wasn’t “playing ball”, and that she was receiving hospice care at her parents' house.

In her final months, the presenter of the BBC podcast You, Me And The Big C raised £7million for research, with the amount climbing further following her death.

She was made a dame for her “tireless” work improving awareness of the disease, with the honour conferred by Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, 40, who joined her family for afternoon tea and champagne at home.

Following her death, the BBC aired a moving documentary named Dame Deborah James: The Last Dance, which saw many of Deborah's friends talking fondly of her.

Deborah had appeared on the Lorraine show numerous times over the past few years to bring awareness to the symptoms of bowel cancer, the "classic signs" of which she listed as "blood loss, change in bowel habits, weight loss, feeling tired".

Speaking on the documentary about her friend, Lorraine Kelly, 62, said: "What a legacy, what a legacy she leaves us. Just incredible."

On speaking of Deborah being made a Dame, after Prince William visited her house, Lorraine said: "Being made a Dame in her house, how Deborah, how fantastic.

"Millions and millions and millions of pounds which will save lives, just incredible."

After listening to Deborah speaking about her disease and wanting to "get busy living" because "life's too short", Lorraine smiled as she recalled: "Now, I was looking at somebody with Stage 4 bowel cancer, she [Deborah] was looking immaculate. She always was.

"Beautiful hair, beautiful makeup, and… perfect, and I just couldn't believe that this was the girl that was living on borrowed time.

"All she wanted to do was get this message across, make sure nobody else went through the same as her, make sure that everybody had the information that they needed, and to stop people being stupid about their bottoms.

"That was what struck me. We started talking about bottoms and poo after about probably 45 seconds when we met each other, and I just thought, 'I really like you, you're my kind of woman, you are a smasher'".


  • Deborah James' podcast co-host Lauren Mahon says her death 'hasn't really hit'

  • Dame Deborah James' touching last moments with her family shared

  • ‘Dame Deborah found a way to dance through the darkness – there is hope for us all’

  • BBC viewers left in tears over heartbreaking Dame Deborah James documentary after her death

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