Tributes pour in for ‘incredible’ Deborah James after she dies of bowel cancer aged 40

29 June 2022, 07:39 | Updated: 29 June 2022, 08:16

Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

Dame Deborah James' friends and family have shared tributes to the campaigner.

Podcaster and cancer campaigner Dame Deborah James has been hailed as an ‘inspiration’ after she died of bowel cancer at the age of 40.

The mum-of-two had been receiving end-of-life care since May at her parents’ home in Surrey after stopping treatment for the disease. 

It was announced that she had sadly passed away ‘peacefully’ yesterday alongside her husband, Sebastien, and their two children.

Tributes have poured in for Deborah James
Tributes have poured in for Deborah James. Picture: Instagram

In her final weeks, the presenter raised more than £6.75million for research and was even made a dame, with Prince William attending her parents' home to give her the award.

Tributes have now poured in for the star, with Lorraine Kelly calling her a ‘power house’. 

Sharing a message on Instagram, she wrote: “We will remember Dame Deborah as a dear friend of the Lorraine show and as the heart and soul of our bowel cancer campaign No Butts. 

“She leaves a lasting legacy and has saved countless lives through all the work she did to break the "poo taboo".

“Her spirit, drive and enthusiasm made her a power house as a campaigner but most of all we will miss her laughter and friendship behind the scenes.

“Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this time. She will be so sadly missed.”

Susanna Reid said: “Sending your family all of my love - what an incredible woman,” and Carol Vorderman wrote: "Rest in peace @Bowelbabe. Your incredible spirit will live on."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also released a statement, writing: “I’m terribly saddened to hear that Dame Deborah James has died. What an inspiration she was to so many.

“The awareness she brought to bowel cancer and the research her campaigning has funded will be her enduring legacy. Because of her, many many lives will be saved.”

And Labour leader, Keir Starmer, described James’s work as 'truly inspirational'. 

He shared the Tweet: “Deeply sad news. Dame Deborah James’ charity work was truly inspirational – even in the most challenging moments, she continued to raise awareness about bowel cancer and impacted so many people’s lives.”

This comes after Deborah’s family released a statement on Tuesday evening announcing her death. 

It said: "We are deeply saddened to announce the death of Dame Deborah James; the most amazing wife, daughter, sister, mummy. Deborah passed away peacefully today, surrounded by her family.

“Deborah, who many of you will know as Bowelbabe, was an inspiration and we are incredibly proud of her and her work and commitment to charitable campaigning, fundraising and her endless efforts to raise awareness of cancer that touched so many lives."

The statement added: “Deborah shared her experience with the world to raise awareness, break down barriers, challenge taboos and change the conversation around cancer. Even in her most challenging moments, her determination to raise money and awareness was inspiring.

“We thank you for giving us time in private as a family, and we look forward to continuing Deborah’s legacy long into the future through the @bowelbabefund. Thank you for playing your part in her journey, you are all incredible.

“And a few final things from Deborah…Find a life worth enjoying; take risks; love deeply; have no regrets; and always, always have rebellious hope. And finally, check your poo – it could just save your life.”