Dame Deborah James mum says shell miss late daughter forever in heartbreaking tribute

Dame Deborah James' mum said she will miss her late daughter "forever" in a heartbreaking tribute.

The much-loved campaigner, podcast host and fundraiser lost her fight against bowel cancer on June 28 aged 40 following a diagnosis in 2016.

A funeral was held on July 20 in a private ceremony which saw friends and family lay the star known as BowelBabe to rest. Among the mourners were a host of celebrities including Lorraine Kelly, Gaby Roslin and McFly singer Tom Fletcher.

And now, the star's mum Heather has shared a stunning snap of her daughter on holiday, on her Instagram story.

Deborah can be seen wearing a floral maxi dress with pink bow shoulder straps – complete with a pink headband and bangles on her wrist. A docked luxury boat can be seen in the background, as the dame looks toward the camera.

Heather, who goes by the name bowelgran on Instagram, wrote: "A year ago we were on holiday with you- miss you forever."

The former deputy headteacher was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016 and subsequently shared candid posts about her progress and diagnosis, including videos of her dancing her way through treatment.

However, the star revealed in early May she had stopped active treatment and was receiving end-of-life care at her parents’ home in Woking.

The star launched the You, Me And The Big C podcast in 2018 along with pals Lauren Mahon and Rachael Bland, and went on to raise almost £7 million for cancer research.

This week, Lauren spoke about her grief and admitted it has been tough without her friends by her side.

Speaking on ITV's Good Morning Britain on Sunday 31 July, she said: "It's really weird, because it's almost like I can compartmentalise so I can come and talk to you guys about the podcast and my wonderful wonderful friend, and its work.

"I think it's more off screen when I'm with friends and people ask about the funeral and I'm like I don't want to talk about it. Grief is unique – and it's very unique to grieve someone so public. When you grieve someone, you can usually go off into a hole somewhere."

Lauren has vowed to beat cancer for her late friends as Deborah always described her as the "hope".

She added: "Deborah's always like, you're the hope, you're the hope, so I really want to continue that for her and for Rachael.

"It's really strange because last time I was here, she was watching, so it's very strange not being able to turn to her and say 'oh my gosh this is what happened,' or 'you'll never guess what,' but I still tell her in my mind."

The trio's podcast emerged victorious at the British Podcast Awards with the top trophy.


  • 'This is for Dame Deborah F***ing James!' Lauren Mahon pays tribute as her cancer podcast wins top award
  • Dame Deborah James had 'heartbreaking funeral song choice' to follow family wishes
  • Lorraine Kelly pays tribute to 'dear friend' Dame Deborah James after emotional funeral
  • Deborah James' podcast co-host Lauren Mahon says her death 'hasn't really hit'
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