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Lorraine Kelly pays emotional TV tribute to late Dame Deborah James

Lorraine Kelly pays emotional TV tribute to late Dame Deborah James

Wearing a pink jacket – a nod to Dame Deborah’s favourite colour – and a t-shirt with the words “Rebellious Hope” on it – which had become her slogan –Kelly held back tears as she spoke to Steve Bland.

Dame Deborah co-hosted the You, Me And The Big C podcast with Lauren Mahon and Rachael Bland.

Bland died in September 2018 aged 40 after treatment for breast cancer, and her widower Steve became a regular on the show.

He told Lorraine that Dame Deborah had “done so much, we’re so proud of her”.

Kelly said: “She is remarkable and we are going to remember her with a lot of joy, actually, a lot of joy. She would have made a remarkable politician.

“She just got things done. She just got things done! She got them to change the toilet rolls to carry symptoms of bowel symptoms… which is such a brilliant idea! Why didn’t we do that before? I keep saying ‘she is’ and I’m finding it hard to say ‘she was’…. yeah, remarkable.”

Mum-of-two Dame Deborah, who launched a fundraising page called Bowel Babe to raise money for Cancer Research UK, was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer just before Christmas 2016, when she was 35.

In a post shared to Instagram on Tuesday, James’ family revealed the 40-year-old had passed away peacefully, surrounded by her loved ones.

“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,” the caption of the post read.

“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.’”

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