Jump directly to the content

DEBORAH James moved her podcast producer to tears as she signed off with her final poignant episode, saying "that's it from me".

The Sun columnist, known as Bowel Babe, has been living with bowel cancer since 2016.

Deborah James had a frank conversation with her BBC producer after stopping active careCredit: Instagram
Deborah and her podcast hosts, plus produce Mike HoltCredit: instagram

This week she revealed she is now receiving hospice care and will spend her last days surrounded by family.

She opened up about stopping active treatment in her final episode of her BBC podcast titled - You, Me and the Big C: Putting the can in cancer.

The episode, movingly called Deborah James' Last Dance, saw her speak candidly to producer Mike Holt.

The pair shared a powerful chat on her final days, and the impact of the podcast on cancer patients.

Read more on Deborah James


I want to die at my parents' for the sake of my kids, says Deborah James

Mike struggled to contain his emotion as Deborah said she was comforted by the thought she would be with Rachel Bland - her co-host on the podcast who tragically died in 2018.

She said "I'll go and party with her", as an overwhelmed Mike let out a shaky breath.

Stifling tears, she added: "I think well if she can do it, I can do it. We always had a joke about grim reapers on the other side.

"I still have it as one of my gifs, so it's ironic. Maybe she will meet me on the other side and be like 'wow, better late than never!''

Most read in Health News


Warning to anyone who’s had Covid as symptoms that can last TWO YEARS revealed

Later he told her, fighting through tears: "Debs. I think you should be really proud.

"The work has always been to raise awareness about bowel cancer and cancer in general.

"What you did once you had cancer does define you and what you did has been inspirational.

"I am going to finish this sentence - working with you has been one of the most inspiring experiences."

This week Deborah unveiled her BowelBabe Fund and urged her supportive fans to help it flourish.

Donations can be made at bowelbabe.org, and more than £2million has been raised in less than 24 hours.

She asked supporters to buy her a drink to "see me out this world" by donating the cost to the fund.

The Sun columnist said it would raise money for further life-saving cancer research "to give more Deborahs more time".

The money will be donated between Cancer Research UK, Bowel Cancer UK and the Royal Marsden.

This morning she had an interview with the BBC where she fought back tears
The podcaster talked about the impact the show had on her and the supportersCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd

Bowel cancer symptoms to speak to your GP about:

The five red-flag symptoms of bowel cancer include:

  • Bleeding from the back passage, or blood in your poo
  • A change in your normal toilet habits - going more frequently for example
  • Pain or a lump in your tummy
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Losing weight

Tumours in the bowel typically bleed, which can cause a shortage of red blood cells, known as anaemia. It can cause tiredness and sometimes breathlessness.

In some cases bowel cancer can block the bowel, this is known as a bowel obstruction.

Other signs of bowel cancer include:

  • Gripping pains in the abdomen
  • Feeling bloated
  • Constipation and being unable to pass wind
  • Being sick
  • Feeling like you need to strain - like doing a number two - but after you've been to the loo

Signing off, she told a devastated Mike: "We'll see each other again, somewhere, somehow, dancing.

"And until then please, please just enjoy life because it is so precious. All I want right now is more time and more life."

She then joked: "And check your poo. I can't leave on any other word except from check your poo."

The mum wrote her final column for The Sun yesterday, in which she revealed she has made her kids memory boxes.

She wrote: "I’ve gone into mental overdrive and with the help of my husband, Seb, we have made sure that the kids have memory boxes - we’ve bought them gifts for certain key future birthdays.

"I do not want to die – I can’t get my head around the idea that I will not see my kids' weddings or see them grow up – that I will no longer be a part of life that I love so much. 

Read More on The Sun


I work at Nando's – here are the customers that come into the restaurant

"I am not brave – I am not dignified going towards my death – I am simply a scared girl who is doing something she has no choice in but I know I am grateful for the life that I have had.

"It’s been a crazy whirlwind but I’ve done things that I never thought I could or would do in my life."

She has made it her mission to share her journey and treatment with people
And most of all - she wants people to know the signs of bowel cancerCredit: Deborah James

We pay for your stories!

Do you have a story for The Sun news desk?

Email us at [email protected] or call 0207 782 4104. You can WhatsApp us on 07423 720 250. We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours

Click here to get The Sun newspaper delivered for FREE for the next six weeks.