Dame Deborah James says she's lived longer than doctors thought and is 'doing OK'

·Contributor
·3 min read

Watch: Deborah James: I'm still alive and kicking

Dame Deborah James has shared a health update with fans, saying she is “alive and kicking as much as I possibly can”.

The podcast host and cancer campaigner, 40, told fans last month in a moving ‘goodbye’ message that she had moved to hospice care after battling bowel cancer since 2016.

Appearing by video link on ITV’s Lorraine on Thursday (9 June), she said she was currently “stable” and that although she was tired she was ”still a campaigner”.

Read more: Lorraine pays tribute to cancer campaigner Deborah James who is in hospice care

After thanking host Lorraine Kelly for taking part in charity run Race For Life, she went on: “I am doing OK, I'm stable.

Dame Deborah James appeared on ITV's Lorraine on 9 June, 2022. (ITV)
Dame Deborah James appeared on ITV's Lorraine. (ITV screengrab)

“I think stable is a good thing. I'm taking life slowly. Not on social media too much and just spending time in the garden with my family. A much slower pace of life, which is not what I'm used to.

“Physically, I'm quite tired, but mentally, I'm still a campaigner. I'm still asking people to check their poo. I'm still on it about getting that messaging on loo roll across the country. The No Butts campaign, absolutely. We want it spread far and wide."

The mum-of-two - who was wearing a pink wig in honour of Race For Life - said she was "taking life day by day".

Deborah James will appear on Embarrassing Bodies. (PA)
Deborah James was diagnosed with cancer in 2016. (PA)

She went on: "I think just continuing to feel blessed to have another day knowing that my time is limited but at the same time, if truth be told, I've already outlived yet again what I was told when I was sent home from the hospital, so I think already even I'm a bit surprised, but I think it's having that sense of purpose.

"Getting involved.

"Continuing with the campaigning is keeping me going."

Lorraine Kelly took part in Race For Life. (ITV screengrab)
Lorraine Kelly took part in Race For Life. (ITV screengrab)

Dame Deborah has set up the Bowel Babe fund in her name, which will support cancer charities and to date has raised several million.

She told Kelly she was "so proud" of it and that it was "a legacy that I am so proud to leave behind when I am no longer here".

"But for the moment I'm here, I'm alive [and] kicking as much as I possibly can, and sending my love and thank you for all your kind messages," she said.

Dame Deborah was one of the hosts of the You, Me & The Big C podcast, which she presented with Lauren Mahon and Rachael Bland, who died in 2018 at the age of 40 after battling breast cancer.

L-R: Rachael Bland, Lauren Mahon, Deborah James, presenters of <i>You, Me &amp; the Big C</i>. (BBC/Claire Wood)
Deborah James hosted her podcast with Rachael Bland and Lauren Mahon. (BBC/Claire Wood)

She told her fans last month that her body wasn’t “playing ball”.

“My active care has stopped and I am now moved to hospice at home care, with my incredible family all around me and the focus is on making sure I’m not in pain and spending time with them,” she said.

Read more: Dame Deborah James defends her Meghan Markle 'Jubilee joke' after criticism

Last month she was honoured with a damehood.