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Dame Deborah James dies, aged 40

Dame Deborah James dies, aged 40
© ITV
BBC journalist and podcast host Dame Deborah James loses her battle with bowel cancer.

BBC journalist and podcast host Dame Deborah James has lost her battle with bowel cancer, her family has announced tonight.

The 40-year-old was diagnosed with the disease in 2016 and earned plaudits for her frank account of living with the condition on her podcast, which led to her being nicknamed the 'Bowel Babe'.

Last month she raised £1.6m for charity in a single day when she revealed that she had been moved to end-of-life hospice care at home and was duly rewarded with a Damehood, which was expedited due to the circumstances.

In a statement on Instagram, her family wrote: "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.

"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."

James is survived by her husband Sebastian and their two children, 14-year-old Hugo and 12-year-old Eloise.

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