The extraordinary last five years of Dame Deborah James's life will be explored in a brand new BBC Two documentary, entitled Bowelbabe: In Her Own Words.


The one-off film is set to be released this spring and will chronicle the last months of James's life as she continued her cancer campaign work through social media, her You, Me and the Big C podcast on BBC Radio 5 Live and much more.

The cancer awareness campaigner passed away aged 40 in June 2022 and in the months leading up to her death, she continued to establish the Bowelbabe Fund for Cancer Research UK, which raised more than £7 million, and also released the bestselling book F*** You Cancer.

The new documentary will feature raw and honest never-before-seen mobile phone footage of James talking candidly about her incurable bowel cancer diagnosis, her treatment at the time, as well as heartwarming personal moments and other archival footage.

Bowelbabe: In Her Own Words will also lift the lid on the reality of living with bowel cancer and what that was like for James and those closest to her.

In May 2022, James shared online that she was moving to end-of-life care and raised a further £6 million through the launch of her Bowelbabe Fund. She was made a Dame by Prince William in May 2022, sharing tea and champagne with the Prince as he presented her with her Damehood in her parents' garden.

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The Bowelbabe Fund will support causes and projects that James was passionate about, including working with the Institute of Cancer Research, The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and Bowel Cancer UK.

Speaking about the new documentary, commissioning editor for BBC Storyville Lucie Kon said: “Deborah worked with us on this film right up until the last few weeks of her life and was adamant that it was finished even though she wouldn’t be around to see it through.

"It’s an incredibly powerful and beautiful piece – emotional, intimate and unique. With enormous warmth and good humour, the documentary echoes the powerful, honest and direct way that Deborah communicated, as if she were talking to a friend or confidante.”

To find out more about the Bowelbabe Fund or to make a donation, visit its official website.

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