Dame Deborah James’ former podcast co-host has detailed how he struggled to put the phone down after what would be his final conversation with the late cancer campaigner. 

The BBC presenter died at the age of 40 in June 2022 following a highly-publicised battle with bowel cancer. 

She had used her final weeks to raise money for the Bowelbabe Fund, which has now raised over £11.3million, with proceeds going towards various Cancer Research UK projects. 

Dame Deborah documented her health ordeal on the BBC podcast series, You, Me & The Big C, which she presented alongside Lauren Mahon, Steve Bland and his late wife Rachael Bland who died in 2018. 

Her friend, 5-Live presenter Tony Livesey has joined Lauren and Dame Deborah’s friend Emma Campbell to reflect on her legacy and memories of the beloved mum-of-two in her final months. 

Tony recalled his last ever phone call with Dame Deborah and stated: ‘Ending that call was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.’ 

The presenter continued to Radio Times: ‘I couldn’t put the phone down as I knew it would be the last time I would speak to her. We were like young kids on a date – “you put it down”, “no you put it down”. 

‘In the end she put the phone down. And that was the last time I ever spoke to her.’ 

After news of her death broke last summer, Tony paid tribute to ‘one of the most remarkable women [he’s] ever met’. 

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a webbrowser thatsupports HTML5video

‘She had this incredible zest for life, even in the face of her own death,’ he said. 

Dame Deborah’s impact is still being felt nearly a year after her death, with her Bowelbabe Fund reaching a milestone number of donations since it launched in May 2022. 

Her husband Sebastien Bowen spoke out for the first time since her death last week, and remembered her ‘fighting spirit’. 

‘I think she died in probably one of the best ways that you could have hoped to die with this terrible disease,’ he said on BBC Breakfast. 

A documentary will air on BBC One next week featuring never before seen footage of Dame Debora and interviews with her loved ones, captured during her final months. 

Deborah James: Bowelbabe In Her Own Words airs on Monday, April 17 at 9pm on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer.

This week’s Radio Times is out now.

Macmillan cancer support

If you or someone you care about has been diagnosed with cancer, Macmillan can offer support and information.

You can contact their helpline on 0808 808 00 00 (7 days a week from 8am to 8pm), use their webchat service, or visit their site for more information.

Source: Read Full Article