A NEW show documenting the life of Dame Deborah James is set to air this spring.

The Sun columnist amassed a huge following on social media after revealing her bowel cancer diagnosis at just 35-years-olds.

Sadly, Deborah died in June last year, leaving behind her doting husband Sebastien Bowen and her two children, Hugo and Eloise.

The BBC will air the 80-minute film, which details the the last extraordinary five years of the cancer campaigner's life.

Titled Bowelbabe: In Her Own Words, the show will be broadcast on BBC Two and iPlayer as part of the broadcaster's Storyville documentary series.

Viewers will see new footage, including Deborah’s collection of TikTok videos, Instagram posts, ‘You Me and the Big C’ podcasts, family videos and Deborah’s voice notes.

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Filmed with Deborah in the last months of her life, she talks frankly about her diagnosis.

The former deputy head teacher also openly discusses her treatment and shares many personal moments whilst dancing and documenting what the reality of living with bowel cancer was really like for her and those closest to her.

Lucie Kon, Commissioning Editor, BBC Storyville says:  “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. 

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"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.”

Dame Debs died of bowel cancer aged 40, after raising a staggering £7.5million for her BowelBabe fund.

She was also made a Dame by Prince William in May 2022 after The Sun called for the inspirational mum-of-two to be recognised for her work and for capturing the hearts of the nation.

Her husband Seb, dad to the couple’s kids Hugo, 15, and Eloise, 13, said eight months after her death, they miss Deborah’s “incredible energy and passion to live life to the full” every day.


Just last month Seb urged millions of Brits to take up the offer of life-saving NHS bowel cancer tests.

Determined to keep his wife’s legacy alive, Sebastien Bowen told The Sun: “I know Deborah would be telling anyone that would listen: ‘Check your poo’.”

Bowel or colorectal cancer is the second most common form of the disease in the UK, with 43,000 cases and 17,000 deaths every year in the UK.

Top symptoms include changing toilet habits, blood in the poo and tummy pain.

Around six in 10 people survive five years or more after diagnosis – but catching it early is vital.

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Dame Debs spearheaded our No Time 2 Lose campaign which successfully called for the screening age to be lowered from 60 to 50 by 2025.

People aged 60 to 74 are currently sent a kit every two years as routine, with 56 and 58-year-olds also being enrolled.

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