Davina McCall praises Dame Deborah James for tireless campaigning

‘I’m in awe of her’: Davina McCall praises ‘miraculous’ friend Dame Deborah James, 40, for tireless campaigning after Tesco and Andrex pledge to put bowel cancer symptoms on toilet paper packaging

  • TV presenter Davina McCall has said she is ‘in awe’ of Dame Deborah James, who is having hospice-at-home care for terminal bowel cancer
  • Davina, who lost her sister Caroline to lung cancer in 2012, said Dame Deborah was a ‘good friend’ of hers
  • Dame Deborah’s mother Heather also heaped praise upon her daughter after Tesco and Andrex pledged to put bowel cancer symptoms on toilet roll packaging
  • The podcast host and author has been quiet on social media after travelling to Royal Ascot last week

Davina McCall has said she is ‘in awe’ of Dame Deborah James, who is having hospice care for terminal bowel cancer.

The TV presenter, whose sister Caroline passed away in 2012 following a battle with lung cancer, said she considers Dame Deborah ‘a good friend’.

In an interview with metro.co.uk Davina, 54, said her friend and colleague Deborah, 40, was ‘miraculous’ after she raised more than £7 million for cancer charities.

Deborah’s mother Heather, who posts on Instagram as @bowelgran, also praised her daughter for her incredible work to raise awareness of bowel cancer.

Dame Deborah James has been praised by her friend Davina McCall and mother Heather for her tireless campaigning to raise awareness of bowel cancer symptoms

Davina McCall and Dame Deborah have worked together on several occasions and Davina now considers the podcaster a ‘good friend’ 

Dame Deborah, pictured with mother Heather, has been receiving hospice care at her parents’ house in Woking since May after she was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer at the age of 35

After Tesco announced it will print the symptoms of bowel cancer on toilet paper packaging, Heather, 64, posted an Instagram story to celebrateher daughter’s huge campaign win. 

She wrote: ‘Well done to Deborah and a big thank you to @tescofood for your support and £300,000 donation to the @bowelbabefund’.

Earlier this week Heather and her daughter took a trip to the riverside for lunch, where Dame Deborah was snapped sipping on a pint of lager and making the most of life.

The Bowelbabe Fund, which was established after Dame Deborah announced she was having palliative care in May, aimed to raise £250,000 for cancer charities including Cancer Research UK.

However, after touching the hearts of the nation, Dame Deborah, who is having palliative care at her parents’ house in Woking, has raised a staggering £6,739,571 – which rises to more than £7 million after gift aid is added.

The new toilet roll packaging, complete with bowel cancer symptoms, will hit the shelves in July, according to Tesco 

The campaigner and host of The Big C podcast went to Royal Ascot last week and said she had to ‘pinch myself’ at being well enough to attend


Posting photos from the day on her Instagram account @bowelbabe she joked to her followers that she ‘ain’t dead yet’

Dame Deborah has been spending time with her parents since moving into their house in Woking to have hospice care 

Since announcing she was having palliative care Dame Deborah has taken every day as a blessing and has been out and about as much as possible, even fitting in a trip to the opera


What are the symptoms of bowel cancer? 

– Change in bowel habits with diarrhoea, constipation or the feeling of incomplete emptying

– Thin or loose bowel movements

– Blood or mucous in stools

– Abdominal pain, bloating and cramping

– Anal or rectal pain

– Lump in the anus or rectum

– Unexplained weight loss

– Fatigue

– Unexplained anaemia

The announcement from the supermarket giant followed Andrex’s pledge to do the same earlier this week.

Mother-of-two Deborah, who was made a Dame last month for her tireless campaigning and fundraising, took to her @bowelbabe Instagram account to repost the Andrex announcement.

She wrote: ’28 million packs! Coming soon! @andrexuk. Puppy we are embracing the poo.’ 

The campaigner has been a little quieter on social media over the past few days following a trip to Royal Ascot last week.

Clad in a stunning black dress with white polka dots and a frilled white collar, she joked to followers on Instagram that she ‘ain’t dead yet’.

She wrote: ‘I honestly have to pinch myself that I’ve been well enough each day to do something like this.’

On Father’s Day last Sunday, she posted a touching tribute to her father in a photo of him brushing her hair, admitting she is too weak to do it herself now.

Dame Deborah has made the most of what life has to offer since announcing she was moving into hospice-at-home care last month – going to the opera, visiting the Chelsea Flower Show and even hosting Prince William in her parents’ garden. 

The fearless campaigner and host of The Big C podcast will release her new book, ‘How to Live When You Could be Dead’, in August.

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