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03rd Mar 2023

Deborah James’ BBC documentary set to air in spring

Ellen Fitzpatrick

She passed away last year.

Dame Deborah James’ documentary with the BBC is set to air this spring.

The documentary was filmed two weeks before her death and is set to air on BBC Two, showing the final weeks of her life.

The You, Me and the Big C podcast host passed away last summer after being sick with bowel cancer since 2016. Earlier last year, she had announced that she was receiving palliative care at home.

During the last few months of her life, James’ raised a huge amount of money – over £7 million – for a number of cancer charities through her Bowelbabe fundraiser. She was also widely praised for her work in raising awareness and breaking taboos about the symptoms of bowel cancer.

In her final message, which was relayed through her family on her Instagram page, Deborah said: “Find a life worth enjoying; take risks; love deeply; have no regrets; and always, always have rebellious hope. And finally, check your poo – it could just save your life.”

The feature length documentary is set to air never seen before mobile phone footage, James’ collection of Tik Tok videos, Instagram posts, You Me and the Big C podcasts, family videos and her voice notes.

Commissioning editor of 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 confidant.”

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