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Deborah James' final years to be shown in new BBC Two documentary

The 80-minute documentary will detail the last extraordinary five years of cancer campaigner Dame Deborah James’s life on film.

Known by many as her online persona Bowelbabe, the former deputy head teacher amassed a huge social media following.

From living with incurable bowel cancer to Damehood to her untimely death BowelBabe: In Her Own Words will show Deborah in the last months of her life as she talks frankly about her diagnosis and treatment.

Filmed with Deborah, the cancer campaigner will share 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.

The archive-based documentary will feature never seen before mobile phone footage, Deborah’s collection of Tik Tok videos, Instagram posts, You Me and the Big C podcasts, family videos and Deborah’s voice notes.

In May 2022, before her death in June 2022, Deborah was made a Dame by Prince William and she worked to establish The Bowelbabe Fund for Cancer Research UK which raised more than £7million.

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

Speaking about the 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."

The documentary has been made by Brook Lapping, part of Zinc Media, was directed by Sara Hardy, edited by Gwyn Jones and was Executive Produced by Emma Hindley in her former role at the company.

BowelBabe: In Her Own Words will air this spring on BBC Two


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