Dame Deborah James' family celebrate star's life with 'tequila filled funeral'

Virgin Radio

21 Jul 2022, 16:54

Credit: Getty

A real one, remembered.

Dame Deborah James was laid to rest on Wednesday (20th July), and the funeral was a unique celebration of the life and times of the journalist, educator, podcast host and charity campaigner - lovingly known as 'Bowelbabe'.

Dame Deborah - whose fight with incurable bowel cancer was chronicled on the You, Me and the Big C podcast - passed away on June 28th surrounded by her family.

Diagnosed with the illness in 2016, Deborah, 40, raised almost £7 million for cancer research and was awarded the title of Dame for her efforts.

The former deputy head teacher had revealed in early May that she had stopped active treatment and was receiving end of life care at her parents’ home in Woking.

Deborah had previously spoken openly about her funeral wishes, and said that she wanted a 'tequila filled funeral' which celebrated her life. She also said what song she would like played at her funeral.

As the Londoner's family, including her husband Sebastian and two children, Hugo, 14 and Eloise, 12, arrived to say their final goodbye to the inspiring star on Wednesday, they fulfilled her final wish to play 'Tell Me It's Not True' from the hit Willy Russell Broadway musical, Blood Brothers.

Deborah had previously said of her funeral: "It sounds morbid, but I want a sombre funeral in black and white because I think people look good in black and white.

"There’s a big church in Barnes and I’ll leave Seb to decide on the reception, as long as there is tequila.

"Being a teacher, I was thinking about all the different things I could get people to do. I’m thinking of asking people to bring a picture or a funny anecdote, so my family have something to remember."

Deborah had said that she wanted her funeral to be a day of celebration which her children could remember. She shared plans to have a 'nice small bench' placed on the common opposite her family home so her children can have somewhere to 'go and cry'.

"Some people want their ashes scattered in different places," she said. "I don’t because I think I would be lonely. I’m the kind of person that wouldn’t mind staying in the top drawer in the kitchen for a while."

Raise your glasses and remember the life of the fantastic Dame Deborah James.