Adele Roberts says Deborah James was in her heart as she set London Marathon record

The radio DJ paid tribute to the late cancer campaigner

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Adele Roberts takes part in the 2023 TCS London Marathon on April 23, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)
Adele Roberts set a record at the Marathon. (Getty Images)

Adele Roberts has said the medal she won as she set a Guinness World Record at the London Marathon is for Dame Deborah James’ parents as well as for her.

The radio star - who was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2021 and got the all clear last June – finished the race in three hours, 30 minutes and 22 seconds, becoming the fastest woman with a stoma bag to complete it.

Appearing on ITV’s Lorraine alongside Dame Deborah’s mum and dad Heather and Alistair, she said she had the late cancer campaigner in her heart as she ran the race.

Read more: Deborah James Bowel Babe documentary has viewers in tears as she is hailed inspiration

“I just want to say thank you to you, and thank you to your daughter,” she said, as they discussed the No Butts campaign that the show ran with Dame Deborah.

Dame Deborah James died from bowel cancer aged 40. (Getty Images)
Dame Deborah James died from bowel cancer aged 40. (Getty Images)

“I think she has helped save my life.

"The awareness that you’ve done with this campaign is fundamental and you’ve shown it can happen to anyone at any time.”

“I had Deborah in my heart all the way round,” Roberts added.

Passing her medal to Heather, she said: “This is just as much for you as it is for me.”

Alistair said that Dame Deborah, who died in June after battling bowel cancer, would have been very impressed with Roberts’ time in the race.

“Do you reckon?” the DJ asked with a smile.

Read more: Lorraine Kelly celebrates life of 'dear friend' Dame Deborah James, who has died aged 40

Dame Deborah was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016 and in 2018 launched the You, Me And The Big C podcast with fellow cancer patients Lauren Mahon and Rachael Bland.

Bland died aged 40 in 2018 after battling breast cancer.

Watch: Dame Deborah James' Bowelbabe cancer research fund raises £11.3m