Deborah James' husband opens up about the late campaigner's cancer battle

'It was just such a difficult, difficult time. It’s difficult to articulate how hard it really was'

Dame Deborah James was a regular contributor to the Lorraine show. (ITV)
Dame Deborah James died last year. (ITV)

Deborah James' husband Sebastien Bowen has spoken publicly for the first time about his late wife's cancer battle.

The campaigner, who was better known by her social media handle Bowelbabe, died last year at the age of 40 after being diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016.

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

Her fundraising for Cancer Research UK reached over £11m.

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 30: Sebastien Bowen and Deborah James celebrate the 90th Anniversary of JW Marriott Grosvenor House London on April 30, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for JW Marriott Grosvenor House London)
Deborah James and Sebastien Bowen. (Getty Images)

Bowen appeared on BBC Breakfast to talk about James and her cancer experience: "It was just such a difficult, difficult time. It’s difficult to articulate how hard it really was."

Describing his wife's final moments, Bowen said: "I think she died in probably one of the best ways that you could have hoped to die with this terrible disease. She died surrounded by her mother, her father, her sister, me, all of us holding her hand, being there for her."

Bowen also described their continued fundraising and awareness efforts: "I’m not someone who’s a particularly public person, I’m much more on the private side, but this is important that we kind of remind people to look after themselves, to check their poo as Deborah would always say.

"Hopefully, all of us working together, all the charities working together with more public awareness, will be able to, maybe not defeat bowel cancer, but at least change the odds that people will have."

The family of Dame Deborah James, (left to right) husband Sebastien Bowen, son Hugo Bowen, and daughter Eloise Bowen, leaving her funeral service at St Mary's Church in Barnes, west London. Picture date: Wednesday July 20, 2022. (Photo by Aaron Chown/PA Images via Getty Images)
Sebastien Bowen at Deborah James' funeral. (Getty Images)

Bowen also talked about persevering as a family after the loss: "I remember I said it on the day of the funeral, if we can get through this together, I think we can get through anything.

"That’s kind of stuck with us and so we’re a pretty strong unit, I like to think. When we’re together, we feel a little bit, not invincible, but definitely we’ve got each other’s back."

James found fame through detailing her bowel cancer experience in detail online and she also had a column in The Sun and fronted a documentary for the BBC.

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