Deborah James leaves home to see namesake rose at Chelsea Flower Show

Deborah James will appear on Embarrassing Bodies. (PA)
Deborah James has had a rose named after her. (PA) (PA)

Dame Deborah James has made a rare trip out to the Chelsea Flower Show to see the rose that has been named after her.

The podcast host and cancer campaigner – who has moved to hospice care after battling bowel cancer since 2016 – has had a bloom named in her honour by World of Roses and the Harkness Rose Company.

Sharing the news last week, she told her fans she hoped that one day her daughter Eloise, 12, might have some of the flowers in her wedding bouquet.

Read more: Deborah James says husband is her 'rock' as she leaves house for first time in 10 days

While she is mainly remaining at home, the star has now visited the Dame Deborah James Rose with her husband Sebastien, in a visit organised by BBC presenter Sophie Raworth and the Royal Horticultural Society.

She told the BBC: “Flowers are a reminder of our future. We plant the seed not knowing what we might see grow.

“Being around nature gives us a lift and it is a reminder that life continues to blossom, even in some of the hardest places, and brings a smile to all of our faces, even in the hardest of times – particularly mine.”

Dame Deborah is also seen in a short video shared by the BBC, which shows her saying it was "amazing" as she marked the moment with some champagne.

The star said she was in tears when she found out about the flower, which “produces masses of white blooms with a subtle 'ballet slipper pink' centre”.

(left to right) Lauren Mahon, (unknown), Shareefa J, Anna Harding, Nimco Ali, Andrea McLean and Deborah James pose for a photograph after running the Vitality London 10000 in their underwear to promote body confidence.
Dame Deborah James after running the Vitality London 10000 in underwear to promote body confidence. (PA) (PA Wire/PA Images)

“What breaks my heart and brings me the most beautiful thought, is that this variety will and can now be grown forever, and maybe one day even Eloise might choose to have it in her wedding bouquet,” she wrote on Instagram.

Dame Deborah – who is also mum to son Hugo, 14 - was one of the hosts of the You, Me & The Big C podcast, which she presented with Lauren Mahon and Rachael Bland, who died in 2018 at the age of 40 after battling breast cancer.

She told her fans earlier this month that her body wasn’t “playing ball”.

“My active care has stopped and I am now moved to hospice at home care, with my incredible family all around me and the focus is on making sure I’m not in pain and spending time with them,” she said.

L-R: Rachael Bland, Lauren Mahon, Deborah James, presenters of <i>You, Me & the Big C</i>. (BBC/Claire Wood)
L-R: Rachael Bland, Lauren Mahon, Deborah James, presenters of You, Me & the Big C. (BBC/Claire Wood)

During her final podcast, Dame Deborah said she had gone home to her mum and dad's house as it was where she had always wanted to die.

Read more: Lorraine pays tribute to cancer campaigner Deborah James who is in hospice care

She has set up the Bowel Babe fund in her name, which will support cancer charities and to date has raised more than £6.5 million.

Earlier this month she was honoured with a damehood, and told her fans that she felt “humbled and blown away”.

Additional reporting by PA.

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