The Loose Women have paid tribute to Dame Deborah James following her tragic death from bowel cancer. Jane Moore, Katie Piper, Kelle Bryan and Gloria Hunniford all spoke about the "inspirational" Deborah, who has died at the age of 40. For Gloria, Deborah's young death was close to home, as she lost her own daughter, Caron Keating, to cancer.
Blue Peter presenter Caron, who passed away in 2004 from breast cancer, was a similar age to Dame Deborah James. Gloria told the others how, from her own experience, Deborah’s family would be “comforted by the work that [Deborah] did". Gloria would go on to set up a foundation in Caron's name. The Caron Keating Foundation was set up to raise money to offer financial support to professional carers, complementary healing practitioners, and support groups dealing with cancer patients, as well as individuals and families who are affected by the disease.
“Deborah had an incredible attitude and her family will be carried forward because of that,” Gloria said. Her thoughts were echoed by the other Loose Women.
Elsewhere, Kelle offered her own thoughts on Deborah's passing. The actress and singer, who lives with lupus, said: “We are all on borrowed time, so I embrace every day like it’s going to be my last.” She praised Deborah’s “rebellious hope” in her fight against bowel cancer. The Loose Women join a whole host of other celebrities who have paid tribute to Deborah. Lorraine Kelly nearly broke down in tears as she talked about her friend and colleague, which you can read about here.
Katie Piper commented on how “the most well-known charity would struggle to do what she did". She described how she is “prompting so many people” to openly discuss their bowel habits.
Deborah James’ own battle with cancer began in 2016 when she was diagnosed with incurable bowel cancer. The presenter and journalist used her platform to encourage conversation about the illness and stressed for people to “check their poo”.
Deborah's family confirmed the news of her passing in a post on Instagram and praised her “determination”, calling her “inspiring".
Loose Women airs on weekdays on ITV at 12.30pm