BBC Host Deborah James Enters Hospice Care, Pens Emotional Goodbye Message To Her Fans

Deborah James screenshot
(Image credit: ITV)

Deborah James became a notable name in the U.K. thanks to her work on the You, Me, and the Big C podcast, which she hosted for BBC Radio to open up about her struggles with bowel cancer. She has been responsible for spreading awareness about bowel cancer, and raising money in support of battling it. Now, she revealed to fans that she has entered hospice care, and she did so in an emotional message on social media.

The podcast host and journalist has been open about various stages in her cancer journey on Instagram, often wearing a smile despite her difficult circumstances. In May, she shared the message that she “never wanted to write” after they “tried everything” and her body “simply isn’t playing ball.” She shared:

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. Nobody knows how long I’ve got left but I’m not able to walk, I’m sleeping most of the days, and most things I took for granted are pipe dreams. I know we have left no stone unturned. But even with all the innovative cancer drugs in the world or some magic new breakthrough, my body just can’t continue anymore.

Deborah James’ message is a sad one as she revealed what she is going through after ending active care, but she does at least have her “incredible family” around her and can focus on not feeling pain while spending time with those she loves. She fought long and hard and tried everything that she could, and is now being open with fans despite everything. She continued:

In over 5 years of writing about how I thought it would be my final Christmas, how I wouldn’t see my 40th birthday nor see my kids go to secondary school - I never envisaged writing the one where I would actually say goodbye.I think it’s been the rebellious hope in me. But I don’t think anyone can say the last 6 months has exactly been kind! It’s all heartbreaking to be going through but I’m surrounded by so much love that if anything can help me through I hope that will.

Her message also revealed that she has accomplished something that she always wanted to do before she died by establishing the Bowelbabe Fund for Cancer Research to raise money for further research into cancer that could save lives. She asked fans to “Please buy me a drink to see me out this world, by donating the cost” to the new fund. She ended her message with the words “No regrets” and “Enjoy life” before adding her name. 

It was a long and emotional message that will undoubtedly resonate with fans, and hopefully help the Bowelbabe Fund get off to a strong start with donations. Check out the full post here:

She also received a major honor shortly after making the announcement that she has entered hospice care. News out of the Prime Minister’s Office in the U.K. revealed that Queen Elizabeth II has conferred a Damehood on Deborah Jones, so that she joins the likes of actress Helen Mirren (who recently paid a tribute to her stepson after his death), Julie Andrews (who has become the voice of Bridgerton), Maggie Smith of Downton Abbey and the Harry Potter franchise, and many more with the title of “Dame” on the British side of the pond. 

It’s a well-earned honor for James after all of her work to spread cancer awareness and funds. If you want to try her series and haven’t done so yet among so many options, you can find You, Me and the Big C on Spotify, Apple, and the BBC Radio 5 Live website. 

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.