Dame Deborah James planned her funeral and it was perfection, says Lorraine
TV presenter Lorraine Kelly has said Dame Deborah James’s funeral was “perfection, as you would expect”.
The podcast host and mother-of-two, who became known as Bowelbabe, died last month aged 40 after being diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016.
Close friends and family said farewell to her at an intimate private service at St Mary’s Church in Barnes, west London, on Wednesday.
The mourners included McFly star Tom Fletcher and his podcaster wife Giovanna, and TV presenters Gaby Roslin, Sophie Raworth and Kelly.
Speaking about the funeral on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, 62-year-old Kelly said: “We celebrated the life of a truly incredible person yesterday, our Dame Deborah.
“She is remarkable. It was beautiful, so beautiful, such a celebration of an amazing, amazing woman.
“There were a lot of tears and there really was genuinely a lot of laughs too, so it was great.
“She planned it all and it was perfection, as you would expect.”
Dame Deborah’s coffin arrived in a vintage Rolls-Royce hearse with more than a dozen members of family walking behind it.
Her husband Sebastien delivered the eulogy during the service, while their children, Hugo, 14, and 12-year-old Eloise, both read poems.
Family friend and classically trained singer Natalie Rushdie, who is married to novelist Salman Rushdie’s son Zafar, sang Tell Me It’s Not True from the musical Blood Brothers.
Cellist Charles Watt played music from Gabriel Faure, while family friend Sarah Mountford read an extract from Ecclesiastes.
After the service, the family left the church with bowed heads for a private wake, while Dame Deborah’s coffin was carried away by car.
Dame Deborah, a former deputy headteacher, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016 and subsequently kept her nearly one million Instagram followers up to date with her treatments.
Her candid posts about her progress and diagnosis, including videos of her dancing her way through treatment, won praise from both the public and media.
In her final months, the presenter of the BBC podcast You, Me And The Big C raised almost £7 million for cancer research, with the amount climbing further following her death.Published: by Radio NewsHub