Dame Deborah James finds being on the front pages of UK newspapers ‘quite surreal’

Dame Deborah James says it is “surreal” to appear on the front pages of Britain’s national newspapers after her “stakes” trip to Royal Ascot with her brother.

The 40-year-old podcaster, known as Bowel Babe online, shared a photo on Instagram of herself with her brother Benjamin and her new fiancé after spending a day at the races on Wednesday.

Dame Deborah, who is receiving end-of-life care at home for bowel cancer, admitted living in ‘limbo country’ has been very stressful but she is grateful for the extra time she is getting.

News of his trip to the races appeared in editions of newspapers like the Daily Mirror, The Sun, the Daily Express and the Daily Mail.

Sharing a video of the articles on her Instagram Story, she wrote, “I find this front page thing crazy today.

“I mean I’m still, like, excited and still surprised in a good way by the whole thing! But it’s also pretty surreal I have to say!

In photos shared on her social media, the campaigner can be seen beaming while wearing a navy dress with white polka dots and a large woven hat at Ascot Racecourse.

She wrote: “Yesterday was really special as with lots of hard work and help I was able to @ascotracecourse again.

“I honestly have to pinch myself that I’ve been good enough every day to do something like this. Another favorite I had in mind and a fabulous step to say ‘isn’t dead yet!’

The presenter of the BBC You, Me And The Big C podcast thanked Ascot for helping to make the experience “seamless and achievable” for her.

She also revealed that she picked three winners in a row at the event, which left her “bouncing off the ceiling”.

Dame Deborah James, with her husband Sebastian Bowen, during a private visit to the Chelsea Flower Show (The Harkness Rose Company/PA) (PA Media)

Dame Deborah, who continues to survive her life expectancy diagnosis, added that amid the activities she still finds herself “living in limbo, not really knowing what the future holds and for how long time”.

The campaigner, who was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016, has been raising awareness for years and has raised over £6.7m for Cancer Research UK, Bowel Cancer UK and the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity through her fund Bowelbabe on JustGiving.

On a recent episode of E4’s Embarrassing Bodies, she encouraged “broken taboos” associated with bowel movements because it can “save lives” by helping people recognize bowel cancer symptoms.

During the episode, recorded while Dame Deborah was still in hospital, she encouraged viewers to “not be embarrassed about it” and recognize the importance of watching their bowel movements.

She said: “We all poop, our favorite celebrities poop! Let’s kind of break those taboos, because frankly, it’s going to save lives. Let’s spread the word.

Last month, Dame Deborah announced that she had written another book, titled How To Live When You Could Be Dead, documenting what she learned about having a positive mindset when facing the greatest life challenges.

Although not slated for release until August, the book rose to number one on Amazon’s list thanks to pre-orders, with its royalties going to its Bowelbabe fund.

The podcast host went on to launch a clothing line with In The Style, with 100% of the proceeds going to the cancer charity.

She was also honored with a Dame’s Honor by the Duke of Cambridge at her home for her “tireless campaigning” efforts.

Calvin W. Soper