BBC Breakfast hosts share emotional tribute as Deborah James dies aged 40

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BBC Breakfast hosts Jon Kay and Nina Warhurst paid a touching tribute to Dame Deborah James on their programme following her tragic death.

The BBC presenter and podcaster sadly died aged 40 on Tuesday (June 28) following her battle with bowel cancer.

Her BBC colleagues, Jon Kay and Nina Warhurst, were quick to honour her incredible achievements on Wednesday's programme.

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They began by airing a touching video package which showed her heartbreaking final message, which ended with some rather candid advice for those reading.

Nina said: "That's such an important message, that, isn't it? Check your poo. Don't be embarrassed to talk about it, and it could save your life."

They proceeded to show several tributes from famous figures on social media, such as Boris Johnson, Adele Roberts, and NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard.

Jon said: "That message you were talking about, we know, has already saved lives and made a difference to loads of families."

Nina added: "Yeah, and someone like her sharing the message in the way she has, it's different to a pamphlet coming through your door from the NHS. Much more impact."

  • BBC's Deborah James finds 'diamond moment in the rough' during end-of-life care

The flagship programme proceeded to play Deborah's last TV interview with BBC reporter Graham Satchell, which she gave as she was receiving end of life care.

Jon said: "It's incredible to think how much she did and achieved even since that was recorded."

A smiling Nina nodded in agreement as Jon went on: "I mean even at her lowest point she was still making appearances and publishing stuff, her book and fundraising. Unbelievable."

Nina added: "For millions of pounds. Meeting a future king. Packed a lot in."

Jon added: "I know. She really did."

Deborah, who was also known as Bowelbabe, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family.

The mum-of-two was diagnosed in December 2016 and told she wouldn't live beyond five years – but she surpassed this milestone last year.

She has since raised over £7million for cancer patients after launching her Bowelbabe fund, which surpassed £1m in less than 24 hours.

She was awarded a damehood by Prince William back in May, with the future king visiting her at her Surrey home.

Her devastated family announced her passing with a touching statement shared on Deborah's Bowelbabe Instagram page.

It concluded with an important message from Deborah which read "A few final things from Deborah…'find a life worth enjoying; take risks; love deeply; have no regrets; and always, always have rebellious hope. And finally, check your poo – it could just save your life.”

Deborah leaves behind her children Hugo, 14, Eloise, 12, and her husband, Sebastien.

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  • BBC Breakfast
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