Dame Deborah James planned her own funeral, Lorraine Kelly reveals

·2-min read

Lorraine Kelly has revealed that Dame Deborah James planned her own funeral, after the cancer campaigner was laid to rest in an intimate service on Wednesday (20 July).

The TV host called the funeral “perfection, as you would expect” while appearing on Good Morning Britain on Thursday morning (21 July).

James died on 28 June, six years after being diagnosed with stage-four bowel cancer. In the months before her death, she raised over £7.4m for Cancer Research UK through her BowelBabe fund.

The funeral was a small service in Barnes for close family in friends. Some of James’ celebrity friends like Kelly and Giovanna Fletcher were in attendance.

“We celebrated the life of a truly incredible person yesterday, our Dame Deborah,” Kelly said during her GMB appearance.

“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.”

James’ coffin arrived in a vintage Rolls-Royce hearse with a dozen of her family members walking behind it, including her husband Sebastien Bowen, and their children Hugo, 14, and Eloise, 12.

Later on her namesake show, Kelly added: “I was very honoured to be there with some of our team. It was a beautiful send-off, it was so lovely and it was sad but it was also a celebration of a wonderful wonderful woman.

“Hugo wrote a poem for his mum and her husband said the most beautiful eulogy, it was sad but also very very uplifting. Her legacy is also her children and they are incredible incredible young people.”

Kelly added that James achieved “more in the last days of her life than most of us do in our whole lives”.

She continued: “The amount of money she raised was astonishing. She will never ever be forgotten. Yesterday a whole bunch of people said we would get a tattoo with rebellious hope and I think I agreed to that.”

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