The life and legacy of Dame Deborah James will continue to be celebrated with the return of the No Butts campaign with Lorraine Kelly.
Dame Deborah, who set up the Bowelbabe cancer research fund, died last year at the age of 40 after suffering from bowel cancer.
In honour of the late campaigner, who was one of the original presenters of the You, Me And The Big C podcast, the return of Dame Deborah’s No Butts campaign for a third year was announced on ITV’s Lorraine on Monday.
The initiative, which was first spearheaded by Dame Deborah and 63-year-old host Kelly in 2021, strives to raise awareness of bowel cancer and the symptoms of the disease in support of Bowel Cancer Awareness Month.
This year, along with the original goal of raising awareness, the campaign will also celebrate the life of Dame Deborah.
As part of the campaign launch, Monday morning’s episode of Lorraine saw Strictly Come Dancing judge Anton Du Beke surprise Dame Deborah’s mother, Heather James, with a special dance to honour her daughter.
The show also ended with a ‘Dance for Debs’, which saw presenters Dr Amir Khan, Dr Anisha Patel, Dr Hilary Jones, Ria Hebden, Mark Heyes and Claer Barrett, as well as Strictly stars Dianne Buswell and Tyler West, dance in Dame Deborah’s memory.
Alongside Ms James, Dame Deborah’s sister Sarah Wieczorek also featured on the show and the family spoke about Dame Deboah’s lasting legacy and the return of the No Butts campaign.
Ms James said: “I think she’d love it, how great that No Butts is back again.
“Bittersweet because I was here last year with Deborah watching on the TV because she was too poorly, and I said to her, ‘You’ll do it next year’ but that wasn’t to be.”
Meanwhile, Ms Wieczorek said: “I miss her sparkle, whatever you did with her, whether it was going for a run, a takeout on a Friday night, a movie, getting the paddling pool out, friends over for dinner, there was always a sparkle she added to it. The ability to make the normal a little bit different.
“People often come up to me and say, ‘It must be really hard to talk about it’, but it’s kind of been like therapy.
“The fact that Deborah was so open about it, we haven’t had to explain a lot of the hard stuff, she’s done that for us.
“She’s left us a real privilege of a legacy of something to talk about.”
To which Ms James added: “To keep her memory alive, she loved life so much.
“How wonderful that people can now talk about poo, if only we had that Deborah 10 years ago, perhaps Deborah wouldn’t have died.
“What a legacy, with No Butts that’s the awareness we need.”
Speaking about the campaign, Kelly said: “This is a very important year for No Butts as we recognise and celebrate the life of our friend and supporter of the campaign, Dame Deborah James.
“Every year No Butts comes to life with the help of our Lorraine family, friends and supporters, and in honour of Deborah and all of the work she has done for bowel cancer, we want to make this year the biggest year yet.”
Lorraine’s No Butts campaign will continue throughout the week from 9am on ITV1 and ITVX.
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