TV presenter Lorraine Kelly said Dame Deborah James’ funeral was “perfect, as you’d expect”.
he is a podcast host and mother of two, who is known as Bowelbabe, passed away last month at the age of 40 after being diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016.
Close friends and family said their goodbyes to her in an intimate private service at St Mary’s Church in Barnes, west London, on Wednesday.
The mourners included McFly star Tom Fletcher and his wife Giovanna, and TV presenters Gaby Roslin, Sophie Raworth and Kelly.
Speaking of the funeral on ITV’s Good Morning Britain programme, 62-year-old Kelly said: “We celebrated the birthday of a truly incredible person yesterday, our Dame Deborah.
“She is remarkable. It was beautiful, so beautiful, a celebration of a wonderful, wonderful woman.
“There were a lot of tears and actually a lot of laughter too, so it was great.
“She planned it all and it was perfect, as you’d expect.”
Dame Deborah’s coffin was brought in in a vintage Rolls-Royce hearse with more than a dozen family members in the back.
Her husband, Sebastien, delivered the eulogy during the ceremony, while their children, 14-year-old Hugo and 12-year-old Eloise, both read poetry.
Video of the day
Speaking later on her own Lorraine ITV show, Kelly added: “I was honored to be in attendance alongside some of our team members. It was a beautiful farewell, so lovely and so sad, but it was also a memory of a wonderfully wonderful woman.
“Hugo wrote a poem for his mother and her husband delivered the most beautiful eulogy, sad but also uplifting. Her legacy is also her children and they are amazing young people.
“The last weeks and months of her life have done so much, she has achieved more in her final days than most of us do in our entire lives.
“The amount of money she has raised is amazing. She will never be forgotten. Yesterday a lot of people said we were going to get a tattoo in hopes of revolting and I think I agreed with that.”
The service also includes family friend and classically trained singer Natalie Rushdie, who is married to Zafar, son of novelist Salman Rushdie, who sang Tell Me It’s Not True from the musical Blood Brothers.
Cellist Charles Watt played music by Gabriel Faure, while family friend Sarah Mountford read an excerpt from Ecclesiastes.
After the ceremony, the family bowed their heads and left the church for a private awakening, while Dame Deborah’s coffin was taken away by car.
Dame Deborah, a former vice principal, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016 and has since updated her nearly one million Instagram followers about her treatments.
Her candid posts about her progress and diagnosis, including videos of her dancing her way through treatment, have won praise from both the public and the media.
In her final months, the host of the BBC’s You, Me And The Big C podcast has raised nearly £7 million for cancer research, with the money growing further after her death.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/dame-deborah-james-planned-her-funeral-and-it-was-perfection-says-lorraine-41856970.html Dame Deborah James planned her funeral and it was perfection, says Lorraine