Deborah James mum wears sweet tribute to late daughter as she dances with Anton Du Beke

Heather James, the mother of the late cancer campaigner and writerDame Deborah James, has paid a sweet tribute to her daughter while dancing withStrictly Come DancingjudgeAnton Du Beke.

The gymnastics coach, 64, shared a video to her Instagram account, showing an exclusive Latin and ballroom class taught by the Strictly judge and former competitive dancer, 56.

Heather could be seen dancing with Anton, while wearing awhite dress imprinted with red poppies from Deborah's InTheStyle collection, which was designed in the last weeks of her life.

Writing about the lesson Heather posted: “A few weeks ago I was overwhelmed to be able to dance with Anton Du Beke. This brought back memories of my youth as dancing was my love.

“I had a wonderful time and Anton was so kind and encouraging. Obviously my enjoyment was mixed with sadness knowing how much Deborah loved Strictly and particularly Anton and would have adored to be with us dancing.

“The dress I’m wearing is the Tea Dance dress from Deborah’s In The Style Collection so felt she would be with us as we danced. Thank you Anton for giving up your time and to the Rosewood Hotel for hosting us.”

Dame Deborah James passed away at the age of 40 in 2022, five years after she was diagnosed with incurable bowel cancer.

The journalist became a prominent figure while highlighting her struggles since her diagnosis, and she began to host the You, Me and the Big C podcast on BBC Radio 5.

During this time she became a vocal campaigner for cancer charities, as well as doing her best to spread awareness about the disease – especially bowel cancer.

Deborahmade her final television appearanceon the show Embarrassing Bodies, where she discussed her diagnosis.

She told GP Tosin Ajayi-Sotubo it was the “last thing she expected” being just 35 at the time received the diagnosis.

She said, at the time, she thought bowel cancer was an "old man's disease", an idea she wanted to dispel, as it could be putting more and more people at risk.

She also wanted to help others who feel they are in a similar position and inspire people to seek advice.

Deborah said: “I started going to poo – we need to say that – eight times a day. And I used to be a once-a-day kind of girl.

“Then I started getting really tired and I remember drinking loads of cups of coffee just to try and keep myself awake.

“Then I started losing loads of weight and I started having blood in my poo.”

Talking with GP Dr Tosin, Deborah said this was the moment she had a “gut instinct that something wasn't right” and needed to get it checked out.

She then went on to tell viewers that “talk of poo should never be taboo,” and that “our favourite celebrities poo” so there is no reason why we shouldn't talk about it more.


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