Dame Deborah Anne James DBE is a London-based English journalist, podcast broadcaster, and charitable activist.


James worked as a deputy head teacher at Salesian School in Chertsey, specializing in computer science and e-learning, before going on to the Matthew Arnold School in Staines-upon-Thames, where she remained until her colon cancer diagnosis.

She started her career as a reporter and columnist for The Sun, where she chronicled her battle with illness.

Deborah James
Deborah James

She began presenting the BBC Radio 5 program You, Me, and the Big C in March 2018, alongside other cancer patients Lauren Mahon and Rachael Bland, the latter of whom died in September 2018.

F*** You Cancer: How to Face the Big C, Live Your Life, and Still Be Yourself was published in October 2018 by her.

What Happened to Her?

She was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer in 2016 and went on to broadcast the BBC Radio 5 podcast You, Me, and the Big C, which chronicled her battle with the disease.

The notion of her own death was unthinkable, terrible, and irreconcilable when she was diagnosed with the incurable myelodysplastic disease in 2004.

She invested all of her money, hope, and refusal in a bold experimental treatment that was never going to rescue her, and her final chapter was one of misery and hopeless dismay for those nearest to her.

She couldn’t say goodbye to those who loved her since it was an unspoken admission that she would soon become their memories. She did not have a “pleasant” death.