Dame Deborah’s marriage to husband Sebastian Bowen as he praises ‘amazing’ wife after devastating death

On Tuesday the tragic news that Dame Deborah James had passed away following a heroic battle with bowel cancer was announced.

The inspirational fundraiser passed away at the age of 40 after devastatingly announcing on 9 May that she had moved to end-of-life care. She explained that despite all of her treatments, her body just wasn’t “playing ball”, and that she was receiving hospice care at her parents' house.

The broadcaster and journalist was survived by her husband Sebastian Bowen and their two children Hugo, 14 and 12 year old Eloise. Announcing her death, her family said in a statement shared to her Instagram on 28 June: "Dame Deborah James.

"We are deeply saddened to announce the death of Dame Deborah James; the most amazing wife, daughter, sister, mummy. Deborah passed away peacefully today, surrounded by her family.

"Deborah, who many of you will know as Bowelbabe, was an inspiration and we are incredibly proud of her and her work and commitment to charitable campaigning, fundraising and her endless efforts to raise awareness of cancer that touched so many lives."

In her final days Deborah previously told her Instagram followers she was surrounded by her “incredible family” and “so much love”.

This included her husband Sebastian who is a banker from London and married Deborah in 2008 with the journalist often sharing snaps of the pair to her Instagram page.

Shortly before her death, Deborah said she wanted Sebastian to “move on”.

Speaking to The Times in May, Deborah said: “I don’t think I’ve ever seen my husband so emotional. He’s suddenly realised the enormity of this. I have given him strict instructions: I want him to move on.”

To celebrate their 13th anniversary Deborah shared a sweet video of the pair dancing on Instagram and wrote: “13 Years of marriage. My Rock. It was our wedding anniversary earlier this week. Some days the weight of what that means in an uncertain future can be too much.

“Then it’s the closing of [a] new day. A new day you are grateful to see. A new day you didn’t think you’d feel well in. And you dance. As your lids laugh and film.

"The sun sets, and you realise how wonderful it is to reach another milestone (and you park the sadness). And you smile. And you are at one in the moment only.

"Because for any of us that’s all we ever have anyway. And you give thanks to have people in your life that are the very back bone you remain upright on”.

She continued: “Sebastien – Thank you for holding my hand in the darkness and dancing me back into the light. I love you. Always.”


  • Deborah James dies aged 40 after bowel cancer battle and heroic £6.7m fundraising

  • Inside Deborah James' family life with husband and kids as she raises millions for charity

  • Deborah James wanted to 'die at parents' home' to save kids from more anguish

  • Dame Deborah James' final Instagram photo as star dies following cancer battle

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