Lorraine raises glass in memory of Dame Deborah James: 'Thank you Deborah'

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Lorraine Kelly admits she still hasn’t been able to process the death of her friend Dame Deborah James, who died this week from bowel cancer.

Dame Deborah, who was just 40 when she died from the terminal cancer, spent the last five years of her life rasing awareness of bowel cancer symptoms and fundraising for vital research into the disease.

Her activism saved countless lives, and she was honoured with a DBE from Prince William as she received end-of-life care at her home.

The nation has been in mourning for the podcaster and activist since her death, and chat show host Lorraine has admitted she hasn’t yet come to terms with it.

On Friday’s episode, Lorraine sat with entertainment editor Ria Hebden where they discussed Dame Deborah’s legacy, including a new trend her her family have urged fans to take part in.

The trend involves people raising a glass to Dame Deborah and uploading it to Instagram, with Lorraine explaining: ‘Everyone that loved her and admired her, all of us can do this.

‘It’s a new trend that started on Instagram following her death earlier on this week.

‘Which I still haven’t processed, to be honest.’

Turning to Ria, both with champagne flutes in their hands, she asked: ‘Shall we do this for Debora?’

As they clinked their glasses, Lorraine added: ‘Cheers, here we go. Thank you Deborah.’

Earlier this week, Lorraine appeared on emotional documentary The Last Dance, which centred around Dame Deborah and her incredible life.

Appearing in a clip, Lorraine labelled the activist a ‘smasher’ as she recalled their first meeting on her daytime show.

She said: ‘I just thought, “I really like you, you’re my kind of woman, you are a smasher.”‘

Elsewhere, the documentary features clips of Dame Deborah’s social media campaigns, raising awareness of bowel cancer symptoms, and features her friends sharing emotional tributes.

The podcaster and activist died on Tuesday morning after a five-year battle with terminal bowel cancer.

Lorraine airs weekdays from 9am on ITV.

Macmillan cancer support

If you or someone you care about has been diagnosed with cancer, Macmillan can offer support and information.

You can contact their helpline on 0808 808 00 00 (7 days a week from 8am to 8pm), use their webchat service, or visit their site for more information.

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