Deborah James, the host of the BBC podcast You, Me and the Big C, has been honoured with a damehood after raising £3.7m for cancer research.

It was revealed this week by James, 40, that she has moved to hospice-at-home care to treat her terminal bowel cancer.

The former headteacher was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016 and has kept her more than 500,000 Instagram followers up to date with her treatments.

On Thursday night, Number 10 confirmed that James is to be made a dame, saying: “The Queen has been pleased to approve that the honour of damehood be conferred upon Deborah James.”

Speaking about the damehood, James told The Sun: “I don’t know what to say. I’m blown away and feel incredibly honoured.

“I don’t feel like I deserve this. I can’t tell you what this means to my family, it’s so much to take in.”

She told the newspaper her fund has “surpassed all expectations”, adding: “I’d love to get it to £5 million by the end of the weekend.”

James, the much-loved presenter of the BBC podcast You, Me And The Big C, announced on Monday she had set up the Bowelbabe Fund.

In a Instagram post announcing it she wrote: “I always knew there was one thing I always wanted to do before I died.

“I have always over the years raised as much awareness and money for the charities that are closest to me. @cr_uk @royalmarsden @bowelcanceruk

“As a result, the @bowelbabefund is being established and I’d love nothing more than for you to help it flourish. Please visit for all the info and to donate (link in Bio).”