In a post to Instagram, James’ family revealed the 40-year-old had passed away peacefully, surrounded by her family members.
“We thank you for giving us time in private as a family, and we look forward to continuing Deborah’s legacy long into the future through the @bowelbabefund,” the caption of the post read.
“Thank you for playing your part in her journey, you are all incredible.
“And a few final things from Deborah… ‘find a life worth enjoying; take risks; love deeply; have no regrets; and always, always have rebellious hope. And finally, check your poo – it could just save your life.’”
Kelly posted a picture of James to her own Instagram, calling the campaigner a “dear friend” and praising her for breaking the “poo taboo”.
“We will remember Dame Deborah as a dear friend of the Lorraine show and as the heart and soul of our bowel cancer campaign No Butts. She leaves a lasting legacy and has saved countless lives through all the work she did to break the ‘poo taboo’,” the post read.
“Her spirit, drive and enthusiasm made her a powerhouse as a campaigner but most of all we will miss her laughter and friendship behind the scenes.
“Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this time. She will be so sadly missed.”
Celebrity friends of James have been quick to pay their own tributes below her family’s post of the campaigner, with Susanna Reid writing: “Sending your family all of my love - what an incredible woman.”
Bake Off winner, Candice Brown wrote: “Fly high angel, you will always be remembered.”
And TV personality Katie Piper commented: “You will never be forgotten Deborah. All your hard work, campaigning and infectious spirit lives on.”