Lorraine Kelly fights back tears during emotional Dame Deborah James tribute

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Lorraine Kelly was fighting back tears on air over Dame Deborah James, who has tragically died aged 40 following her battle with cancer.

The ITV presenter was overcome with emotion as she paid a touching tribute to Deborah with a special edition of her Lorraine chat show on Wednesday (June 29).

It was just minutes into her show when poor Lorraine started welling up to the point where she couldn't finish her sentence, so she apologised to her guests and the viewers at home.

READ MORE: BBC's Deborah James dies aged 40 after 'goodbye' message following cancer battle

Lorraine was joined by Deborah's devastated friends Steve Bland and Helen Addis, the latter of whom was Deborah's producer.

Introducing her guests, Lorraine began: "Joining me now is Deborah's great friends Steve Bland as well as her producer Helen Addis."

But her voice broke with emotion as she went to ask Steve her first question, saying: "You worked alongside Deborah. Sorry, just saying that…"

Her voice wavered as she went on: "Great to see both of you. Steve, how are you? We knew this was going to happen, but it still doesn't seem quite real?"

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Steve replied: "No, it doesn't. Last night was very odd. Very surreal. Very numb, and I was awake at the crack of dawn this morning and it just hit me. This moment, like you say, we've known for five years it was coming. It's been five and a half years since she was diagnosed.

"I think that's what makes what she's done in those past five and a half years, what she's packed in, and the people that she's helped, and the lives that she's saved all the more remarkable."

Later on in the interview, Steve joked that Deborah's inspiring energy came from the steroids she was on, which left Lorraine in giggles.

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He added: "She just had an unbelievable zest for life, didn't she? She just lived every single moment."

Deborah, who was also known as Bowelbabe, passed away peacefully on Tuesday surrounded by her family.

Her family announced her passing with a heartbreaking statement on Instagram, which thanked Deborah's supporters for all of playing a part in her inspiring journey.

It concluded with a crucial message from Deborah which read: "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."

The mum-of-two was diagnosed in December 2016 and originally told she wouldn't live beyond five years.

The campaigner since raised over £7million for cancer patients after launching her Bowelbabe fund, which surpassed £1m in less than 24 hours.

She was later awarded with a damehood by Prince William, who visited her Surrey home back in May.

Deborah leaves behind her children Hugo, 14, Eloise, 12, and her husband, Sebastien.

To donate to Deborah's cancer JustGiving fund, click the link here.

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  • Lorraine Kelly
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