Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Dame Deborah James visits Chelsea Flower Show in private tour to see her rose

Dame Deborah James has visited the Chelsea Flower Show to see a rose which bears her name (Alamy/PA)
Dame Deborah James has visited the Chelsea Flower Show to see a rose which bears her name (Alamy/PA)

Dame Deborah James has visited the Chelsea Flower Show with her husband to see a rose which bears her name.

The 40-year-old podcast host, known as Bowel Babe online after campaigning to raise awareness of bowel cancer, revealed two weeks ago that she was receiving end-of-life care at her family home in Surrey.

She saw the bloom on display during a private tour on Tuesday evening, the BBC said, where she was accompanied by her husband Sebastien Bowen, with the visit organised by BBC presenter Sophie Raworth and the Royal Horticultural Society.

Dame Deborah, who was recently honoured with a damehood by the Duke of Cambridge at her home for her “tireless campaigning” efforts, told the BBC: “Flowers are a reminder of our future. We plant the seed not knowing what we might see grow.

“Being around nature gives us a lift and it is a reminder that life continues to blossom, even in some of the hardest places, and brings a smile to all of our faces, even in the hardest of times – particularly mine.”

A short video shared by the BBC shows Dame Deborah arriving to see her rose, saying “This is amazing”, and raising a glass of champagne to commemorate the moment.

She revealed on her social media recently that World of Roses and the Harkness Rose Company had named a rose after her.

The presenter of the BBC podcast You, Me And The Big C, said of her flower: “Roses are my favourite flowers and I hope this one will brighten the smiles for all!”.

She said in an Instagram post that “what breaks my heart and brings me the most beautiful thought, is that this variety will and can now be grown forever”, adding that she hoped one day that her daughter, Eloise, may have the rose as part of her wedding bouquet.

The rose is described as a floribunda which “produces masses of white blooms with a subtle ‘ballet slipper pink’ centre, as Deborah would say!”, the Harkness Rose Company said in the Instagram post announcing it.

It added: “The rose is repeat flowering from early June to the first frosts, with its blooms set out perfectly against the dark green, glossy foliage.

“This variety is suitable for beds, borders or large patio containers. It is an absolutely superb variety that is easy to grow and will perform well in all gardens.”

The Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) Chelsea Flower Show in London is back in its May slot for the first time since 2019, after being cancelled in 2020 and moved to September for 2021 due to the pandemic.

Dame Deborah has to date raised more than £6.5 million for Cancer Research UK, Bowel Cancer UK and the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity through her Bowelbabe fund on Just Giving.

She set herself an initial target of £250,000 and has received donations from a huge number of supporters, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

During a visit to the Royal Marsden Hospital this week, William spoke about meeting Dame Deborah to award her the damehood, telling Dr Nicos Fotiadis, a consultant interventional radiologist, who treated the cancer activist: “I loved meeting her, she was fantastic.”

Dame Deborah is a former headteacher who was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016 and has kept her Instagram followers, who number more than 800,000, up to date with her treatments.

In an Instagram post the morning after her visit to see her rose, she said: “Thank you to @sophieraworth for being my real life fairy godmother and getting me to @the_rhs Chelsea flower after hours to see my @theharknessrosecompany rose. To celebrate it and to see the gardens. You are incredible. And the whole thing brought a well needed smile to my face.”

Sharing a selection of pictures, she wrote: “A few for the memories. A mix of some pics that have made me smile over the last few days.

“I feel at the moment I’ve got so much to share, to be thankful for but my body just isn’t playing the game! I’m finding it harder and harder to engage and am just resting up a lot between managing side-effects and having lovely random chats with my family.”

She revealed last week that she had completed her second book, How To Live When You Could Be Dead, which will be published on August 18.