Today (Monday 17th April) Lorraine returned with the monumental ‘No Butts’ campaign, an initiative raising awareness of Bowel Cancer in support of Bowel Cancer Awareness Month. This year the campaign will celebrate the life of the late, great Dame Deborah James who initially spearheaded the movement alongside host Lorraine Kelly back in 2021.
During today’s launch show, Strictly Judge Anton Du Beke surprised Deborah’s mum, Heather James with a dance in honour of her daughter, along with presenters Dr Amir Khan, Dr Anisha Patel, Dr Hilary, Ria Hebden, Mark Heyes and Claer Barrett, plus Dianne Buswell and Tyler West who all ended the show with a ‘Dance for Debs’.
Joining Lorraine on the sofa today were Dame Deborah’s mother and sister Heather James and Sarah Wieczorek, who spoke on her lasting legacy.
Heather said, “I think she’d love it, how great that ‘No Butts’ is back again. Bittersweet because I was here last year with Deborah watching on the TV because she was too poorly, and I said to her, ‘You’ll do it next year’ but that wasn't to be.”
Sarah also shared, “I miss her sparkle, whatever you did with her, whether it was going for a run, a take out on a Friday night, a movie, getting the paddling pool out, friends over for dinner, there was always a sparkle she added to it. The ability to make the normal a little bit different.
“People often come up to me and say, ‘It must be really hard to talk about it’, but it’s kind of been like therapy. The fact that Deborah was so open about it, we haven't had to explain a lot of the hard stuff, she’s done that for us. She’s left us a real privilege of a legacy of something to talk about”. With Heather adding, “To keep her memory alive, she loved life so much!
“How wonderful that people can now talk about poo, if only we had that Deborah ten years ago, perhaps Deborah wouldn't have died. What a legacy, with ‘No Butts’ that’s the awareness we need.”
Dr Hilary also shared that, “Because of Dame Debroah raising awareness with campaigns such as ‘No Butts’, ten times more people came forward to talk to their doctors about symptoms and signs of bowel cancer.”
The campaign, which is known for its cheeky peach logo, aims to encourage viewers across the country to help fly the flag for bowel cancer - the nation’s second biggest cancer killer - with the goal of achieving life-saving early detection for those diagnosed.
‘No Butts’ is supported by Bowel Cancer UK along with a number of other brands including Victorian Plumbing, the Welsh Ambulance Service, Serious Tissues, Welcome Break, British Airways, The Gym Group, David Lloyd, Holland And Barrett and John Lewis.
Lorraine Kelly said: “This is a very important year for ‘No Butts’ as we recognise and celebrate the life of our friend and supporter of the campaign, Dame Deborah James. Every year ‘No Butts’ comes to life with the help of our Lorraine family, friends and supporters, and in honour of Deborah and all of the work she has done for bowel cancer, we want to make this year the biggest year yet!”
Dr Hilary said: “Oftentimes our work on Lorraine is having those awkward conversations on sometimes taboo topics. Our ‘No Butts’ campaign is crucial in opening up the conversation on poo, which can be lifesaving for the early detection of bowel cancer. We hope that throughout April our conversations and activities will give viewers the confidence to get more comfortable with what goes on in the loo!”
Heather James said: "It was one of Deborah's wishes that I continue to be part of Lorraine's No Butts campaign which she helped launch three years ago. I'm so pleased to be able to honour and carry forward Deborah's legacy to spread the word about the importance of early diagnosis and to make sure everyone understands the signs and symptoms of Bowel Cancer. A big thank you to the Lorraine team and everyone who will be involved in this year's campaign. Finally please remember to check your poo - it could just save your life!"
Victoria Kennedy, Editor, ITV’s Lorraine said: “We are excited for the return of ‘No Butts’ and this year we’re not leaving any bottom behind! Raising awareness for such a vital cause is incredibly important to us. We all miss Dame Deborah - she was so passionate about raising awareness and one of the last things she said to us was to make sure the nation keeps checking their poo, so we’re doing this for her.”
Genevieve Edwards, Chief Executive at Bowel Cancer UK, said: “We are delighted to be supporting Lorraine’s ‘No Butts’ campaign for the third year. Every 30 minutes someone is diagnosed with bowel cancer in the UK, which means that in the hour that Lorraine is on the TV, two families will lose a loved one to the disease. But it doesn’t have to be this way – bowel cancer is treatable if diagnosed early, which is why this Bowel Cancer Awareness Month we’re putting the spotlight firmly on the red flag symptoms to look out for. It really could save your life.
“By getting to know the symptoms of bowel cancer and going straight to your GP if you spot any, it’s possible to rule out the disease first and fast. They may ask you to do a test at home to help decide whether your symptoms need further investigation.”
Lorraine’s ‘No Butts’ campaign will continue this week from 9am on ITV1 & ITVX