BBC’s Dan Walker steps in for crying Sally Nugent during Deborah James segment

BBC’s Dan Walker steps in for crying Sally Nugent during Deborah James segment

May 11, 2022

BBC Breakfast presenter Sally Nugent broke down in tears as she struggled to contain her emotions during a heartbreaking segment about author and BBC Radio 5 host Deborah James.

The beloved star, who has battled bowel cancer for five years, announced on Monday she is now receiving at-home hospice care in a "goodbye" post on her Instagram page.

Dan Walker, 45, was forced to step in as former sports reporter Sally, 50, struggled to focus on her cue prompts for the live news programme.

"Now, many of you will know Deborah James. She is the presenter of You, Me and the Big C podcast and she's been on this programme many times as well," former Strictly Come Dancing star Dan first explained.

"We have been fortunate enough to have her not only on the sofa, but during the pandemic we spoke to her on numerous occasions, didn't we?"

Yet as Sally carried on, she became too emotional to fulfil her lines. "Sadly, Deborah, who was diagnosed with bowel cancer five years ago, shared a message on her Instagram account yesterday saying she's now been moved to hospice-at-home care."

Struggling to compose herself, Sally wiped away tears as she attempted to continue: "These are her words now: 'The message I never wanted to write. We've tried everything, but my body simply isn't playing ball.'"

The sports reporter's voice then broke as Dan took over and carried on the rest of the segment.

BBC podcast star Deborah, 40, told her followers she didn't know how long she had left, but was taking things one day at a time, and was grateful for every "sunrise" she got to experience.


Surrounded by her family at home, the You, Me and the Big C host shared that sadly her body simply couldn't fight the disease anymore.

Deborah's message went on to say that she is now barely able to walk and is sleeping most of the day away, with things she once took for granted now "pipe dreams".

"I know we have left no stone unturned. But even with all the innovative cancer drugs in the world or some magic new breakthrough, my body just can’t continue anymore," the social media personality continued, as she said her goodbyes.

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"Right now for me it’s all about taking it a day at a time, step by step and being grateful for another sunrise," she said. "My whole family are around me and we will dance through this together, sunbathing and laughing (I’ll cry!!) at every possible moment!

"You are all incredible, thank you for playing your part in my journey. No regrets. Enjoy life x."

It comes as Deborah set up her lasting legacy with a "Bowelbabe Fund" on JustGiving.

In under 48 hours, the star made incredible progress as she has already raised more than £2million and counting.

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