Sebastien Bowen is the husband of the late Dame Deborah James who died of colon cancer in June 2022.
The doting husband, 43, was thrust into the spotlight after his wife, known as Bowl Babe, began campaigning and fundraising to raise awareness about colon cancer after receiving her own terminal diagnosis.
Deborah, a former Deputy Headmistress, presented the You, Me & the Big C podcast for BBC’s Radio 5 Live, raising more than £11million for cancer research.
Her husband Sebastien is a London banker currently working for Pomona Capital which focuses on secondary investment analysis and deal sourcing in Europe.
Before joining Pomona he was a director at MetLife Investments and before that at AXA Private Equity in London.
Sebastien Bowen is the husband of the late Dame Deborah James, who died of colon cancer last year
He attended London’s St. Paul’s School and did his Masters at the University of Edinburgh.
How did Deborah and Sebastien meet?
It’s not clear how the two met, but Deborah has revealed in her book How To Live When You Could Be Dead that she’s loved him since the day they first met.
She revealed he wasn’t perfect, but he respected the former Deputy Principal and never let her wrap her little finger around him.
18 years later, she still thought he was the most attractive man in the room, she said.
How long were Deborah and Sebastien married?
In September 2021, the couple celebrated 13 years of marriage.
Deborah took to Instagram to celebrate her anniversary and shared a heartwarming video of them dancing together in the south of France.
She wrote: “13 years of marriage. my rock Earlier this week was our wedding anniversary. Some days the weight of what that means in an uncertain future can be too much.
“Then it’s the end of the new day. A new day to be thankful for. A new day you didn’t think you’d feel good about.
“And you dance. While your kids laugh and film. The sun goes down and you realize how wonderful it is to reach another milestone (and you park the sadness).
The doting husband, 43, was thrust into the spotlight after his wife, known as Bowl Babe, began campaigning and fundraising to raise awareness of colon cancer following her own terminal diagnosis
Sebastien and Deborah have two children, Hugo and Eloise. He appeared on BBC Breakfast with his children and praised his wife’s legacy
Deborah, a former Deputy Headmistress, presented the You, Me & the Big C podcast for BBC’s Radio 5 Live, raising more than £11million for cancer research
“And you smile. And you are only one in the moment. Because for each of us that’s all we ever have anyway.
“And you give thanks for having people in your life who are the backbone that you stand on.
“Sebastien – Thank you for holding my hand in the dark and dancing me back into the light. I love you. Always.’
Do Deborah and Sebastien have children?
Sebastien and Deborah have two children, Hugo who was born in 2008 and Eloise who was born in 2010.
Appearing on the BBC Breakfast with his children Hugo and Eloise, he praised his wife’s legacy as their donation total of more than £11million was announced, adding that they stick to their mantra of having “rebellious hope”.
He revealed to the program that his wife had died somewhat “peacefully” in June 2022 at the age of 40 and was surrounded by her family.
Meanwhile, her teenagers spoke about how “amazing” it was to see it grow, as her grandmother Heather took to Instagram to share her pride.
Eloise wore a poppy-colored dress from her mother’s InTheStyle range, who helped raise money for cancer charities.
“It was just such a difficult, difficult time,” he admitted. “It’s hard to say how hard it really was.”
Deborah took to Instagram to celebrate her anniversary and shared a heartwarming video of them dancing together in the south of France
Meanwhile, Deborah’s children reflected on their mother’s legacy, which they are still proud of today.
“It’s just amazing to think of … well, first of all, the legacy that it is,” Hugo told the program.
“And second, the amount that could be achieved with that 11 million is just, I think, beyond what anyone could realize at this point.”
Hugo also said the family still emphasizes the importance of the “rebellious hope” her mother had always urged everyone to embrace.
“It means there’s always something that keeps you going,” he added.
In a heartbreaking final letter before her death, Deborah urged her children to “take risks and experience life now” and marry for love.
The charity fundraiser and podcast star shared her life lessons in her new book, How To Live When You Could Be Dead.
“Take a chance and support yourself. Remember to be your number one cheerleader,” she told them in a passage from her book.
“Don’t leave the world and all it has to offer until retirement – experience it now.”
One of the things she learned is that there are many ways to become a parent, she said, adding that as long as there is love, nothing else really matters.
The colon cancer activist told Sebastien to keep going to find love again – as long as it wasn’t with certain people
Life doesn’t always go according to plan, she said. But life is sometimes more interesting off the slopes.
She also told them to get a dog, writing that it was one of the best decisions she’s ever made.
Deborah’s wish for Sebastien to find love again
Deborah gave her husband a list of partners he wasn’t allowed to “befriend” after her death, it has been revealed.
The colon cancer activist told Sebastien to keep going to find love again – as long as it wasn’t with certain people.
She recorded snippets of her thoughts on receiving palliative care for colon cancer in 2021, which were shared ahead of a documentary filmed after her trip.
In her words, published by the BBC, Dame Deborah described her husband as a “suitable bachelor” who would likely attract a lot of female attention in the future.
But she revealed there were a few women in her life who she feared would make their way to Sebastien, and jokingly made a list of their names so he would avoid becoming romantically involved with them.
She said: “I had a list of girls that I thought, right, are going to pounce on my husband.
“And so I listed a few names that I said would do my damn best to come and follow him if he messed with those people, which I found absolutely hilarious.”
The activist’s thoughts were captured for Deborah James: Bowelbabe in Her Own Words on BBC Two.
The documentary, which includes TikTok clips, voice memos and snippets from her podcast You, Me and The Big C, was filmed in the final months of her life.
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