Entertainment & Arts

Rachael Bland's final cancer podcast released, a week after her death

Rachael Bland (centre) with podcast co-hosts Deborah James and Lauren Mahon
Image caption Rachael Bland (centre) with her podcast co-hosts Deborah James and Lauren Mahon

BBC presenter Rachael Bland's final instalment of her podcast, You, Me and the Big C, has been released, a week after her death from cancer.

The BBC Radio 5 Live presenter recorded the episode less than a month ago.

Bland, who died at the age of 40, has been widely praised for her honest portrayal of cancer on the podcast.

She talks about coping with her "new normal" in her poignant final episode, saying: "The way I deal with it is by not thinking about it too deeply."

BBC Radio 5 Live said the podcast had been released at the request of Bland and her husband, Steve, with whom she has a two-year-old son, Freddie.

In it, she says: "I know I'm probably not going to be living for much longer but I don't think about it too deeply because I wouldn't be able to look at Freddie without weeping all over him.

"I want to spend valuable time with him - whatever time I have left - I want it to be good time and the same with Steve."

Bland hosted the podcast with Deborah James and Lauren Mahon, who have said they will keep it going.

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Media captionDeborah James and Lauren Mahon have said they will continue with BBC Radio 5 Live's You, Me and the Big C podcasts.

In an introduction to the new episode, James tells listeners: "Rachael knew and wanted us to release this final podcast that we recorded.

"When we recorded it, we didn't know at the time that this would be the final time that we would be together.

"However, it's her explicit wishes that not only do we air it but that we continue with it."

Bland, a familiar voice on BBC Radio 5 Live as a newsreader and presenter, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016.

The podcast went to number one on the iTunes chart following her death - an ambition of Bland's.

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