Entertainment & Arts

Rachael Bland's cancer podcast wins posthumous award

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionThe #YouMeBigC team won praise for their frank discussions about cancer

The BBC podcast You, Me and The Big C has won a major radio award, less than two months after its co-presenter Rachael Bland died from breast cancer.

The Radio 5 Live presenter, who started the show with two co-hosts who also had cancer, died in September.

Her husband Steve attended the Arias to collect the best new show award, alongside Rachael's fellow presenters Lauren Mahon and Deborah James.

Co-host James wrote on Instagram: "I'm beyond proud and I know Rach is too."

On Twitter, the show's producer Mike Holt dedicated the award to Rachael, Steve and their son Freddie.

Among the night's other major winners was BBC Northern Ireland's Stephen Nolan, who was named the best speech presenter at breakfast, traditionally one of the most hard-fought categories.

Boyzone singer Ronan Keating was named best new presenter for his show on Magic Radio.

BBC Radio 5 Live's Emma Barnett won best news coverage for her show Real Life Stories, and Mylo and Rosie, from Yorkshire-based commercial station Pulse 1, won the award for best music presenters at breakfast.

BBC Radio 1 took home the prize for station of the year for the first time in 12 years.

Controller Ben Cooper said: "We have totally changed our strategy over the past six years at Radio 1 to be focused on reinventing radio for young audiences, so it is a huge honour for all that hard work to be recognised with this award."

Who was Rachael Bland?

Image copyright Instagram: bigclittleme
Image caption Rachael with son Freddie

Bland was a familiar voice on Radio 5 Live as a newsreader and presenter, and won praise for co-hosting You, Me and the Big C, a podcast about cancer.

She has also documented her life with the disease on an award-winning blog.

In August, the Cardiff-born broadcaster said she was writing a memoir to leave for her two-year-old son Freddie as a "love letter to my beautiful boy", whose third birthday she missed by just days.

She began her BBC career more than 15 years ago as Rachael Hodges and married fellow BBC journalist Steve Bland in 2013.

As well as appearing on 5 Live, she worked as a news presenter on the BBC News Channel, BBC World and BBC North West Tonight.

She was diagnosed with primary triple-negative breast cancer in November 2016 after finding a lump under her arm.

More on this story