BBC newsreader Rachel Bland's voice 'still strong' as she dies at 40

06 September, 2018, 12:28 | Author: Donna Miller
  • Rachael Bland was first diagnosed with cancer in 2016

The Radio Five Live newsreader was told in May that the breast cancer she had been diagnosed with in November 2016 was incurable.

A post on Bland's official Twitter account said: "Our lovely, courageous Rachael died peacefully this morning surrounded by her close family".

Her husband Steve said in a statement this morning: "She was an incredibly talented broadcaster as well as a wonderful and much loved daughter, sister, aunt, niece, wife and, most importantly to her, a mother to her precious little Freddie".

"I'd only known Steve for such a short period of time before we married - I feel there's so much he needs to know from my point of view and in my voice", she wrote.

He went on to describe his wife as "perfect in every way", before adding: "we will miss her more than words can say".

Her hugely popular podcast You, Me and the Big C also won awards for Rachael Bland and her co-presenters, Deborah James, a former deputy head teacher being treated for bowel cancer, and the lifestyle blogger Lauren Mahon, who had successfully completed treatment for breast cancer.

Friend and colleague Tony Livesey, who worked with Bland on the "5 Live Drive" on Fridays, said: "5 Live's lost one of its brightest spirits".

And Radio 5 Live presenter Anna Foster tweeted: 'Fly high Rachael, we'll never forget you and we'll make sure your incredible work lives on'. "Her legacy is a testament to how much more we need to do to beat this terrible disease".

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Our thoughts are with the family during this devastating time! Debs and lozz will continue with the youmebigc podcast.

Bland said she was looking for a publisher for her memoir, which she described as "my love letter to my attractive boy that I hope will leave the imprint of me and my love for him around him forever". Bright, funny, feisty. She allowed us to have a frank conversation about cancer with those closest to us.

"It's now a real race against time for me to finish my book For Freddie", she said. "Our treasured colleague Rachael Bland has died", a message read.

In her article published on The Huffington Post, Bland revealed that the book was nearly finished. "We will miss her dearly".

After three hours of tests and consultations and an anxious 20 minutes in the "private waiting room" (you know it's not good when they take you to your own waiting room), the young doctor tasked with delivering the news had her very best "sorry you have cancer" face on. It's our job to do that now with Steve and Freddie'.

Rachael wrote: 'A few days later I could hardly breathe as the call came to let us know if any eggs had fertilised to become embryos. She fought so bravely. She also began presenting on the BBC News Channel.

Jonathan Wall, controller of BBC Radio 5 Live, said that Bland's fearless insights into her cancer battle had "turned the final year of her life into the finest year of her life".


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