Podcast about recovery wins BBC’s inaugural Rachael Bland award

The presenter died last year after suffering from breast cancer.
The presenter died last year after suffering from breast cancer.

A podcast about recovery has won the inaugural Rachael Bland New Podcast award, the BBC has said.

The prize was launched in January in memory of presenter Rachael Bland, who documented her breast cancer on the podcast You, Me And The Big C with co-stars Deborah James and Lauren Mahon.

Bland died aged 40 last year. On Saturday, the BBC announced the winning podcast was about life in recovery, taking a “warts-and-all look at the reality” of addiction and mental health struggles.

Rachael Bland
The winners of the inaugural Rachael Bland podcast award have been announced (Claire Wood/BBC/PA)

It is hosted by three women,  Melissa, Jade and Selvi, who said they wanted to debunk stereotypes of addicts and show “everyday people” like them – a teacher, a mental health nurse and an art dealer – can develop addiction problems.

The three presenters were given the award by Bland’s husband, Steve, at the British Podcast Awards.

Melissa said: “I’m so overwhelmed. The fact that someone is allowing addiction to be talked about in such a way – I can’t believe it. I’m so honoured. Thank you so much.”

Mr Bland said: “From an early point during the judging, this entry leapt off the page for us and when we heard the audio, we knew they were our winners.

“The personalities of these three women are just fantastic and they totally embody everything Rachael would have wanted out of this competition.

“We’re really excited about this podcast and I’m really looking forward to working with Melissa, Jade and Selvi.”

The podcast will launch in September 2019 and will be produced by Mr Bland and Uma Doraiswamy for BBC Radio 5 Live. It will be available to download on BBC Sounds.