You, Me And The Big C podcast announces live special in memory of late hosts

Dame Deborah James and Rachael Bland both died from the disease after sharing their stories as presenters on the show.

The You, Me And The Big C podcast is to record a special episode celebrating the legacies of its former co-hosts Dame Deborah James and Rachael Bland.

The series, which launched in March 2018, has won acclaim for its candid discussions about the practicalities of living with cancer, from hair loss to dealing with finances.

Presented by Lauren Mahon and Bland’s widower Steve, the one-off episode will be recorded in front of a live audience at the Radio Theatre, London.

Dame Deborah Jones death
Dame Deborah James and Steve Bland after You, Me And The Big C won best podcast at the Tric Awards 2019 (Ian West/PA)

It will feature conversations with friends of the podcast who have been affected in different ways, such as Dame Deborah’s brother and sister, researcher and oncologist Sacha Howell, cancer patient Jay Mclaughlin, and Leanne Pero, who has recovered from the illness.

You, Me And The Big C began in 2018 with Mahon presenting alongside columnist and deputy head teacher Dame Deborah and BBC Radio 5 Live newsreader Bland.

Dame Deborah, known by her social media handle Bowelbabe, died last June at the age of 40, five years after being diagnosed with bowel cancer.

Bland died aged 40 in 2018 after being treated for breast cancer.

Mahon said: “It’s the first time we’ll be recording in front of a live audience – something we’ve wanted to do for the longest time.

“It’ll be bittersweet that Deb isn’t with us to fulfil our dream but we hope we do both her and Rach proud.

“It’s our chance to properly honour our amazing podcast and celebrate the legacy of our amazing pals.”

Rachael Bland death
Rachael Bland died after being diagnosed with breast cancer (BBC/PA)

Alongside the new episode, Radio 5 Live will host a “day of hope” with stories from cancer patients and family members, conversations with experts and live broadcasts from Great Ormond Street Hospital and The Institute of Cancer Research.

On the breakfast show, presenters Rachel Burden and Chris Warburton will discuss the legacy of the podcast hosts and speak to Bland’s mother Gayna, along with the chief executive of Cancer Research UK.

Nicky Campbell will host a live phone-in where listeners of the podcast will be encouraged to discuss their own cancer treatments.

Naga Munchetty’s show will be broadcast live from Great Ormond Street Hospital where she will speak to doctors and 14-year-old Alyssa, who is cancer-free after an experimental treatment called base-editing.

The special episode will be available on BBC Sounds from Monday January 30.