BBC Radio presenter Rachael Bland dies

Rachael Bland. (Photo: P.A. Wire)
Rachael Bland. (Photo: P.A. Wire)

BBC radio presenter Rachael Bland has died after being diagnosed with incurable cancer, her family has announced.

It come days after the 40-year-old BBC Radio 5 Live news reader revealed on social media that she had only days to live.

Rachael's husband, Steve, Tweeted the news on Wednesday morning.

"Our beautiful, courageous Rachael died peacefully this morning surrounded by her close family.

"We are crushed but she would want me to thank everyone who took an interest in her story or sent messages of support. You’ll never know how much they meant to her. Steve and Freddie xxx."

Husband Steve told the BBC: "Rachael's death has left a huge hole in our perfect little family that we'll never be able to fill.

"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.

"We all take such huge comfort and pride from the amazing and tireless work she has done since her diagnosis to reduce the stigma around cancer and prove that it is possible to live life to the fullest even when facing huge challenges on a daily basis. At the end, even though her body was at its weakest, her voice was at its strongest and most powerful.

"Rachael was and will always be an incredible inspiration to everyone she met. To us, she was perfect in every way and we will miss her more than words can say.

"We just ask that everyone respects our family's privacy as we try and come to terms with losing our beautiful girl."

BBC Radio 5 Live tweeted: "Mother to Freddie. Wife to Steve. Our treasured colleague Rachael Bland has died.

"She inspired so many with her blogs, the chart-topping podcast #YouMeBigC and certainly put the can in cancer. We will miss her dearly."

BBC Director-General Tony Hall said: "Rachael was a popular and inspiring journalist. Everyone has been moved by her courage and dignity. She will be hugely missed by her many listeners and by staff across the BBC. Our sympathies go out to her family and many friends at this difficult time."

Controller of Radio 5 Live, Jonathan Wall, said: "Rachael was part of the fabric of 5 Live and today is a very sad day for all of us and so many of our listeners.

"She was a very talented broadcaster and a beautiful loyal colleague to so many. More than that, she turned the final year of her life into the finest year of her life delivering the most important broadcasting I have ever heard about living with cancer, and ultimately facing death because of cancer. She has made a profound difference to so many lives.

"We are all so proud at what she achieved - a truly heroic broadcaster and lovely wife, daughter and mum."

Her friend and colleague Tony Livesey said: "5 Live's lost one of its brightest spirits. I'm going into cliche territory now so she'll be pressing an alarm somewhere, but she was beautiful inside and out. She was such a lovely person.

"Rachael Bland - presenter, friend to most of us, inspiration to all. Radio 5 Live is broadcasting with a broken heart. We've lost one of our brightest talents."

Health Secretary Matt Hancock tweeted: "So sad to hear Rachael Bland has died. She fought so bravely. Her legacy is a testament to how much more we need to do to beat this dreadful disease."