You, Me and the Big C podcast records its final emotional episode

‘Always have rebellious hope’: You, Me and the Big C stars Lauren Mahon and Steve Bland record final emotional episode, paying tribute to the BBC podcast’s original co-hosts Dame Deborah James and Rachael Bland

  • The final episode of the popular Radio 5 Live podcast is set to air on Wednesday 
  • Read more: Five unusual warning signs of ovarian cancer revealed 

Lauren Mahon and Steve Bland have recorded an emotional final You, Me and the Big C podcast for the BBC – five years to the day after it first began, they’ve revealed on Instagram. 

Paying tribute to her original co-hosts Rachael Bland, who died two years after being diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in 2018, and Dame Deborah James, who died in June 2022 from bowel cancer, Mahon is seen in the social media clip wiping away tears as she presents the final installment of the hit Radio 5 Live podcast, which began five years ago. 

Presenting alongside Steve Bland, who was married to Welsh journalist Rachael, Mahon, 37, who was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer at the age of 30, told listeners ‘Always, always have rebellious hope’.

The pair, who’ve just finished a live touring show of the podcast, told ITV’s Lorraine recently that it was time ‘for a new chapter’ in their lives.  

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‘Always, always have rebellious hope’: Lauren Mahon pictured wiping away a tear as she presented the final You, Me and the Big C podcast for BBC Radio 5 this week – the show will air on Wednesday

In the Instagram clip, Mahon also urges listeners to share the podcast’s archive with anyone else who it might help. She added to the caption: ‘You’ll be able to hear the full episode on Wednesday 8th march. Until then, it’s a wholehearted full-bodied thank you, thank you all.’

In an Instagram reel, Bland said he felt like ‘we’ve given everything’ to the show, saying ‘it’s been emotional, gang.’ 

The hosts told Lorraine Kelly they’re looking forward to a ‘new chapter’, as they prepared to say goodbye to the award-winning cancer podcast.

Steve Bland said while it was ‘tough’ to leave the BBC podcast behind, they no longer felt their lives were relevant to sufferers of the disease.

He explained that life has changed for him and co-host Mahon since the podcast started five years ago, with Lauren now clear of cancer and Steve remarried and set to welcome twins with his new wife.

 Mahon presented alongside Steve Bland, who was married to original co-host Rachael Bland, who died in 2018 after being diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in 2016

The duo recorded the episode five years to the day after it first began, they’ve revealed on Instagram

Signing off: Both of the co-hosts shared reels of their final episode recording. Right: Mahon pictured at the microphone recording the last installment of the award-winning podcast

The dad-of-one married nurse Amy, and last month the couple announced they are expecting twins.

‘It feels like it might be time,’ he said. ‘The girls were all going through active treatment at the time and when I joined I was going through the grief of losing Rachel.

‘We were very much in the trenches with the people that were listening.’

He appeared on Lorraine this morning alongside his co-host to discuss recording the penultimate episode in front of a live audience, including Deborah’s family, last night. 

‘When you’re with them you feel that closeness to Debs. I almost want to move into Debs’ parents house because I can just be close to them and her!’ said Lauren.

The podcast discussed what it’s like to live with cancer, with the original co-hosts Lauren Mahon (centre), Dame Deborah James (left) and Rachael Bland (right) often injecting humour into the programmes

New beginnings: Steve got married to nurse Amy in August 2022 and announced this year that they are expecting twins

Reflecting on Deborah’s funeral in July last year, Lauren said it was the last time before last night’s recording that the podcasters were together with Deborah’s family.

Lorraine, who also attended the service, reflected that despite the tragic cirumstances, it had been a poignant and joyful event.

Line of Duty star Vicky Mclure has been tipped to star as Lauren in the show, with Lorraine pointing out how similar the two brunettes look

‘People obviously were crying but they were laughing, it was such a celebration of an amazing woman.’

Breast cancer survivor Lauren, who has been clear of the disease for five years, opened up about her grief for her friend Deborah but told ITV’s Lorraine that she feels it is time to move on with her career.

‘I feel good, I feel like this is a new chapter for me now. Deb dying last year was so painful and we’re so proud of everything she did.  But I do feel like now it’s time to close that chapter and figure out who Lozza is. I’m not “cancer face” you know, I’ve got more to me!’ 

Lauren went on to hint at building her career in media after the BBC podcast comes to an end, and told Lorraine Kelly she was grateful for the start the show gave her in broadcasting.

Dame Deborah James regularly shared posts showing her enduring gruelling treatment for bowel cancer, she died of the disease in June 2022

BBC newsreader Rachael Bland died aged 40 in 2018 from terminal breast cancer, pictured with her son Freddie

Late journalist Bland, pictured with her husband Steve and son Freddie, built up a collection of handwritten notebooks and perfume so Freddie ‘would remember me in some way’

‘I’m really lucky that this whole process has allowed me to get into broadcast and things like that so I just want to explore that more and have some fun, you know talk about other things I don’t just need to talk about cancer!’

The cancer campaigner is also set to have a dramatised documentary-style series brought out about her journey after it was commissioned before Covid.

She said the programme will focus on her experience with cancer and how she went on to found her charity, GIRLvsCancer.

Line of Duty star Vicky Mclure has been tipped to star as Lauren in the show, with Lorraine pointing out how similar the two brunettes look.

The presenter expressed her excitement at what is to come for Lauren, who seemed equally excited for the future. 

‘They haven’t seen anything yet Lorraine, I’ve only just started!’ she teased.

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