You, Me and the Big C podcast: Hosts ‘ready to hang up headphones’

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The presenters of a BBC podcast about living with cancer have said they are ready to “hang up their headphones”.

Lauren Mahon and Steve Bland said they planned to stand down from presenting the award-winning podcast You, Me and the Big C.

The show launched in 2018 with Mahon presenting alongside BBC Radio 5 Live newsreader Rachael Bland and Dame Deborah James.

The podcast takes a candid look at cancer, discussing matters such as telling your family and friends as well as practical matters, such as hair loss and tips for dealing with finances.

Steve Bland, Rachael’s husband, took her place on the podcast after she died.

Speaking to BBC North West Tonight, Mahon, who is five years clear of cancer, said: “I have struggled over the last year getting back in that studio without their seats being filled.”

The Londoner said: “I’m still processing it all.

“In what other job than the army would you go into work thinking you may lose colleagues, and so it’s very hard because there’s not many people who get it. It’s challenging.”

She said she has had “so many chats” with Steve about the podcast continuing as it is a “public service” but “we don’t feel like it’s for us to continue it”.

“How do we get back into that studio without these two remarkable women that began this podcast?

“People are getting diagnosed everyday – that’s not going to change. The world of cancer changes. So I think it would be more appropriate and probably more poignant and relevant to get people that are going through it now.”

Steve said there would not be many more episodes from them and it would be a “long goodbye”.

He told BBC Breakfast: “We’d like the podcast to carry on because it’s a really important thing for so many people.

“It just takes a toll and it’s heavy and it’s hard to kind of keep talking about this stuff – particularly when we’ve had to deal with obviously Rachel and Deborah over the last few years.

“There aren’t many people doing podcasts where two people have died from the subject matter. It’s a tough thing to keep talking about.”

The announcement comes as the pair announced they will record an episode with a live audience later this month. Those wanting to be a part of the audience can enter an online ballot for a ticket.


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