BBC presenter Rachael Bland dead at 40


BBC journalist Rachael Bland has died, her family have announced in a heartbreaking social media post.

Bland, who presented on 5 Live and the BBC News Channel, was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2016. And I'm afraid I've got some very sad news to bring you.

"We are crushed but she would want me to thank everyone who took an interest in her story or sent messages of support". She has also co-hosted a podcast about cancer this year, called "You, me and the Big C", and documented her battle with the disease on an award-winning blog.

She had been working on a memoir "For Freddie" before passing, which she said was for her 2-year old son Freddie.

On her official Twitter account, her family posted: "Our handsome, courageous Rachael died peacefully this morning surrounded by her close family".

Husband Steve said in a statement: "Rachael's death has left a huge hole in our ideal little family that we'll never be able to fill".

Following the news of her diagnosis, Bland's humorous "You, Me and the Big C" podcast has reached number one in the United Kingdom podcast charts. "I think even the unscientific amongst you can do the math on that one", she added.

The mother-of-one and newsreader from Cheshire, who had triple negative breast cancer, moved thousands of people who hailed her bravery and dignity as she fought terminal illness.

Rachael said she's writing a memoir titled 'For Freddie, ' which details "all those stories your parents tell you over the years from their point of view, mixed in with all the advice they give you".

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BBC Radio broadcaster Eleanor Oldroyd tweeted: 'No one was more important to Rachael than her beloved Steve and Freddie.

Despite treatment including four months of chemotherapy, a mastectomy, radiotherapy and a round of immunotherapy, the cancer spread, and Bland has now been told she has days left to live.

Her supporters have rallied to praise her courage. She laughed in the face of cancer and was never defeated.

But the 40-year old also frequently spoke about how her biggest fear was leaving Freddie without a mother.

"I'm not scared of dying".

Livesey said: "She would be on air and there would be breaking news and she was as consummate a BBC professional as you could find. She will be hugely missed by her many listeners and by staff across the BBC", BBC Director-General Tony Hall said in a statement, paying tribute to the presenter. It's very surreal.' Her shock message prompted an outpouring of love and sympathy from thousands of well-wishers including dozens of colleagues.

Our thoughts are with the family during this devastating time!

'The main thing is that, while he's so young, I want him to remember me in some way'.