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BBC launches new podcast award in honour of Rachael Bland


The BBC has launched a UK-wide search for new and distinctive voices in podcasting in honour of the late Rachael Bland.

The Radio 5 Live newsreader and presenter died in September 2018 from breast cancer. She was the creator of You, Me and The Big C, an award-winning podcast that won praise for tackling the subject of cancer in an original and unsentimental way.

Entries for The Rachael Bland New Podcast Award opened today, on what would have been Bland’s 41st birthday. 5 Live will produce a pilot series of the winning podcast to showcase on BBC Sounds.

Entries are open to anyone who is a UK resident and does not already make a living through broadcasting. They must be knowledgeable and passionate about a subject, with a fun and distinctive tone that will bring people together.

Entrants are being asked to submit 500 words online, spelling out their ideas. These will be judged by a panel including 5 Live Controller Jonathan Wall, Editor Heidi Dawson, Bland’s husband Steve and Mike Holt, Producer of You, Me and The Big C. Entries are open for three weeks from 21 January, closing on Monday 11 February.

Wall said: “When Rachael first pitched her podcast idea to us, we knew it was going to be special, but we could never have predicted the immense impact it had on its listeners.

“We’re looking for those ideas that don’t normally get heard. It’ll need to be original, fun, personal and teaches us something. Thanks to Rachael, there’s already an incredible health podcast about cancer.

“So tell us something we don’t know. Be original and make us laugh. We’re incredibly excited to see what talent this award discovers.”

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