BBC presenter Rachael Bland’s widower reveals their son Freddie, 6, asks his new girlfriend: ‘Are you my mummy now?’
- Steve Bland, 40, lost wife Rachael, a BBC broadcaster, to breast cancer in 2018
- The widower met Amy in 2019 after speaking at Manchester cancer conference
- Has revealed how his son Freddie, six, has asked Amy if she is ‘his mummy now’
- Steve revealed: ‘We’re never going to give her the label of mummy’
The husband of BBC broadcaster Rachael Bland, who died from breast cancer in 2018, has revealed their six-year-old son has asked his new partner if she is ‘his mummy now.’
Steve, 40, from Cheshire, lost his wife Rachael to breast cancer in September 2018 which she documented on her BBC podcast You, Me and the Big C over a two year period.
In March 2020, the podcast producer and presenter revealed he had found love again with girlfriend Amy and called her a ‘Wonder Woman’ for ‘taking on all that Freddie and I bring’.
He has now revealed how his son has adapted to the new woman in his life, telling The Mirror: ‘They get on so well. I’ve heard him ask a couple of times, “Are you my mummy now?” and she always says, “No, you’ll only ever have one mummy”.’
Steve, 40, from Cheshire, the husband of BBC broadcaster Rachael Bland, who died from breast cancer in 2018, has revealed their six-year-old son Freddie has asked his new partner if she is ‘his mummy now’
The widower said Freddie and Amy ‘get along so well’ but she tells him that he ‘will only ever have one mummy’
He continued: ‘We’re never going to give her the label of mummy, but Rachael was very keen he’d have that kind of influence and figure in his life.’
Meanwhile he also revealed the family has had to balance keeping Rachael’s memory alive with welcoming Amy and making her feel comfortable.
He said the pair talk openly about Rachael, and Amy has met with Rachael’s family, saying the nurse practitioner has felt she is ‘living in Rachael’s shadow a bit.’
He explained: ‘Rachael’s always going to be a massive part of our lives, but it does mean taking down some pictures, and a few things have to change. She’d have wanted us to move forward.’
He said the pair talk openly about Rachael, explaining Amy has felt she is ‘living in Rachael’s shadow a bit’
His latest comments come weeks after he spoke with Lorraine about moving on after Rachael’s death.
The 40-year-old, dialling into the show from his home in Cheshire, said: ‘It’s one of the most common questions I get asked: ‘Do I feel guilty?’
He said: ‘Why should I? I’m 40-years-old and I’ve got the rest of my life ahead of me.’
Referencing Freddie, he said: ‘Rachael wanted me to be happy and wanted Freddie to be happy.
Last month, Steve told Lorraine viewers he was commonly asked if he felt guilty for moving on with his life and finding love again
‘Putting the can in cancer’: Rachael Bland’s journey
Rachael Bland battled breast cancer for two years before she died
November 22 2016: Rachael Bland is diagnosed with primary triple-negative breast cancer that had spread to four lymph nodes under her right arm
December 28 2016: She begins four and a half months of chemotherapy
May 2017: She has a lumpectomy and auxillary node clearance
July 2017: The mother-of-one undergoes a mastectomy
August 2017: Bland has a re-excision of her lumpectomy and starts 15 sessions of radiotherapy
October 2017: CT and biopsy shows cancer had spread to the lymph nodes under her arm on the opposite side to the primary cancer
May 2018: She is told the cancer is terminal and she has ‘less than a year to live’
September 2018: Bland announces she has just days to live in a poignant social media post. She died mid-month.
‘We need to break down the taboo and stop worrying about being judged for it. We’re trying to be happy and to make the most of life.’
Steve met Amy, an advanced nurse practitioner at a cancer conference in Manchester in 2019, after he gave a talk about his late wife and her death from primary triple-negative breast cancer.
The broadcaster, who’s running the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon for Macmillan, told Lorraine that dating after loss wasn’t always easy for the person in the relationship who hasn’t lost someone.
‘It’s about looking forward and can be a tricky balance, it’s something Amy and I have talked about it.
‘There’s a lot of focus on the widow/widower. Rachael was high profile and it’s really difficult to feel like you’re not living in their shadow.
He also praised Damien Lewis and Helen McCrory for going public with a conversation they’d had about dating after loss before Helen’s death from cancer aged 52 on April 16th.
Bland, who accidentally mixed up Rachael and Amy’s names during his chat with Lorraine, said: ‘It’s amazing they talked so openly about it; that does wonders for breaking down taboos.’
The new series of You, Me and the Big C began airing last month. Steve took over from Rachael as a presenter, alongside Deborah James and Lauren Mahon, following her death.
He told Lorraine: ‘It’s going back to where the podcast began. Just the three of us. It’s about living in general.’
Speaking in 2020 about getting together with new love Amy, he told the Daily Mail: ‘We took our time but, of course, my life revolves around Freddie so it’s difficult to get to know someone properly without involving them in his life, too’.
‘Going out in the evening is a military operation for a lone parent, organising babysitters, and my parents are a huge help, looking after Freddie when I go to London for work, but I don’t want to put upon them too much, so Amy would mostly come to us.’
The former BBC radio presenter Rachael (right with Steve and Freddie) was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in 2016 and died in 2018
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