Rachael Bland’s widower doesn’t feel guilty about finding love after BBC star's death as 'she wanted me to be happy'

THE husband of BBC broadcaster Rachael Bland has found love again with an NHS nurse. 

Steve Bland, 40, told ITV’s Lorraine show that people often asked him if he felt guilty about finding love again three years after Rachael passed away. 

Dialling into the show from his home in Cheshire, Steve said he wanted to break the taboo around dating after a loss. 

The father of Freddie, six, who he shared with Rachael, said: “It's one of the most common questions I get asked: 'Do I feel guilty?'

“Why should I? I'm 40 years old and I've got the rest of my life ahead of me.

“Rachael wanted me to be happy and wanted Freddie to be happy.

“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.”

He was married to Rachael Bland, a Welsh journalist and presenter with BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC World News and BBC North West Tonight, for five years before she passed away. 

She was known for her podcast, You, Me and the Big C which was broadcast while she was ill with breast cancer, and in which she discussed issues and treatment of the disease.

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.   

He said: “It's about looking forward and can be a tricky balance, it's something Amy and I have talked about. 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.

Steve 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 airs tomorrow. 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.”

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