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Dame Deborah James’ podcast honoured with top award

Deborah James and Steve Bland, husband of Rachel Bland (Ian West/PA)
Deborah James and Steve Bland, husband of Rachel Bland (Ian West/PA)

The work of cancer campaigners Dame Deborah James, Rachel Bland and Lauren Mahon has been honoured at the British Podcast Awards after their offering – You, Me and the Big C – scooped the podcast champion award.

Dame Deborah, Bland and Mahon started the podcast in 2018. The trio, who were all former or current cancer patients, candidly discussed life with, treatment of and other topics relating to cancer.

Bland died in September that year at the age of 40, two years after being diagnosed with breast cancer, while Dame Deborah died late last month after receiving end of life care for bowel cancer, making Mahon the only surviving original host.

The impact of the honest and inspiring podcast, and the work of its presenters and behind the scenes team, was acknowledged at the British Podcast Awards at London’s Kennington Park on Saturday.

The ceremony was hosted comedians Elis James and John Robins, with many notable names in the world of podcasting, including Pandora Sykes, Jamie Laing & Sophie Haboo, Sabrina Elba and Jon Sopel, presenting the awards.

Also at the awards, Coiled – a podcast that explores Black Afro Hair – won moment of the year, with host and producer Leanne Alie and assistant producer Sylvie Carlos collecting the award.

Decode took home both the smartest podcast and best entertainment podcast awards. The show delves into the world of UK rap music, analysing the lyrics, beats, and social context of some of the most popular rap albums.

Dear Daughter was awarded best family podcast, as well as the prestigious podcast of the year award, which was previously won by Vent Documentaries in 2021, Brown Girls Do It too in 2020 and George The Poet in 2019.

Jamie Morton and James Cooper, of critically acclaimed podcast My Dad Wrote A Porno, presented the rising star award to Kirk Flash, whose comedy podcast This Is Gay examines the darker side of modern gay life.

The spotlight award, which recognises a podcast reaching the masses and was presented by TV doctor Dr Xand van Tulleken, was awarded to British Scandal, in which hosts Alice Levine and Matt Forde tell the stories of the murkier side of the British elite, from Phone Hacking to the Profumo Affair.

James Acaster’s Perfect Sounds scooped the award for best arts and culture podcast, while the best sex and relationships podcast was presented to Assume Nothing: Rape Trial by previous winner Poppy Jay of Brown Girls Do It Too.

Assume Nothing: Rape Trial is narrated by Irish-Canadian actress Amybeth McNulty – best known for starring in Netflix drama series Anne with An E and Stranger Things – and explores a court case which caused Northern Ireland to find itself at the forefront of radical reform in the way rape trials are heard.

The listeners’ choice award, which is the only award voted for by the public, went to RedHanded, a true crime podcast hosted by Hannah Maguire and Suruthi Bala – which has won the award once previously.

Other winners included Stories of Our Times for best interview podcast, Money Talks for the best business podcast and Effin’ Hormones for the best wellbeing podcast.