Gemma Cairney

Gemma Cairney

Presenter & Writer

Synopsis

The former stylist and Radio 1 host has presented documentaries on feminism, Mali, and mental health.

Biography

A former stylist to Florence + the Machine, Gemma became best known as host of the Radio 1 Weekend Breakfast Show, a job she described as one ‘massive conversation’ with her listeners. She has since left the music station and pursued other passions including writing, theatre and podcasts.

Moving away from the pop station’s core focus Gemma has fronted documentaries including What the F: the Story of Feminism, Bruising Silence, and Mali Music which saw her travel to Mali to explore the effects an Islamic extremist ban on music was having. Having started her own production company one of its first successes was an Edinburgh Fringe play, My Beautiful Black Dog. Gemma’s first book, Open: A Toolkit for How Magic and Messed Up Life Can Be offers down-to-earth advice on mental health, families and assorted challenges life throws at young people.

Before Radio 1 Gemma hosted the weekday afternoon show on Radio 1Xtra, for which she was Sony-nominated as Best Music Radio Personality. She hosted programmes on Radios 2, 3, 4 and 6Music was also a regular guest on Radio 1’s Sunday-night Surgery and a part of BBC’s annual Glastonbury TV coverage. First seen on television presenting Big Brother’s Big Ears and as a roving reporter for Frocks Away with Alexa Chung, Gemma also presented a documentary on the London riots and has been a guest panellist on Free Speech.

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