Photo Credit: Gabrielle Hall
AFTER THE BRIT SCHOOL AND A BRIEF STINT WORKING IN FASHION IN HER EARLY TWENTIES, GEMMA CAIRNEY IS NOW A MULTI-AWARD WINNING BROADCASTER, PUBLISHED AUTHOR, PRODUCTION COMPANY FOUNDER, MAGPIE, ACTIVIST AND LIFE ENTHUSIAST.
Gemma has almost a decade at the BBC under her belt. Starting on Radio 1Xtra she graduated to BBC Radio 1 where she hosted the early Breakfast Show and the Weekend Breakfast Show, followed by the station’s social action show, The Surgery. She also co-produced and presented internet entertainment show, The Fox Problem.
Gemma’s radio documentaries include: Island Sounds, Dolly, Dylan or Daft Punk, and Mali Music all for BBC 6 Music. Tempted By Teacher and Bruising Silence (BBC Radio 1) have seen her awarded two Sony Golds and her interview of Grace Jones for Amazing Grace (BBC 6 Music) won the Best Music Show Rose d’Or. Her latest 5 part radio series The Leisure Society saw Gemma interviewing cultural icons, tastemakers, artists and musicians about their pastimes, hobbies collections and loves and was broadcast on BBC 6 Music.
Gemma’s acclaimed television documentaries include: History of Feminism (BBC Learning), Riots: The Aftershock and Dying for Clear Skin (BBC 3). She made royal history by hosting a live Google hangout from Buckingham Palace for The Queen’s Young Leader project alongside HRH Price William and HRH Prince Harry.
As well as presenting shows, one-off’s and specials at BBC Radio 2, 3, 4, 4 Extra, 6Music and BBC World Service all the while, including travelling to Mali with Damon Albarn’s ‘Africa Express’ and winning multiple awards; She is also founder of boutique production company – Boom Shakalaka Productions. As an Ambassador for Oxfam Gemma recently raised over £26,000 for Oxfam’s The Music Circle Rumble in the Jumble celebrity jumble sale. Gemma also lends her support to Women’s Aid.
Gemma likes to write, explore the planet, trek mountains and DJ garage classics. Gemma’s debut book Open, a toolkit for how magic and messed up life can be, was published by Pan Macmillan in 2017 and was released in paperback as Open Your Heart earlier this year.
“Gemma has always made me smile. She’s a radio natural: upbeat, engaging and knowledgeable about music.” – Miranda Sawyer
“This talented young woman is an absolute dynamo. Gemma is absolutely brilliant! Long may she continue to use her voice to such a powerful effect” – Annie Lennox
“I co-hosted a show with Gemma for about 2 of the longest years of my life but they were the funniest.” Trevor Nelson
Radio 1 DJ, documentary on Grace Jones, host of 2017 BBC Music Awards, Rose d’Or Award winner.
FASHION & BEAUTY
Assistant Fashion Stylist
RELIGION & ETHICS
History of Feminism, OPEN author, host of Radio 1's The Surgery.