Gemma Cairney

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Gemma Cairney
Born Gemma Margaret Cairney
(1985-03-19) 19 March 1985 (age 32)
Birmingham, West Midlands, England
Occupation DJ, Presenter
Years active 2008–present

Gemma Cairney (born 19 March 1985) is an English former radio presenter and fashion stylist, best known for her work on BBC Radio 1. She most recently co-hosted The Surgery alongside Radha Modgil. She has also presented Gemma Cairney on BBC Radio 1 weekends 7am - 10am and later weekdays 4am - 6.30am, switching with Dev.

Early career and radio presenting[edit]

Prior to her career in radio, she was an assistant fashion stylist for multiple pop acts. Then, following a course at Point Blank Music College Cairney fronted several radio shows for Channel 4's 4radio before landing the role of co-presenter for Big Brother's Big Ears for Big Brother 2008 alongside Iain Lee. Cairney began her 1Xtra career co-hosting the Breakfast Show with co-presenter Trevor Nelson.

Prior to starting on BBC Radio 1Xtra, she co-presented the Kiss FM breakfast show for two weeks in August 2008. She co-presented the BBC Radio 1Xtra breakfast show for 2 years before moving to a solo weekday afternoon show on the station from 1-4pm. In February 2012, it was announced that Cairney would take over Weekend Breakfast on BBC Radio 1. Sarah-Jane Crawford took over her slot on 1Xtra.

On 10 January 2014, Radio 1 announced a schedule change that would see Cairney and early weekday morning show host Dev swap shows. They swapped 29 March 2014.[1]

In April 2015 it was announced that Cairney would take over The Surgery on Wednesday evenings from former presenter Aled Haydn Jones and that Adele Roberts would replace her as the early breakfast show host.[2] These changes took effect in June 2015.

Cairney has presented a number of radio documentaries, including What the F: the Story of Feminism (2014) and Mali Music (2014), a documentary which saw her travel to Mali to discuss the music ban in the country and interview its emerging stars. She was awarded Sony Gold awards for documentaries Tempted by Teacher (2014) and Bruising Silence (2013).[citation needed]

In January 2015, Cairney started a production company called Boom Shakalaka Productions Ltd. The company specialises in making various types of content, including podcasts and theatre. Boom Shakalaka produced a successful punk musical about depression at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2015 called My Beautiful Black Dog.[citation needed]


Since 2008 Gemma has presented the BBC’s Glastonbury festival coverage and in 2015 she co-hosted BBC1’s New Year’s Eve coverage alongside Nick Grimshaw.

In autumn 2008 and spring 2010 Cairney was the roving reporter for T4's Frock Me, hosting alongside Alexa Chung and Henry Holland. Other TV appearances have included reaching second place on Pick Me MTV and a regular slot as a co-presenter of Channel 4's online series Bite. In November 2010 she was a guest panelist on ITV2's I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here Now! Cairney also hosted the television coverage of 1Xtra's live music events and contributed to the BBC's Glastonbury coverage.[3]

In October 2010 Cairney fronted the Turn Up The Style, Turn Down The Heat campaign for green organisation Global Cool at Britain's Next Top Model Live in London.[4]


  1. ^ "BBC Radio 1's Gemma Cairney to swap shows with Dev". Digital Spy. 10 January 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "Radio 1 changes The Surgery and early breakfast hosts". BBC. 15 April 2015. Retrieved 12 June 2015. 
  3. ^ "Radio 1Xtra – Gemma Cairney – Gemma Cairney in profile". BBC. 1 January 1970. Retrieved 4 June 2012. 
  4. ^ "School of Cool #15: Gemma Cairney". Global Cool. UK: Global Cool Foundation. 14 October 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2011. 

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