Gemma Atkinson announced as co-host of I Love MCR Awards show

"I cannot think of anything better than being on stage celebrating all the people of Manchester..."

Since bursting onto the scene and our tellies with her award-winning acting roles in Hollyoaks and Emmerdale back in the day, Gemma Atkinson has become a household name for not just her TV presence but her approachable northern charm and down-to-earth but sparkling personality.

Now we can officially announce that Gemma is bringing her charisma to the stage of the I Love Manchester Awards to co-host the show with fellow TV personality Will Mellor on the 23 November 2023.

Gemma first gained national recognition as Lisa Hunter in Hollyoaks and BBC’s Casualty before taking her acting career to new heights to play Carly Hope in Emmerdale and become one of the most popular characters on the ITV soap, which led to her first NTA nomination for ‘Best Newcomer’. 

From there, the Bury-born star landed Strictly Come Dancing in 2017 and has gone on to present for Steph’s Packed Lunch and The Toddler Club and is the co-host on the ‘Drivetime’ show on Hits Radio. 

Today, with over 1.9 million followers on instagram, Gemma continuously works with brands that align with her ethos and passions, such as, Symprove, All Plants, Holland & Barrett as well as household names such as Indesit, eBay, Vodafone, Purina, Hamleys, SKY, Reebok, Morrisons and now I Love MCR. 

Atkinson is also a published author with her health and wellness books ‘The Ultimate Body Plan’ and ‘The Ultimate Body Plan for New Mums” as well as having successful clothing collections with In The Style. Gemma and her partner Gorka Marquez (Strictly Come dancing star) have just launched their new three-part series with W and UKTV, Gemma and Gorka: Life Behind The Lens.

Gemma (and Gorka) has done plenty of charity work including visited Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital to officially open a newly enhanced Teenage Cancer Trust Bone Marrow Transplant treatment room.

Announcing his involvement as the first host of the mega Manchester awards event, she said:


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“I’m so so chuffed this year along with the wonderful Will Mellor to present the I Love Manchester Awards.

“I cannot think of anything better than being on stage celebrating all the people of Manchester, all the communities in Manchester – I think you’re all fab already – I cannot wait to see you there on the night. So make sure you get involved!”

The official I Love MCR Awards event celebrates Manchester’s unique sense of civic pride with a contemporary show and ceremony that evokes our brand values.

I Love MCR is a platform that has championed extraordinary people and organisations and empowered communities within our fair city region for over a decade, and has built up enough reputation and credibility to create a meaningful ceremony.

What’s more, every penny donated towards the night and raised through the raffle hosted by Happy Radio’s Darren Proctor will go directly to the I Love MCR Foundation (you can donate here)

Special guests include the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham and The Lord Mayor of Manchester, Yasmin Dar; as well as a panel of influential judges Tom Bloxham, Dave Haslam, Diane Modahl, Carl Austin-Behan, David Scott, Terry Christian, Stanley Chow, Ric Moylan, Emma McBeath, Paul Shannon, Gwen Jones, Jenny Osbourne, Darren Proctor, Michelle Eagleton, and Jacqueline Hughes-Lundy.

Nominations closed at 5pm on Friday (1 Sep). The panel are currently compiling nominations that meet the respected criteria and the shortlist will be announced on 18 September 2023 before it is released for public voting.

The event has been made possible with the help of partners ConnectIn Events and official sponsors AO ArenaHilton Manchester TeppanyakiPalace Theatre & Opera HouseJulie Twist Properties, and Happy Radio

The I Love MCR Awards is billed to be the biggest Manchester awards event the city has ever seen.

The awards show will be taking place at epic new venue Diecast Manchester located in Piccadilly South with transport links by train or car with parking available. Tickets and tables are available online here

This will be a night that will live forever…

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Manchester is a successful city, but there are many people that suffer. The I Love MCR Foundation helps raise vital funds to help improve the lives and prospects of people across Greater Manchester – and we can’t do it without your help. So please donate or fundraise what you can because investing in your local community to help it thrive can be a massively rewarding experience.

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