If you’ve ever thought you’d like to wake up with Emmerdale actress Gemma Atkinson every morning, well now you can.
The Bury-born soap star has brought her no-nonsense tomboy attitude to the airwaves to keep voice of reason Matt Haslam and breakfast show veteran Mike Toolan in check on the new look early morning show on Key 103.
The show starts at 6am which means Gemma will have to get up between four thirty every weekday morning. So how will she cope?
“So long as I get my six hours I’m alright.”
“Although your face doesn’t always say alright,” says Mike.
“I hate just getting up and leaving,” says Gemma. “If I’m going to the airport early I can’t just get out of bed and get straight in the car. I need to have a bit of time. I like to get up a good hour and half before I need to come in and make myself some food, have a cuppa and sometimes Countdown is on in the early hours of the morning so I like to watch that.”
Mike, on the other hand, admits to being ‘annoyingly lively in the morning.’
“I’m like a fireman,” he says. “The alarm goes off and I’m straight down there.”
So how is she feeling about the new job?
“It’s been made really easy in that we’re all mates and it doesn’t feel like a job where you’re under pressure.
“Obviously there’s thousands and thousands of people listening so we have got a job to do, but it’s been made fun in that we all take it in our stride and what we talk about is usually our own personal experiences so there is an element of truth to it.”
Mike agrees. “I think you can’t manufacture chemistry. You either get on or your don’t and we do all get on, don’t we? It’s almost like not a job. We’re just three people mucking around in a room together.”
When I met them, Gemma and Mike were both wearing gym wear. Was this because they’d been to the gym together or was it just ath-leisure wear?
“I trained this morning before work,” says Gemma who has been practising kickboxing for six years on and off, “and Toolan wants to get back into his fitness and training but he might slow me down.
“I had to take a year out recently ‘cos I had a hip injury from it so I’ve just started getting back into it again. I have regular physio but it’s good. I’ve realised I’m not as fit now as I was then and I just really enjoy it. It’s a really nice place-Paul Bates’ gym where I train down in Middleton. It’s just a really nice vibe there and I’ve got friends there so it’s really good.”
She won’t be doing her kickboxing at 4’o clock in the morning. But what about a charity fight with Mike?
“She’d wipe the floor with me,” says Mike. “Well, yeah, that could be a thing couldn’t it?”
Matt says we can expect to hear a number of new features on the show.
“We’ll be doing things like the Gemma Dilemma,” he says. “If you’ve got a dilemma call Gemma. Gemma’s surprisingly wise despite the fact that she appears carefree and without a trouble in the world but she knows her stuff.”
And Matt’s going to be imparting an important fact to the people of Manchester every single day. The working title? ‘Matt-er of fact’.
“There’s a few other things as well,” says Matt. “The idea is to make it really fresh so the listeners realise that it’s different to before. It should be different every day as well. so we’re trying to not be too predictable.”
Mike says the whole radio station is changing and getting a lot cooler. I ask him if that’s because of Gemma.
“Yeah I think so,” he says. “Gemma does a whole load of things. And the music’s got really good. It’s a lot fresher. It’s very 2017 at the moment. I think we’re going to give our competitors a run for their money. The revolution starts here.”
Wake up with Gemma, Matt and Mike every week day morning from 6am on Key 103. It might make your day.