BBC Radio 1 presenter Gemma Bradley, who also has a gig on Radio Ulster showcasing new Irish music, is passionate about podcasts – in particular, her new release, titled Real Talk, which launches today.
This is a conversation between presenter Bradley (24) and three guests, all female or “non-binary” contributors between the ages of 18 and 50.
You could perhaps describe her as the little sister of Loose Women, but the ITV show is not on Bradley’s radar: “I don’t know about that, but what we’re trying to do is that. ‘is to provide an authentic – sometimes funny, sometimes serious – discussion on topics ranging from relationships to body image. “
“We are looking at difficult topics like mental health that people tend to sidestep,” she explains, adding that one of the contributors, Cara, 18, “was brilliant at this one.”
And yes, sex is part of the mix: “We recently looked at consent, which is such an important issue.”
Asked what makes a good podcast, Bradley replies, “It’s spontaneous, conversational.” She agrees with me when I suggest it’s kind of like the best skim radio tracks.
As for the podcast’s lineup, Bradley and his team picked people from the influencers and the online gabby community who would produce great reviews.
This included the non-binary contributor Prishita Maheshwari-Aplin. The labels are peeling now, which is good and liberating, as Bradley acknowledges: “I think my generation is a lot more open-minded and able to deal with these questions.”
When asked to define ‘non-binary’, we get into the they / them terminology, and she admits, “I can’t really define it because I’m not non-binary but maybe our ‘being more honest now depends on the person, but I wouldn’t hold back in the conversation. “
The bottom line is that inclusiveness allows for an enlightening discussion around sexual orientation.
Real Talk also ventures into body image issues, with a particularly moving contribution from a woman who suffered from an eating disorder.
“She was able to advise people on what to do if their concerns about body image were affecting their health. You have to admit you have a problem and then seek medical help,” says Bradley.
On a lighter note, there is a podcast on sustainable fashion. Seeming excited, Bradley shares her ideas for not ruining the planet for a £ 3,500 Lulu Guinness handbag: “You know, there are planes whose only purpose is to carry expensive bags to different countries. can use charity stores, which are great, or keep your clothes longer and recycle them. “
When asked for an example, Bradley says she has a favorite old pair of jeans. “It’s just standard navy, a nice pair of mom jeans.”
The other podcasts she enjoys listening to the most are Jamie and Spencer’s 6 Degrees, a BBC release involving friends talking to a range of guests.
“It’s really good, they had Bear Grylls recently and it was touching because one of the presenters’ brother is an explorer and he gave great advice. They also had an Olympic swimmer, which was fun.”
Bradley recently attended the Stendhal Festival again live in Limavady for Radio Ulster and interviewed local and international musical heroes, Ash.
“They’re the most charming band ever and they have that humanity. Everyone says so,” Bradley says.
“I really love their work and it was great to be at a live concert again. You have that human connection and we only had a shower so it wasn’t all mud. “
Bradley and Taylor Johnson, his Stendhal co-presenter, talk about it and he wants her to speak.
We have been discussing the alternative rock band’s release since their debut, with Girl From Mars, a very early hit in 1995.
“Yeah, that makeup on the video was crazy,” she laughs. The boys were covered in awesome cosmetics, resembling 20th century human artwork.
Bradley’s radio style is captured well in Ash’s interview; she is warm, committed and engaging, connected.
She says that when she joined Radio Ulster after college in Dublin, she worked on her accent: “I had to have my radio voice which is different from my Gemma voice.”
Still, she uses local slang nicely, calling an Ash interviewee “you” at one point. It’s user-friendly, a nod to its Draperstown roots.
She attended St Patrick’s College in Maghera and says she received brilliant musical assistance from her teacher Ms. O’Kane and the Jolene Conway choir – “she was fantastic”.
Bradley studied guitar in elementary school and songwriting at Dublin University, but doesn’t claim to have a creative background: “I’m an only child and my mother Kathleen works for the city council but I don’t know not exactly what she does. “
Broadcasters she admires include Annie Mac, who just left Radio 1, and Greg James.
When not broadcasting from the BBC studio on Belfast’s Ormeau Avenue or when she occasionally visits the Radio 1 base in London – “Can’t wait to go more often” – Gemma practice her other skill, songwriting.
His latest single of the summer, Obsessed, with a funky continental vibe that transports you through the artful image of an out of control affair, garnered a lot of attention.
“It happened because I was thinking about love and the sometimes obsessive nature of relationships. I work with talented musicians, in this case Isaac Butler, who is really good,” she says.
His own musical tastes are eclectic, which works well in his shows. “I have Catholic tastes and love everything from heavy rock to rapper Kam-Bu.”
She admits to a few guilty TV pleasures – “I love RuPaul’s Drag Race and Below Deck” – and also spends time with her boyfriend James, a chef she initially met via social media.
“We had a chat and when we got together for real we found out we had a lot in common and we took it from there,” she says.
They now share a house in Belfast, and Bradley says they didn’t find the foreclosure too painful. “Although it was a pretty odd time for everyone, we had no issues. The fact that he cooks is convenient – and he makes great jerk chicken.”
So she didn’t need the great relationship advice on the Real Talk podcast after all …
:: Gemma Bradley’s six-part podcast series Real Talk begins today on BBC Sounds. Gemma also presents ATL Introducing on BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Sounds every Monday at 9:30 p.m. and BBC Introducing on BBC Radio 1 every Sunday at 11:00 p.m.