Radio 1 DJ and TV presenter Gemma Cairney is so used to being the heart and soul of the party - be that on her early morning radio show, in the weirdest corners of a festival or among her own friends - that she’s decided to take the revelry on the road and up to Scotland.  

With the Commonwealth Games now come to a close, Gemma Cairney is taking her Tia Maria Dark Room to the Scottish capital instead. Aiming to “celebrate the best bits of a girls’ night out,” Gemma calls her night the perfect excuse to “get people together, have a cocktail, indulge in getting your hair done, do your nails - what’s not to like?”

According to Gemma, the camaraderie at the event is infectious.

“At the end of the day getting together with your best friends is the best thing to do in life. It’s always when you are most comfortable. Everybody loves getting ready together and catching up and setting the tone.”

It’s clear that Cairney is the go-to girl if you want a party, but why add Tia Maria hostess to her already packed out diary?

“I am obsessed! I am so bad, I am so busy. Right now I’ve got 35 emails to go through, but if somebody said to me now ‘it’s my birthday tonight and I haven’t organised anything’ I’d be straight on it”

Telling What’s On Scotland, “maybe I’m just a control freak! I just love people having fun,” Cairney seems to know how to put on a good show. “I like the whole shebang, the glitz, the spangle, the dancing and sourcing venues in different places, finding interesting ways to get everyone together, introducing people - I just think at heart I’m such a host”.

Gemma’s radio show hosting skills have made her a vital cog in the Radio 1 wheel. Aside from a charity bike ride in Paris (“I haven’t been the best training angel, and I’m quite scared!”) and her annual fun and frolics at Glastonbury festival for the extensive BBC TV coverage - “I love it, I love doing the weird and wonderful” - Cairney is getting used to her impressive promotion to weekday Radio 1 at the age of 29. Not naturally nocturnal, however, it may takes a little longer to get used to being on air at 4.30am.

“It’s a bit nuts, and it feels like a roller-coaster. Sometimes you have loads of energy and you get loads done by 10am, and other days you just drop and sleep on the train. But it’s loads of fun when you get there, among fun people. People astound me, working all sorts of hours through the night on their own. So it’s really inspiring”.

Gemma Cairney is the curator of this year’s Tia Maria Dark Room, visiting Glasgow 15-16th August. For further details head to