Speaker & Host
Former Emmerdale actress and eating disorder expert Gemma Oaten is a bubbly, fun and inspirational speaker. Having conquered anorexia, from which she suffered for many years, Gemma also has personal expertise in mental health issues and bullying.
"Gemma is one of the most inspirational young woman I have ever heard talk. To see her standing there and describing the torment and pain and suffering that she's been through is heart breaking, but then when you realise how she has turned her world around, with the help of her incredibly loving family, you see that you're in the presence of a truly good, kind and generous person. Every time I see Gemma I cannot get over how magical and special she really is."
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Read more about Gemma Oaten
Gemma Oaten's acting career already includes BBC 'Doctors', which she did just one month from graduation at Drama studio London in 2010, and the role of Rachel Breckle in Emmerdale from 2011 - 2015, for which she received 'Best Newcomer' nominations for the TV Choice Awards, British Soap Awards and Inside Soap Awards.
She has an impeccable reputation with directors, casting agents and producers alike and counts Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Tom as both mentors and friends. It was Patrick Stewart who suggested she use her public profile to raise awareness for mental health, anorexia and bullying issues. Gemma says she is alive because she found the strength to fight her demons, thanks to the support of her parents. She regularly speaks to audiences around the UK about not only being a survivor and advocate of what it is to really, nearly lose it all, but what it was like to get back to full health and fulfil her dreams.
Since Emmerdale she has also appeared on Casualty and Holby City, and has become a patron for her parent’s charity Seed (Support and empathy for eating disorders). Gemma has also appeared regularly on daytime programmes such as 'Good Morning Britain' and 'This Morning' to continue her promise to raise awareness for eating disorders, alongside promoting the huge TV storylines she has been involved in.
She became an ambassador for the Princess Diana Awards in the fight to promote anti bullying and she gained much admiration from her peers whilst delivering a passionate speech on bullying at the Ben Cohen Stand Up Foundation Gala. She received a standing ovation. Gemma’s path to success has been a very tough one. Suffering from anorexia for 15 years she nearly died four times. Recovery was incredible hard with many hurdles along the way. It came with hard work and goal setting, achieving and positive thinking.
So it was with incredible gratitude and delight that was able to live her dream and become a household name on Emmerdale. Gemma has 84k followers on twitter ranging from the age of 8 to 98! Her big exit storyline at Emmerdale resulted in her appearing in many publications and she made the front cover of the Daily Express weekend magazine which a great achievement for one so early in her career.