Speaker / Host
Gemma Oaten is the former Emmerdale actress, and eating disorder expert. A bubbly, fun and inspirational speaker, she conquered anorexia which she suffered from for many years
About Gemma Oaten
Gemma Oaten has also has personal expertise in mental health issues and bullying. 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.
Gemma Oaten very nearly didn’t make it out of her teens. But she did and overcame the life threatening and tough obstacles she encountered on her hard fought path to success 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.
Against the odds she achieved her dream to to take on acting roles in BBC ‘Doctors’, as Rachel Breckle in Emmerdale from 2011 – 2015, and various characters in Casualty and Holby City. Gemma 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 Oaten’s Charity Work
She became a patron for her parent’s charity Seed (Support and empathy for eating disorders) and is an Ambassador for the Princess Diana Awards (which fights to promote anti bullying). 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 story-lines she has been involved in.
Gemma gained much admiration from her peers whilst delivering a passionate speech on bullying at the Ben Cohen Stand Up Foundation Gala for which she received a standing ovation.
So it was with incredible gratitude and delight that was able to live her dream and become a household name on Emmerdale. 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 w.
"Gemma Oaten 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."
"I first met Gemma on the Television game show 'Celebrity Family Fortunes' many years ago and my initial reaction was that she was a witty, bubbly and warm hearted young woman. Over time she has become a dear friend. It wasn't until I interviewed her about eating disorders on the ITV breakfast show ‘Daybreak’ that I realised the full extent of her remarkable story. It's one of sheer grit, determination and hope. Watching her speak in public at a separate charity event for anti bullying I saw her deliver a speech so passionate, educated, real and raw that the audience were on their feet at the end. She's an inspiration and I know her work and honesty will help so, so many."
"Gemma’s life story is incredible, the fights, battles, mental turmoil and struggles are only overtaken by her incredible enthusiasm for life, her shining personality and her message of pure “Hope”. Listening to Gemma it is almost impossible not to travel on the journey with her, you come part of the feelings, sadness, fear and courage and by the end you leave knowing that truly, “anything is possible” and more so “You are possible”. Her inspiring talks are not a performance they are a real life showcase of courage, determination and empowerment and victory over a very real, tragic, sad story. Inspiring is a word so often used too easily but Gemma is the utter meaning of this word. She walks it, talks it and shines it and I am honoured to have her as part of my life."