Gemma Oaten is a former Emmerdale actress and eating disorder expert. She is a bubbly, fun and inspirational speaker.
Gemma’s acting career includes BBC Doctors, which she undertook just one month after graduating from Drama Studio London in 2010, and the role of Rachel Breckle in Emmerdale (2011 – 2015) for which she received ‘Best Newcomer’ nominations for the TV Choice Awards, British Soap Awards and Inside Soap Awards.
Gemma has an impeccable reputation with directors, casting agents and producers alike and counts Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Tom Courtenay 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. Having conquered anorexia from which she suffered for many years, Gemma 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, not only about 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, Gemma has also appeared on Casualty and has become a patron for her parent’s charity ‘Seed’ (Support and Empathy for Eating Disorders).
Gemma appears regularly on daytime TV programmes such as Lorraine Kelly, Good Morning Britain and This Morning to continue her promise to raise awareness for eating disorders, anti-bullying and cancer, alongside promoting the huge TV storylines she has been involved in. She recently 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 StandUp Foundation Gala. She received a standing ovation.
Gemma’s big exit story line 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.
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“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.”
– Aled Jones
“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.”
“We were very lucky to have Gemma Oaten speak at the occasion of our National Makeup Awards 2016. We invited Gemma to address an audience of beauty students, professionals and lecturer. Gemma’s own story is very moving and told from the heart. However due to Gemma’s bubbly and inspirational personality she was able to deliver very serious information in such a way that that audience’s attention was transfixed by her story. Holding people’s attention on such a serious subject was always going to be a challenge in our environment but Gemma managed it and still managed to leave the audience relaxed and uplifted by the end. We had seen Gemma present at Charity Gala and so we knew that she had the gravitas as well as the infectious personality that was needed to deliver a message to 17 year olds as well as a mature audience. Her mastery of several accents no doubt honed during her years as an actress also add to her infectious charms. For us, Gemma was the perfect speaker, presenter and host.”
Colin Laphan, Head of Make-Up team – ADcreativ and Pierre Rene Professional
“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.”