Published on 07 October 2022
University of Sunderland graduate and rising radio star – Emma Millen – has been announced as one of BBC Radio 1’s new presenters, after hosting her own one-off show last Christmas.
Emma is one of four presenters chosen to host the station’s new early morning Friday breakfast show as part of a monthly rotation.
The 24-year-old, who graduated from Sunderland with an MA in Radio in 2020, is taking up the Friday Early Breakfast show reins for October, with her first show airing at 5am today (Friday, 7 October).
“Honestly, I am walking around with a smile from ear to ear,” Emma, from Whitley Bay, said.
“To be given the opportunity at Christmas was a career goal ticked off the list. I learnt so much about the radio industry and about my role as a presenter. Radio 1 has given me the confidence to say, "I can do this". To have a laugh, make people happy and do what I love to do and then to be asked to do early breakfast for a month is amazing.”
Emma added: “I absolutely love where I’m from so I think it would be impossible for me to go on Radio 1 and not let that shine through, so of course there's going to be some Geordie madness!”
During her studies Emma also had a variety of roles at the University’s community radio station Spark, including presenting, producing and training volunteers.
“I am so grateful for the skillset the University has given me to be able to progress in a very hard to get into industry,” she said.
“Spark has been key to giving me that on-air accessibility and I don't think I would be doing what I'm doing without student radio. Another special thanks to all my lecturers and tutors for passing on their knowledge and always being a helping hand both during my studies and the support after.”
Richard Berry, Senior Lecturer in Radio at the University of Sunderland and Manager of Spark, said: “I can’t promise to be awake that early, but we’ll be checking out Emma’s show later on! She’s worked so hard to get there and I hope this is the first step in letting more people know what a great presenter she is.
“We always encourage our students to think big and there’s no bigger stage for new talent than BBC Radio 1.”
Andy Cartwright, Programme Leader for MA Radio, Audio and Podcasting, said: “Emma is an undoubted genuine broadcasting talent, an excellent producer, interviewer and presenter – she’s already produced a documentary for BBC Radio 4 and now been invited back again by Radio 1 to take over their airways once more – it’s all part of Emma’s totally justified ‘north-east takeover’ of the BBC.”
Dr Caroline Mitchell, Professor of Radio and Participation, said: “Emma has made the most of every opportunity in getting this coveted Radio 1 spot. She has an infectious, positive attitude that really rubs off on all who meet and hear her.
“What is also commendable is that she has always supported others, including media students and volunteers at community station Spark.
“I can’t wait to hear her on Radio 1 – I’m setting my alarm!”
Emma’s radio journey echoes that of fellow Sunderland graduate and Spark presenter, Jordan North, who now co-hosts BBC Radio 1’s drivetime show.