BURY born actress and model Gemma Atkinson is to present the Hits Radio breakfast programme from today.

The station changed its name to Hits Radio from Key 103.

The former Hollyoaks and Emmerdale actress will present the new programme with broadcaster and TV personality Gethin Jones, who first appeared on TV screens as a presenter on BBC’s Blue Peter.

The pair who have worked together most recently on Strictly Come Dancing, are promising a mix of pop, rock music, which reflects the time of day and in which they want to ease listeners into their daily routines.

Before they went on air, the Bury Times caught up with the pair to find out what the new show promises and what other things they have in the pipeline.

BT “I suppose we ought to start with you Gemma as you are local to this particular area. How long have you been presenting at Key 103?”

Gemma: “It's about 18 months now and it's basically that Bauer (station owner’s), is expanding. It's the first station to broadcast outside of London and Manchester is the city they wanted to do it from.

“And because the current show is so good at Key 103, Bauer wanted to do what they have done with other stations and make it more national so more people can listen in.”

BT: “So the potential radio audience that you could pull in is huge”

Gemma: “Yes, well we are going to have all the Welsh audience tune in for Geth and all the Northerners for me, but we want to take its reach to as many listeners as possible and hopefully they will enjoy it.”

BT: “What is the new role for you both.

Gethin: “My role is to bring in the coffee for Gemma! We start on air on June 4 and then I am jumping over to the new format. I am coming in and she has already done her four hours and I think we are looking forward to the new show under its new guise and expanding it further from Manchester although it’s obviously important to make sure that community stays where it is, while expanding it nationwide on digital radio.”

BT “What sort of music will you be playing?”

Gemma “Everything that's current really, everything that's modern and what people are into, it's pretty much the same as now with the Breakfast Show every morning, so it's not going to be heavy rock metal that gets people out of bed, but at the same time the listeners are telling us what they want so it's all the current chart music that we will be playing.

Gethin: “We have some different features where a couple of our songs will be chosen by our listeners in the morning so there will also be some tracks that you might not expect to hear but the aim is to make an impact when we go on air.”

BT: “Often when there are two presenters on the same show it’s all about chemistry?”

Gethin “Can you not feel the chemistry?”

BT “Well not if Gemma is sat in the studio and you are making her coffee!”

Gethin “It's massively important the chemistry is just right and we have done a few things in the past and it usually ends up with both of us having a conversation, having a bit of a laugh and playing a track, which is precisely the atmosphere we want to create for a new breakfast show.”

BT: “You have experience of Manchester Gethin?”

Gethin “Yes, I have I was at Manchester University but I don’t like to say when.”

Gemma "It was the 1930s!"

Gethin: “Actually, I finished in 1999, so I am not sure what age that makes Gemma!

“And Manchester has changed beyond recognition since I was here, so it’s my second city and I spent four years up here.

“So it's nice to be back and be part of a vibrant city, two world class sporting clubs, the culture and how its evolved in the city and Greater Manchester is a brilliant place to be right at the moment.

“So it not only about starting a new show but being here to do it.”

BT: “When you were on Blue Peter you did a number of intrepid things but what was your most intrepid experience in Manchester?”

Gethin: “Yes, you are right, I finished with a degree in geography and economics from Manchester University and who would have thought I would be back here 20 years later doing a radio breakfast show with the world famous Gemma Atkinson, queen of Bury facts.

“What's your favourite fact about Bury, Gemma, while we are on about that.”

Gemma: “That it's the home of the Shakers and Robert Peel.”

BT – “We might pass over on the Shakers as they haven't done so well.”

Gemma – “We also have black puddings and the world famous Bury market, where I used to go on the merry go round when I was six years of age with my grandma.”

Gethin – “I haven’t answered your question but I didn't get up to Bury when I was at university and it might be the most intrepid thing I do while I am up here!”

BT – “I don’t think that was very kind what Gethin has just said about Bury.”

Gemma: “No I don’t think it is!”

Gethin – “No, I wasn't having a go at Bury, it was just about going there with Gemma!”

BT “I take it you will continue with your other celebrity activities”.

“Gemma: Well yes, that's the good thing about Bauer, we would leave the radio station at about 12ish at the latest and we can do other projects. Bauer are great at allowing us to pursue other interests that we both have.”

BT What is your latest project Gemma

Gemma: “Well I have my new gymwear collection which will be available from June.”

Gethin: “A bit of Strictly. I don't know if you know but I kind of knew Gemma, who I would interview on the Friday before the Saturday performance, but we didn't know that was happening then. I am sure Strictly will become a part of our show after Christmas.

BT: "What's your role on the show Gethin?"

Gethin: "I did the reportng job on It Takes Two

Gemma “My fella’s on the show so I will be down there supporting Gorka.”

BT: “If you had to sum up the new show what would you say?”

Gethin: “What's nice in our industry is being able to do a project where they give a show time to grow Like something different.

“Whilst not forgetting where it comes from in terms of Manchester and the community around it, but also about pushing it to a more national level to see what we can achieve.

“We think we have some great ideas the right playlist and music, listening to our audience and bringing a new addition to breakfast radio.”

BT “And finally, Gemma, if you were calling up a radio station to request a song/singer what who would it be?”

“I like Dua Lipa at the moment, so anything from her or from Bruno Mars, would be fine.”

Hits Radio Breakfast with Gethin, Gemma and Dave is available weekdays from 6am to 10am.