A RADIO 1 star spoke to students in Darwen about the issues affecting them during a school visit to promote her new book.

DJ Gemma Cairney, who presents advice show The Surgery on the station, brought her Big Yellow Bus to Darwen Aldridge Community Academy (DACA) to talk to youngsters and to discuss her book ‘Open: a toolkit for how magic and messed up life can be’.

The presenter, who is also known for her BBC Glastonbury coverage, also recorded a podcast with students.

Her book addresses different issues including grief, loss, depression as well as empowerment, creativity and body image.

Janet McCarthy, learning resource manager at DACA, said her visit was a fantastic experience.

She said: “She really got to the students. She was talking to them about issues that they might not be talking to friends and family about.

“I think it will encourage them to talk more.

“What came out of the podcast was that the students felt that being kind to each other is so important. They decided they wanted to do some fundraising to help in the community. I think Gemma has done a lot of good.

“They talked about bullying, dealing with ‘frenemies’, body image and depression.”

The 31-year-old spoke to students from across the year groups, took questions, signed books and took selfies with them.

They got to board her bus which had a library, artificial grass pitch and hula hoops.

Miss McCarthy said: “It was fabulous. It was the best I have ever seen them interacting with an author.

“She said she was taking sunshine around the country with her bus. She is a very outgoing person and because she is so down-to-earth they felt comfortable with her.

“She is a really genuine person. She cares about teenagers and what they are going through and encouraged the kids to keep in touch with her.”

In a blog post the star said when she was nine-years-old she wrote about the racist bullying she had experienced at an activities camp which was printed in an independent newspaper.

She said: “A whole 21-years-later, I have done the same in 340 pages, written my most effecting experiences both fun and serious and asked people whose brains I find extraordinary to come aboard and open up about their lives, and complex journeys from the difficult to fantastical.”