Prior to her career in radio, she was a stylist for acts such as Florence and the Machine and The Pigeon Detectives, leading to her well publicized passion for avant-garde fashion. Then, following a course at Point Blank Music College Cairney fronted several radio shows for Channel 4's 4radio before landing the role of co-presenter for Big Brother's Big Ears for Big Brother 2008 alongside Iain Lee. Cairney began her 1Xtra career co-hosting the Breakfast Show with co-presenter Trevor Nelson. Prior to starting on BBC Radio 1Xtra, she co-presented the Kiss FM breakfast show for two weeks in August 2008. She co-presented to BBC Radio 1Xtrabreakfast show for 2 years before moving to a solo weekday afternoon show on the station from 1-4pm. In February 2012, it was announced that Cairney would take over Weekend Breakfast on BBC Radio 1. Sarah-Jane Crawford took over her slot on 1Xtra.
In autumn 2008 and spring 2010 Cairney was the roving reporter for T4's Frock Me, hosting alongside Alexa Chung and Henry Holland. Other TV appearances have included reaching second place on Pick Me MTV and a regular slot as a co-presenter of Channel 4's online series Bite. In November 2010 she was a guest panelist onITV2's I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here Now! Cairney also hosted the television coverage of 1Xtra's live music events and contributed to the BBC's Glastonburycoverage.
|Preceded by||Radio 1 Weekend Breakfast Show host
April 2012-March 2014
|Preceded by||Radio 1 Early Breakfast host