Born in Dundrum, Dublin, in the Republic of Ireland, Annie moved to Belfast at the age of seventeen to study at the Queen's University (QUB). While at QUB she regularly frequented Shine, a club within the university's student union. This led to her working for the club, in promotion and marketing. After completing her degree (a masters degree in English Literature) and moving to London, she worked for a number of small radio stations, before moving to Radio 1. Before getting her own show she worked as a broadcast assistant and producer to Steve Lamacq, Colin Murray and Zane Lowe.