Forbes presented the cooking slot on Going Live!, won after bombarding the production office with ideas for 'makes'. She was then selected as co-presenter for the replacement BBC children's show Live & Kicking with Andi Petersfrom 1993-1996 and also presented ITV's teenage problem show Speakeasy. She presented Talking Telephone Numbers with Phillip Schofield for ITV upon leaving Live & Kicking, until replaced by Claudia Winkleman. She also presented the Heart 106.2 breakfast show, alongside Jonathan Coleman, before she left to present on Capital 95.8.
Forbes was the face of a long-running television advert campaign for Head & Shoulders shampoo in the mid-to-late 1990s. In 1996, she was voted number 64 in the FHM 100 Sexiest Women Poll, and is still represented by Storm Models.
Alongside Mark Radcliffe, Forbes co-hosted the Steve Wright show on BBC Radio 2 for one week in October 2007, and for one day on 26 November 2007. She hosted the show again for one week commencing 28 April 2008 alongside Radcliffe for one week commencing 29 September 2008, and again on 23 February 2009. From 25 April 2009, BBC Radio 2 announced a new weekend schedule which featured Emma presenting a Saturday show from 6-8pm alongside comedian Alan Carr called Going Out with Alan Carr. From Sunday 7 June 2009 she also presented the Sunday morning breakfast show on Radio 2, replacing Pete Mitchell. Emma announced that she would no longer be presenting her Sunday show on BBC Radio 2 on 13 December 2009. She was replaced by Lynn Parsons. Emma continued to co-present Going Out With Alan Carr on Saturday evenings until April 2010, when she suddenly left the programme. It was later announced that she left because she wanted more days off than her bosses liked and had missed the show a few times up to that point being replaced by guest co-hosts. She later revealed that she didn't really like working on Saturday nights and would rather have her feet up on a sofa at that time of night.
Since March 2011, Forbes has been a regular discussion contributor on ITV's daytime show The Alan Titchmarsh Show.
Forbes lives with her banker husband Graham Clempson (married September 1987) and their two children, Lily (born 1996) and Sam (born 1999); and Shih Tzu dog Scooby. She suffered from postnatal depression after both births.Forbes is also Richard Attenborough's god-daughter.
When she took a professional break to have her two children, Forbes and her journalist sister Sarah Standing created the boutique children’s fantasy shop “Semmalina” in Belgravia, London. Their other two resultant business ventures are “Star Bags” which creates the perfect ‘goody bag’ for children’s parties; and “Star Grub” – boxes of children’s party food to order. Forbes also designs various celebrity charity parties, and food product presentations.