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BBC Asian Network
BBC Asian Network is a BBC national radio station orientated towards British Asian life, culture and music in the UK and other topics from a British Asian perspective targeting British Asians aged under 35, while also aspiring towards a broader appeal among all interested in British Asian life whether Asian or not, regardless of age.
Based in St Nicholas Place, Leicester, England with programmes also coming from Mailbox studios at BBC Birmingham and BBC Television Centre, London; it broadcasts nationally on DAB and digital TV via satellite, cable, IPTV and Freeview; locally on AM in parts of the English Midlands 24 hours a day and sometimes in some parts of Yorkshire, Lancashire, South East England and Hertfordshire locally: How to Listen.
In more recent years online streaming, Listen Again and podcast options have been introduced on the main site for many of the station's programmes.
BBC Asian Network studio at The Mailbox shopping centre, Birmingham.
In 1977 BBC Radio Leicester, in recognition of the growth of the importance and size of the South Asian population in Leicester, introduced a daily show aimed primarily at that community in the city; its popularity was remarkable, beyond anything anticipated, at one point the audience consisted of 67 per cent of the South Asian community in Leicester. In 1979, BBC WM, the BBC radio station for the Midlands, followed Leicester's lead and introduced a similar daily show.
By 1988, plans had been laid for shared South Asian programmes across the Midlands, on the AM frequencies of Radio Leicester and BBC WM, and on 30 October 1988 The Asian Network was launched on BBC WM and BBC Radio Leicester with a combined output of 70 hours per week.
In 1996 the station was relaunched as 'The BBC Asian Network with its own AM Frequencies in the Midlands. The Editor of the station was Vijay Sharma who is now Managing Editor of the station. The first show on the national station was Presented by Sonia Deol, the programme head was Ishfaq Ahmed who remained with the station through its growth until 2007.
BBC Asian Network goes national
By 2000, the station's output had shifted focus from the Midlands to the UK as a whole, and the station became a truly national network on Monday 28 October 2002 when it was relaunched for the DAB Digital Radio system.
In January 2006, the BBC announced that they were investing an extra £1m in the BBC Asian Network, and increasing the number of full-time staff by 30% in a bid to make British South Asian interests 'a mainstream part of the corporation's output' . The internal structure management structure of the station changed with Bob Shennan the former head of 5Live taking over as controller and a number of new Assistant Editors being appointed.
2006 schedule changes
In April 2006 the first wave of schedule changes were introduced with further changes coming into effect on 14 May and 21 May with weekend changes occurring from 17 June as outlined in the following BBC Press Office Links. Markie Mark became Head of Music at the BBC Asian Network:
The New Schedule
In August 2007, the Asian Network received a new logo as part of a general re-brand of all national BBC stations.
Controller of Radio 1, 1Xtra and Asian Network; Andy Parfitt. Head of Asian Network: Vijay Sharma. Head of Programmes: Husain Husaini. Network Manager: Mike Curtis. Head of Music: Mark Strippel. Head of News; Kevin Silverton
Competition Voting Irregularities
In 2007 a number of irregularities in competitions on British television and radio programmes were the subject of intense press and parliamentary discussion, in the Autumn of 2007 it was discovered that some breaches of editorial guidelines on voting had occurred on some competitions on the Film Cafe programme on 17 February 2007 in which audience voting decisions had been overruled by an undisclosed member of the production staff, one time by mistake, and another time because the winner was not available to appear on the show. The BBC announced that appropriate measures to deal with such issues had since been taken.
Programmes and presenters
The BBC Asian Network features a generally regular schedule of programming in English and South Asian Languages. Many Programmes are named after the usual presenter, programmes are presented in English except where noted otherwise.
Current programmes sharing presenter names
Nikki Bedi (Weekday Lunchtimes).
Nihal (The morning phone in programme.
Adil Ray (Drivetime).
Bobby Friction (The Station 'Flagship' music show)
Tommy Sandhu (Weekend Breakfast Show).
Love Bollywood every Saturday and Sunday consisting of News about Bollywood films and other related matters.
Music Programmes on the BBC Asian Network - Music in various styles and in English and in various South Asian Languages
Regional Language Programmes on the BBC Asian Network in Mirpuri, Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi and in Hindi and Urdu
Devotional Music in various languages on weekdays and Devotional Sounds - Islam/Hindu/Sikh on weekends in various languages.
BBC Asian Network - Special News Reports
Current programme staff
Raj & Pablo
Mike Allbut - former T20 presenter and prior to that of the Saturday mid-morning show.
Aasmah Mir - more noted as a BBC Radio 5 Live Live News Reader and presenter and columnist in the Sunday Herald covered one fortnight in April 2006 on what had been the Sonia Deol show from 09:00 to 12:00 during schedule changes and has also presented the BBC Asian Network Report in the past.
Film Cafe every Saturday which consisted of Film News presented by Raj & Pablo, both Film Cafe and Amanda Hussein were replaced by the new four hour programme Love Bollywood in Spring 2007.
Amanda Hussein which consisted of News, Music and Entertainment presented by Amanda Hussein, which replaced Weekend Breakfast which she had also been one of the presenters on (Initially called Hot Breakfast that had been presented by successively by Nikki Bedi, Anita Rani and finally Tazeen Ahmad).
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