BBC Asian Network: Wikis


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BBC Asian Network
BBC Asian Network logo
Broadcast area United Kingdom UK - National
Frequency MW: Various (Restricted Coverage)
DAB: 12B
Freeview: 709
Freesat: 709
Sky: 0119
Virgin Media: 912
TalkTalk TV: 820
First air date 1976 BBC Radio Leicester show
1988 as The Asian Network
- BBC Radio Leicester & BBC WM
1996 as separate channel on AM
2002 Nationally on DAB [1]
Format Music, News & Entertainment
Audience share 0.2% (June 2009, [2])
Owner BBC
Webcast Live Stream Real/WM
Podcast: mp3

BBC Asian Network is for anyone in the UK with an interest in Asian music, news, entertainment, culture, debate and drama. The music and news comes out of the main urban areas where there are significant communities with a background in the South Asian diaspora.

They have production centres in Birmingham, Leicester and London (Television Centre & Yalding House). The `parent` station is BBC Radio 1 at Yalding House and they are part of the BBC Audio and Music division.

BBC Asian Network broadcast mainly in English, but also have programmes in five south Asian languages – Hindi/Urdu, Punjabi, Bengali, Gujurati and Mirpuri.

Their output includes the daily soap drama `Silver Street` and the documentary series `Asian Network Reports`[3].

Over the summer 2009, the Asian network provided coverage at melas across the UK as part of the 'Summer Of Melas' [4]



BBC Asian Network studio at The Mailbox shopping centre, Birmingham.

Medium Wave 1458



BBC television had broadcast an Asian news programme, Nai Zindagi Naya Jeevan, since 1968 from its studios in Birmingham. Whilst pioneering, this series followed a traditional news and current affairs format.

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.

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 management structure of the station changed with Bob Shennan, then Controller of BBC Radio 5Live, taking over as controller, with a new Head of News, Husain Husaini (a senior editor in BBC Five Live), a Head of Music Mark Strippel Markie Mark (a much respected Asian music DJ and former member of Punjabi Hit Squad) and a Network Manager, Mike Curtis (previously Asian Network's News and Sports Editor).

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. *The New Schedule

Symbol change

In August 2007, the Asian Network received a new logo as part of a general re-brand of all national BBC stations.

In 2009, this was re-branded again to add prominence to the Asian aspect of the logo.

Management 2009

  • Controller of Radio 1, 1Xtra, Asian Network and BBC Switch; 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

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 mid-mornings).
  • Jas Rao – (Weekday Drive)
  • Nihal (The lunchtime phone in programme)
  • Adil Ray (Breakfast).
  • Friction (The Station 'Flagship' music show)
  • Tommy Sandhu (Weekend Breakfast Show).
  • Murtz (The Request Show)
  • Panjabi Hit Squad (A mix of Hip-Hop, R'n'B, House, Bhangra and Bollywood on Saturdays from 5pm)
  • Noreen Khan with The Chart Show (A weekly run down of the top Asian tunes as decided by the Asian Network Playlist team)
  • Waqas Saeed (Early Breakfast every weekday morning from 5–6am)

Other programmes

  • Love Bollywood* every Saturday and Sunday with Raj & Pablo consisting of News, Entertainment & Gossip about Bollywood
  • 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.
  • Silver Street
  • BBC Asian Network - Special News Reports
  • Electro East with Nerm – Drum & Bass, Dubstep, Electro & Breaks with an Asian tinge every Saturday night from Midnight-2am
  • Pathaan's Musical Rickshaw – World Electronica, Classical Asian and Global Basslines every Sunday morning from 2 to 4 am
  • Mic Check with Kan D Man & Limelight*- Grime, Funky House, Hip-Hop and providing a platform for fresh new Asian mc's! Every Saturday night from 10 pm – midnight
  • DJ Kayper – Hip-Hop, Desi Beats and Big Guests! Every Friday night from 10–1 am

Current programme staff



  • Sanjiv Buttoo
  • Deepak Patel
  • Nikesh Rughani
  • Gurvinder Aujla
  • Audrey Dias
  • Nasser Hanif
  • Rahila Bano
  • Maimuna Kazi
  • Sabina Alderwish
  • Suki Padda
  • Rahul Tandon
  • Adam Pasternicki
  • Ben Marshall
  • Mayur Bhanji

Former presenters

  • Sameena Ali-Khan
  • Mike Allbut – former T20 presenter and prior to that of the Saturday mid-morning show.
  • Navinder Bhogal
  • Amanda Hussain
  • 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.
  • Meera Trevedi
  • Anita Rani

Former programmes

  • 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).

External links


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