BBC Asian Network unveils new Sunday language programmes

Regional language programmes are a cornerstone of our new schedule. Our new Sunday line up is a dynamic mix of exciting new presenters and Asian Network favourites who will help us transform our approach and deepen our connection with every single part of our audience."Mark Strippel, Head of Programmes, BBC Asian Network
Date: 19.11.2012     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 17.55
Category: Asian Network
BBC Asian Network announced today the launch of an exciting new series of specialist language programmes starting on Sunday 2 December.

This new Sunday Language Zone marks the first changes to the station's regional language programming in more than a decade, with a new presenter line-up and a strengthened commitment to connecting each programme with the heart of each community it serves across the nation. Focusing on bespoke specialist output, each programme will present a mix of relevant, up-to-the-minute music, news and opinions.

Heading up the programmes is a fresh new presentation team. TV personality Nadia Ali will build on the station’s profile within the Bengali community and connect Tower Hamlets with Dhaka, Sylhet and Kolkata. Former Asian Network producer Saima Ajram rejoins the station to connect British Potwari and Urdu speaking audiences directly with the scenes in Lahore, Mirpur and Karachi.

BBC Radio Nottingham’s Alpa Pandya also returns to Asian Network. Her new show will reflect the British-Gujarati community and keep the Asian Network audience in tune with the scenes in Ahmedabad, Surat and beyond. While Asian Network favourite Dipps Bhamrah will present the new-look Punjabi show with a strong focus on the UK Bhangra industry and Punjabi community news.

The new line-up of shows also sees the station's regional language programmes broadcast from beyond the Midlands for the first time, as the Nadia Ali and Alpa Pandya will present their programmes from Asian Network’s New Broadcasting House home, putting them geographically closer to the main hub of the Bengali and Gujarati communities. Saima Ajram and Dipps Bhamrah will present from the station's Birmingham studios.

BBC Asian Network's Head of Programmes, Mark Strippel, says: “Regional language programmes are a cornerstone of our new schedule. Our new Sunday line up is a dynamic mix of exciting new presenters and Asian Network favourites who will help us transform our approach and deepen our connection with every single part of our audience."

From 2 December, the new Sunday schedule will look like this:

6am – 10am: Gagan Grewal

10am – 1pm: Raj and Pablo

1pm – 4pm: Retro Selection

4pm – 6pm: Dipps Bhamrah

6pm – 8pm: Saima Ajram

8pm – 10pm: Nadia Ali

10pm – 12midnight: Alpa Pandya

Short biographies

Nadia Ali

Already a household name within the British-Bengali community, Nadia is a presenter with TV station Channel S. Born and brought up in the East End of London, Nadia is a qualified barrister and works as a motivational speaker at local colleges and events. This will be her first radio show.

Alpa Pandya

Having started her radio career at BBC Radio Leicester and Asian Network, Alpa then spent nine years as presenter of Leicester-based Sabras Radio’s Breakfast Show, before moving to BBC Radio Nottingham to host the Sunday night Dhamaka show.

Saima Ajram

Saima returns to the Asian Network after 10 years as a producer and occasional presenter on the Gagan Grewal and Mirpuri programmes. She has also worked as a Senior Media Analyst for BBC Monitoring, specialising in Pakistani news.

Dipps Bhamrah

Asian Network favourite Dipps has been part of the station team since 2000, and at the forefront of the Bhangra music scene for over 15 years. Musician for the legendary Apna Sangeet, live DJ, music producer and all-round ‘Captain of Bhangra’, Dipps’ new show will carry on where Bhangra Breakdown left off.

FW