Monday 20 May 2013
The BBC Asian Network today announces an innovative new drama season starting from 1 September.
Titled BBC Asian Network Presents... the new drama strand is committed to providing distinctive, original and impactful content, all relevant to the target audience. Covering a range of stories and styles, the strand endeavours to deliver popular established names to the network and to develop new talent both on and off air, providing a platform for writers (established and new) and fresh radio talent.
Vijay Sharma, Head of BBC Asian Network, comments: "I am pleased that the Asian Network is leading on showcasing Asian writing and creative talent in the drama genre. As well as being entertaining, these dramas will reflect real issues, passions and stories, which touch the lives of Asian communities in Britain."
The new season of commissions will take the listeners from comedy to romance to Bollywood, and will see one 30-minute single drama broadcast on the network each month. The season will commence on Wednesday 1 September, 6pm, with the Big Brother inspired Reality Check.
Written by Shai Hussain, the drama features former Hollyoaks actors Lena Kaur and Junade Khan, and follows a young girl through her Big Brother experience, which she intends to use to reveal her true self to her family back home in Yorkshire.
James Peries, Producer, BBC Radio Drama, adds: "Reality Check starts in the pop culture of today's reality TV and then reveals deeper themes around identity, and some darker plot twists – ultimately becoming an intimate family story. Other plays in the strand will begin with a familiar touchstone, but then take the audience on an imaginative journey – telling a complete story in 30 minutes. Comedies, mysteries, drama, and musicals are all in preparation."
Throughout the season, the strand will draw upon a host of writing and acting talent to produce a diverse range of commissions that all the family can enjoy.
Kulvinder Ghir (Goodness Gracious Me), stars as Jugjit, the know-it-all brother, in Tajinder Singh Hayer's We're Not Getting Married. Jugjit's advice to younger brother Harvinder could be the breakthrough or the breaking point, as a meeting with Harvinder's prospective wife approaches.
Sonali Bhattacharyya has written Ping Pong, the story of a nine-year-old boy struggling with the pressures of school, and the career expectations of his parents. Balancing these pressures with his love for playing ping pong, the audience travels with the aspiring star as he embarks on a mixture of youthful road movie and family saga.
Kris Kenway brings us My Friend The Bollywood Superhero, a drama about a fifteen-year-old, struggling to deal with the torment of teenage love. He meets a mentor, who enters his life straight off the movie screen and guides the teenager through this journey of romantic discovery.
In addition to these exciting new dramas, there will be something for everyone in the new strand, which will also include original and fresh stories around food, culture, music and marriage.
BBC Asian Network Presents... replaces the network's Silver Street drama, which finished on the station in March 2010. The new strand will be produced by Radio Drama Production at BBC Birmingham.
Asian Network provides a distinctive mix of music, alongside a variety of British Asian, Bollywood, Bhangra news, debate, languages, entertainment and live events with a real focus on promoting and highlighting British Asian talent. It plays host to the best in Asian talent including presenters Tommy Sandhu, Sonia Deol, Nihal, Noreen Khan, Gagan Grewal, Bobby Friction, Raj & Pablo.
Asian Network Reports brings listeners the latest daily news and the documentary strand is committed to exploring relevant topics from all areas including arts, news, health and business. The station supports a range of new music and supports emerging artists – especially those from the UK.
The station is multiplatform, enabling young audiences to connect through the web and interactive services – offering new ways to listen, watch and find great content from the station.
Asian Network was recognised at this year's Sony Radio Academy Awards, winning Best Speech Programme for Nihal's afternoon show and the Bronze Award for the Asian Network Reports: Passport To Murder News Special.
You can listen to Asian Network on bbc.co.uk/asiannetwork, DAB, and on Digital TV: Sky0119/Freeview 709/Freesat 709/Virgin 912.
BBC Radio is the biggest commissioner of original drama in the country, with commissions broadcast across Radio 3, Radio 4, Radio 7, Asian Network and World Service.
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