Star Plus has walked away with the biggest gong of the night at the first ever Asian Media Awards, which were held in Manchester this evening.
Star Plus walked away with Channel Of The Year award, while drama ‘SaraswatiChandra’ won Best TV Drama beating other oppositions like ‘Qubool Hai’ and ‘Diya Aur Baati Hum’. The Best TV Show went to ‘Real Talk’ on Brit Asia TV.
The BBC Asian Network won the Best Radio Station award, while its present Nihal, who fronts the discussion show in the morning won the Best Radio Presenter award.
The Best Newspaper Award was given to Eastern Eye. The Best Website Award went to entertainment portal, Desi Blitz. Best Media Agency Award was won by Media Moguls based in London.
BizAsia is the official media partner of Asian Media Awards 2013.
Among those to receive an honour was Jimmi Harkishin, who has played the part of Dev Alahan in Coronation Street since 1999, making him the longest-running actor in an Asian role on British television.
Jimmi was handed the Sophiya Haque Award for Services to British Television, a category named in tribute to the late Coronation Street actress, who died of cancer earlier this year, aged 41.
Jimmi says: “These awards are a fantastic celebration of being Asian and long may this continue. It�۪s a great honour to receive this award and I feel very privileged to be able to act and do what I love on a day-to-day basis.”
Jamila Massey, one of the first Asian actresses to ever appear on British TV in 1960, received the Outstanding Contribution Award.
She has appeared in Eastenders, The Bill and Minder and has also featured on well-loved radio programme The Archers.
She says: “This is my first acting award and I�۪m thrilled, it�۪s just beyond belief. Times have changed so much compared to when I started out. Parts for ethnic minorities were usually that of servants and contained only a couple of lines. I was persistent and gradually times changed and I�۪m pleased to say it paid off.
���These awards are a wonderful idea and will allow so many talented Asian people to get the recognition they deserve.�
Mehdi Hasan, political journalist, broadcaster and author, won the accolade for Media Personality of the Year.
He worked on LWT�۪s Jonathan Dimbleby programme, BBC1�۪s The Politics Show and on Sky�۪s breakfast show Sunrise, before being appointed political director of The Huffington Post UK in 2012.
Mehdi says: “I�۪m thrilled to have won this award. It�۪s great to receive recognition from both my peers and the community so this is like a double win.
“My view is that the British media has a long way to go before it can truly say it�۪s done enough to create a diverse workforce, but these awards are giving us the chance to shout about what we do and be counted.”
Other categories encompassed the world of TV, radio and print journalism and those who won represented a wide range of individuals and organisations from the across the country, including the BBC, ITV and Channel 4.
Adil Ray, who plays Mr Khan in BBC sitcom ‘Citizen Khan’, won the award for Best TV Character. He says: “To get this recognition from fellow professionals is great. To make a successful show like ‘Citizen Khan’ takes a lot of work so this award is for the entire cast and crew.”
Umbreen Ali, media manager at the Asian Media Awards, adds: “It has been a wonderful night and I am delighted with the response.
“Tonight was never really about who won but it was more to celebrate how the media industry continues to thrive in all its forms.
“We were overwhelmed with the entries and in particular with how small organisations have such a significant impact on the communities they serve.
“It was wonderful to honour some of those who have made valued contributions in the past but also to recognise that there is still a lack of diversity in some newsrooms.
“It is only through events like this we realise the scope of talent that is out there.”
Updated 14:00 – 01/11/2013