The BBC has confirmed to Biz Asia that it has indeed awarded the new Head of Music position at the Asian Network to Mark Strippel AKA Markie Mark.
Our rumour mill had been working overdrive over the past few days with numerous visitors suggesting that it could be BBC Asian Network presenter and Panjabi Hit Squad member Markie Mark, 32, being awarded the coveted title. Now that’s official and he starts his duties from immediate effect.
Mark Strippell said : “I welcome the opportunity to be able to bring some real depth and cutting-edge to the playlist at Asian Network – both in daytime and the new specialist shows. Like many British-Asians my own tastes aren’t restricted by genre or ethnicity, ranging from Desi Beats to Left-field Breaks, D’n’B to Bollywood, and the new music policy will certainly reflect that. There will be a noticeable change in tone of the stations music policy, with a greater emphasis on Homegrown talent, providing a platform for unsigned or Independent British-Asian artists, and greater year-round support for Live music. Asian Network has a key responsibility to play in uplifting the British-Asian music scene across all it’s genres.”
The Head of Music role was created by the station late last year along with the Head of News, Network coordinator and new Assistant Editor roles as part of the evolution of the station under Controller Bob Shennan’s management. The final decision was made by a panel including Bob Shennan, and Vijay Sharma, Managing Editor of the Asian Network. Details of all the new appointments are below.
Bob Shennan said: ” Mark’s appointment is crucial to the new direction of the Asian Network and the final part of a very very strong management Team. He has an important role in reviewing our music policy and connecting with the talent in the thriving British Asian Music scene.”
Key tasks for the Head of Music is to make music on the Asian Network more cutting edge, build and maintain relationships within the mainstream Asian music industry and build on the stations commitment to Live British Asian music. Being white and a specialist in British-Asian music Mark Strippel breaks stereotypes and preconceived ideas about the type of people who listen to Asian music. Mark’s interest in Asian music stems from his upbringing in Hounslow, West London and his role in the British Asian music industry can be compared to Westwood’s role in Hip Hop music.
All the senior posts have now been appointed apart from the Assistant Editor for Music programmes (TBC).
Head Of News – Husain Husani
Head of Music – Mark Strippel
Network Co-ordinator – Mike Curtis
Music Prgrammes – TBC
Newsgathering – Neera Sood
News Output – Louise Cotton
Languages – Rifat Jawaid
Sport – Caj Sohal (Starts April)
Breakfast – Jonathan Aspinwall
Mid-Morning – George Mann
Afternoon/Film Caf̩ – Kulijinder Singh
Drive – Ishfaq Ahmed