BBC Asian Network announces new schedule amid coronavirus crisis

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BBC Asian Network has announced it will make changes to its schedule during the coronavirus crisis to ensure it can continue to keep listeners informed and entertained during the uncertainty.

Changes will include all weekend daytime shows being extended to four hours and all programmes after 19:00 being pre-recorded. This is to ensure BBC Asian Network can continue to provide the best service to listeners while also keeping all staff and presenters safe and healthy.

Other changes will include, the popular Asian Network Breakfast with Harpz Kaur starting at 07:00 instead of the usual 06:00 – 10:00 slot. Following Harpz, Asian Network’s Big Debate will run from 10:00 – 13:00 and Bobby Friction, who usually presents from 19:00 – 22:00 Monday to Thursday, will have his weeknight slot extended by an hour to 19:00 – 23:00.

The new simplified schedule will mean staff required in the London and Birmingham studios will be significantly reduced, as some presenters rotate over the coming weeks. This is to prioritise live programmes whilst aiding social distancing.

The new schedule came into effect from yesterday, Monday 30th March and will remain under review for the foreseeable future.

Khaliq Meer, Acting Head of Programmes, says, “During this period of so much uncertainty, we have simplified our schedule to support everyone involved in the Network to be at their best whilst safeguarding their health and wellbeing as much as possible.

I am incredibly proud of how our teams and presenters have come together to ensure we keep our listeners up to speed with the latest developments; engaged in daily conversation whilst providing a really important escape by way of the best UK and global Asian music and entertainment.”

The station’s weekend shows will consist of pre-recorded programmes with ‘Weekend Breakfast with Waqas Saeed’ being aired between 07:00 – 11:00, followed by Preeya Kalidas (Week 1) and Ehsaan, Sunil & Nim (Week 2) taking the 11:00 15:00 slot, AJD will broadcast between 15:00 – 19:00 and Panjabi Hit Squad at 19:00 – 22:00. Nucleya will take the 22:00 – 01:00 slot.

On Sundays, ‘Weekend Breakfast with Jasmine Takhar’ will take the 07:00 – 11:00 slot, followed by an extended Gagan Grewal programme between 11:00 – 15:00, Dipps Bhamrah with the Punjabi show at 15:00 until 19:00, Urdu show with Nadia Ali at 19:00 until 21:00 and Ashanti Omkar with her regular South Indian show at 21:00 until 23:00. The ‘Asian Network Residency’ will air between 23:00 – 01:00.

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