In what seems like another revamp in programming, the BBC Asian Network is boosting its music output, along with several other changes in the coming weeks.
The flagship afternoon ‘Drive’ show is being extended by an hour. Adil Ray will continue to front the programme but will start at 15:00 and end at 19:00. The new time will emphasis on playing the best in Asian Music from across the UK and around the world.
This change results in Nikki Bedi’s afternoon show being shortened by by an hour.
Club Asia’s former presenter Noreen Khan is joining the Asian Network for its Saturday chartshow. Khan takes the reins of the programme from 21st April. She replaces Ravi Sagoo who won the station’s DJ talent hunt two years ago. It is unclear if Sagoo has been axed or moved to another show.
Noreen Khan, who made her name championing new British Asian Music said of her new appointment, “I�۪m very much into British-Asian Music of all types – which is why I have always listened to BBC Asian Network. I�۪m really looking forward to hosting the BBC Asian Network Chart and looking forward to playing a whole host of great tracks”.
The changes will also see a new addition to the Saturday night schedule with a two-hour Bhangra show taking centre stage. Details of this new show are not yet available but launches on Saturday 26th May.
Last month it was announced that Nihal, a regular voice across BBC radio and TV will take the reins of the BBC Asian Network phone-in (Weekdays 9am-12pm) from Monday 8th May. Nihal will have a key position on the station hosting the daily debate as well as working a greater musical offering into the programme.
Mark Strippel, Head of Music says, “We want to build on the popularity of Bollywood and Bhangra, these genres are hugely popular to our audience. I’m pleased to welcome Noreen Khan as part of the talented music line-up of the Asian Network. Noreen has the potential to develop as a Presenter right at the leading edge of what is one of the most important programmes on radio for British-Asian music. It is a huge platform.”
Asian Network Controller Bob Shennan says “Our job is to attract and retain the best talent to provide the best possible service for our current and future listeners. I am delighted that Noreen and Nihal are keen to broaden their careers with the BBC Asian Network. It is a coup for the station. Our audience deserves and demands the best”.