BBC One will be broadcasting a special Real Story this Wednesday night on the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Pakistan.
It will show volunteer doctors from Britain trying to save lives in South-Asia. The programme will be broadcast simultaneously in English language and Urdu.
The programme will be broadcast in English but will be available at the same time in Urdu to all digital viewers. All viewers need to do is press the red button on their remote control which they will be invited to do at the beginning of the programme.
The Urdu language version is aimed at Britain’s Pakistani and also other South Asian communities who might have a particular interest in the programme.
Paul Clabburn, Editor of Interactive TV and Broadband says:
“Like last year’s broadcast of One Night In Bhopal in Hindi we’re using interactive BBC TV platforms to support programmes in additional ways, in this case making the programme more accessible to members of communities directly affected by the earthquake for whom English is not their first language.”
Urdu was chosen as it is the main language of Pakistan and it is also very similar to Hindi, the main language of India. It can therefore be understood by British Asians of Indian origin who speak Hindi/other South Asian languages.
Last December, the BBC One documentary, One Night in Bhopal was offered in Hindi via the red button so this is the second time that BBC Current Affairs has offered a similar service.
Digital reach among British Asians is relatively high, partly due to the availability of Asian programming on satellite and cable so the red button is a particularly appropriate technology to use.
Other digital language services have included a guide on how to vote at the time of the last election. This was offered in broadband by BBC News interactive in 6 languages including Urdu, Chinese (Cantonese) and Arabic. Note: this was not available on digital TV except in English.
The Urdu language version is being made in Manchester with the help of staff from BBC World Service’s Urdu language service.
Real Story: Earthquake Stories will broadcast on Wednesday 26th October at 19.30 on BBC One.