The second annual British Asian Media Awards felicitated the heroes who gave a voice to the South Asian community through entertainment, news, and activism by being a beacon of light in a year filled with lockdowns.
COVID-19 disrupted our lives, and as we moved from one lockdown to another, the British South Asian media industry came together to give a voice to the community, and keep the spirit alive through non-stop entertainment, news that matters, and highlighting causes.
This year the awards felicitated those who kept the show going despite the pandemic and made a difference to our lives through timely information, non-stop entertainment, activism, and engagement.
Co-hosting the British Asian Media Awards virtually is University of Southampton. The university is hailed as the birthplace of internet and continues to do groundbreaking research and the India Centre hopes to make an impact to change the world for better.
Professor Jane Falkingham, OBE, Vice-President International, Executive Director, India Centre for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development said, “As a global top 100 research-intensive University, we are delighted to support the British Asian Media (BAM-2020) awards, as part of our continued global commitment to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion, and the deepening of UK and South Asian multilateral relations. The ethos and objectives of BAM awards are in alignment with our India Centre’s mission to nurture inclusive and sustainable societies, through high quality research, education and enterprise activities.”
Community Champion / Influencer: Dr Chand Nagpaul CBE
The Chair of the Council of British Medical Association highlighted the COVID-19 risks faced by BAME families and doctors along with keeping the community and nation abreast with precautionary measures they can take to stay safe. On receiving the award, he said: “As a practicing GP serving a large multi-ethnic population, I saw first-hand the devastating toll of COVID-19 on our BAME communities. As BMA council chair, it was deeply distressing to see so many ethnic minority medical and healthcare colleagues die from the disease. It was vital to speak out and call on government to address the structural inequalities fueling this alarming disparity and I am humbled to see the BMA’s leadership on this issue recognized. My heartfelt condolences go out to everyone who has lost a loved one to this deadly virus.”
British Asian Journalist/Writer of the Year: Satnam Sanghera
Award winning columnist and feature writer Satnam Sanghera shed light on the importance of family ties during lockdown, and released his new book Empireland: How Imperialism Has Shaped Modern Britain.
LGBT Champion: Reeta Loi
Reeta has spearheaded GAYSIANS globally as a movement to provide positive visibility and a united voice for LGBT+ South Asians.
Diversity Champion: Mayank Shah
Founder and CEO of MSDUK, Mayank Shah for empowering ethnic minority-owned businesses in creating an inclusive and diverse supply chain.
Special Award for promoting Sports and Education ties between India-UK: Lakbir Singh, for his significant contribution in promoting sports and education ties between the UK and India.
Media Impact Person of the Year: Gaurav Jandwani
Gaurav Jandwani was at the helm of affairs in the UK as Disney bought over 21st Century Fox and with it, ownership of Sky and its Indian arm – Star Network. He successfully launched Hotstar, globally in the US and UK and has boosted the networks offering to reflect the new reality.
Marketing Campaign: Elephant Atta Vit D Campaign
2020 was the year of brand responsibility, and during the pandemic Elephant Atta’s Vitamin D campaign stood out. The brand created the innovation based on the research that there was an acute deficiency of Vitamin D among South Asians. The campaign was launched during the pandemic with a television ad depicting multicultural Britain and the young protagonist Rishi extolling the virtues of his homemade humble Roti. The multimedia campaign on TV/Radio/Outdoor and digital enlisted more than 40 digital influencers for effective sampling and made the product reach out effectively to South Asian Mums and home chefs.
Marketing Brand: ICICI Bank UK
The pandemic year didn’t affect the fortunes of India’s largest private sector bank and the largest Indian bank in the UK with its 360” campaign helping it achieve its business goals in the UK. The brand was ubiquitous on South Asian TV, IPL on Sky, India-Australia series on BT Sports, Southall Station, High streets of Wembley and Harrow, the radio waves, webinars and on the iconic London buses. The brand was never bigger than this in the UK since its launch and continues to gain new customers in the UK for its NRI Banking. It became the go to bank for the community.
Community Campaign of the Year: Morrisons Living is Giving (Ramadan/Eid Campaign)
The Morrisons Living is Giving Ramadan campaign united the community with its inspirational messaging and adaptation of Premchand’s Eid classic story – ‘Eidgah’ (The story holds the same place as Charles Dickens’ – ‘A Christmas Carol’). The picture story went viral, with it being shared many a times. The campaign was supported on South Asian TV and Radio as well as influencers such as Dina Tokio (one of the biggest Muslim influencers) took notice of Morrisons Ramadan box and shared the story on Instagram. The campaign has created a unique space among South Asians in the UK.
Advertising Agency: Here and Now 365 – defining Multicultural Marketing
Understanding the pulse of UK’s multicultural audience Here and Now 365 strategized and executed campaigns bringing brands closer to the community. During the pandemic year – Here and Now 365 executed multimedia TV, Radio and Outdoor Campaigns as well as influencer and digital campaigns that kept the community engaged. The agency launched award winning products during the pandemic and pushed boundaries like never with Elephant Atta Vit D launch campaign and the Morrisons Community Campaign. The founder Manish Tiwari was recognized by the Guardian in its Global Diversity List.
Entertainment Channel: Sony TV
Sony TV managed to take away the viewership and ratings crown of the pandemic year by garnering the maximum viewership on the weekends. For the first time in the history of British South Asian broadcast, it became the leader in terms of viewership week after week. Programs such as Kaun Banega Crorepati (Indian version of Who wants to be a Millionaire), Indian Idol and its weekday regulars such as Crime Patrol and Mere Sai saw consistent viewership. The channel also managed to create history with the Kapil Sharma show as it became a primetime staple for the British Asian community.
Indian News Channel: Aaj Tak/ India Today
Not only did Aaj Tak rule the roost when it comes to ratings but also highlighted the most important stories, with balanced reporting in India and the UK. The interview with Rhea Chakraborty (trolled by right wing media as accused) with Rajdeep Sardesai was hailed by Twitter for its ‘brave fight against the misogynistic right-wing media’. The channel withstood the political trolling and right-wing propaganda bravely as two of its frontline presenters – Rahul Kanwal and Rajdeep Sardesai were time and again at the ire of right-wing pressure groups. The channel also has a long running local show with UK correspondent Loveena Tandon.
Pakistani News Channel: GEO News
GEO News continued with its balanced coverage, highlighting issues that mattered to the British Pakistani community. The channel has been forced to submit to the right-wing pressure tactics in the past but continues with its honest coverage. Their network of reporters in the UK ensures news that resonates with the British Pakistani audience.
Asian Newspaper: Asian Lite
Anasudhin Azeez started Asian Lite almost a decade back from Manchester. The newspaper is possibly the only Asian newspaper which aims to do investigative journalism with activism as it was at the fore front of the campaign against Lord Ahmed who had to quit before being expelled from the House of Lords for sexual misconduct. He also was instrumental in an expose about the low wages paid to its workers by a leading fashion retailer in midlands. Over the years Asian Lite has come to the forefront in being the emerging voice of South Asian community.
Movie Channel: Zee Cinema
Zee Cinema had the maximum number of movie premiers and film festivals, leading to high viewership – proving the power of Bollywood. The channel showed how it can keep the viewers entertained through a robust selection of movies from its Zee5 library and continued to dominate as the leading Bollywood channel. Through a bespoke research, advertisers on Zee Cinema had the maximum ROI, highest recall rate and the best value for money to sponsors.
Reality Show: Kaun Banega Crorepati on Sony TV
Hosted by Amitabh Bachchan the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire saw immense popularity. The original show, as well as the repeat telecast witnessed high viewership figures and the promo of the show with Amitabh Bachchan reciting his father’s verses were simply iconic.
Daily Soap: Anupamaa on Star Plus
The power of daily soaps and its captivating hold on the audience is best demonstrated through the success of Anupamaa on Star Plus. Narrating the story of a female protagonist, something that Star Network does best.
Asian Radio Station: Sunrise Radio
The first and largest South Asian radio channel in the UK became the voice of the community, with news, and entertainment. It started its new weekly chat show with Anila Dhami on Sundays and as always was at the forefront of everything where the South Asian community was involved.
New Media Award – Podcast of the Year: Global Indian Series for the Podcast Judged by Autism
The Global Indian podcast is part of the Global Indian Series. Every week the show plunges audiences into the human experience of being a person of Indian origin. The podcast – Judged by Autism | A Father’s journey took a humane take on the experiences of being a father to a child with Autism. The pair have a candid conversation that is a raw and heartfelt account of the day-to-day battles, loneliness and ostracization that he has faced from his community through to the reality of his family’s future.
Asian Music Channel: B4U Music
The music channel which continues to combine the best of Bollywood and British Asian chart toppers continues to a regular feature at all South Asian restaurants and pubs in London. It continues to rule the ratings.
OTT Platform: Hotstar
With shows like Aarya and big-ticket movie premiers Hotstar was the go-to platform for original Indian content. It made news as the alternative platform for Bollywood releases held back by the Pandemic as well as original shows such as Aarya.
Best OTT Original Show: Churails on Zee5
Churails released globally by Zee5 is an exclusive series on the platform directed and written by Asim Abbasi. The show received critical acclaim as it brought together diverse characters including a lesbian Pakistani lead and broke stereotypes in a format which was bold as well as ground-breaking even leading to a brief ban in Pakistan.