Interview with Zing TV presenter Asad Shan

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Asad Shan
Asad Shan presenter on Zing TV in the UK

1. How does it feel to be the face of Zing TV in the UK?
I feel absolutely proud to be the face of Zing TV in UK, Europe and Africa. It’s always a pleasure to be part of a channel which is leading in the market. I strongly believe that Zing is the only Asian channel in UK which is breaking new grounds and boundaries with its content. I feel honoured and privileged at this opportunity.

2. Your show ‘Brits Bollywood’ remains the longest ever locally produced show on UK Asian TV, how have you managed this?
‘Brits Bollywood’ is a landmark show when it comes to UK Asian TV. It’s a great honour to be part of a great show with a great creative and production team. You know similar content comes from India etc but ‘Brits Bollywood’ connects with the audience as it provides the material with a British sense of humour mixed with perfect blend of Bollywood and Hollywood. I remember us getting the only exclusive with Shahrukh Khan and websites all over the world copied and embedded our interview with him. ‘Brits Bollywood’ has become a regular dose in our lives and keeps going strong.

3. What has been your most memorable part of ‘Brits Bollywood’?
There are so many to elaborate but certainly Big B trying to mock punch me, Shahrukh khan exclusive where he called me “Beta” (son), Hrithik Roshan & Sonu Nigham breaking down, Jacqueline Fernandez cheeky banter and Salman Rushdie.

4. With the launch of cult TV show ��Grinds My Teeth�۪, you created a niche in the market, how has the response been?
‘Grinds my Teeth’ (GMT) has been a ground breaking show when it comes to UK Asian TV. The response has been superb and amazing. GMT has become a cult all over the world and brought in a new audience especially the youngsters who thought Asian TV was all about same Desi serials and Bollywood. Suddenly we have non-Asians also watching our show because its a universal show containing funny viral videos alongside discussing topics that today’s generation relates to. I am so proud of this baby.

[quote]I love Iranian films , they are so simple and emotional. People connect with them. I have had enough of Asian people making stereotypical films…[end_quote]

5. Were you a bit sceptical about launching ��Grinds My Teeth�۪, which is a non-Bollywood show on a Bollywood channel like Zing?
I was never sceptical about launching ‘Grinds my Teeth’ (GMT) on Zing as I strongly believed in the vision of the channel. It is not just a Bollywood Channel. Its a lifestyle channel which caters to a range of audience. I have to say a big thank you to Archana Kanade, Business head of Zing TV, who believed in my vision and supported my idea which paid dividend. It is one of the top channels in the UK and we don’t even show serials on it, that shows you how strong it stands in the market. Zing has always been a leader when it came to content. I can proudly say that GMT has added a big new audience to the channel.

6. The show is now in its second series and has managed to air both Saturday and Sunday, how do you feel about this?
The show is doing remarkably well and I have to thank the audience for that who have been watching every episode and are still hungry for more. Weekends are suppose to be relaxing and to be spent with your loved ones. In this case, we give you GMT every weekend on both days at 5.30pm where we bring you our daily dose of laughter and love for the whole family. I can proudly say that you can show GMT to any of your non Asian friends and be proud of your local produced content. I have been receiving loads of emails and messages to increase the timing of our show but my reply has always been: “There is plenty in this well and one shall always be thirsty for more”

7. You�۪ve also had success with request show ��Rock The Vibe�۪ previously on Zing, any plans of bringing this back?
‘Rock The Vibe’ was a show created for local talent and audience where we provided a platform for all local and international artist to have their music videos played while we brought on audience via phone calls on the show. It had a successful first season, not sure when season 2 will start so watch this space.

8. Recently, you produced and starred in your own film ��7 Welcome To London�۪, when can we expect more film projects from you?
‘7 Welcome to London’ has been another landmark and proud moment in British Asian world. Having performed successfully at the box office, we have just sold the iTunes and satellite rights. Currently I am working as a creative producer at ‘The Black Arts’ developing a big budget feature for international audience and already have penned about 5-6 ideas and scripts are in development. I believe we will film our next feature in Spring 2014. I have also signed a film with French Filmmaker Devy Man and Maurice Eilam, which is based on the Al Chemist.

[quote]…most Asians boys would love to present ‘Top Gear’, or even I can hands down easily do Gary Linekar’s job at ‘Match of the day'[end_quote]

9. What do you think of the state of British Asian made movies?
Connect, thats all I can say. British Asian films need to connect with todays generation. Films are hard work, Market is so tough. We have ten films releasing every week, we have to decide what to watch and what to miss. Its a tough world out there so one needs to be differing and bring in your own stories which cater for everyone. I love Iranian films , they are so simple and emotional. People connect with them. I have had enough of Asian people making stereotypical films, think outside of the box and tell something new or old but in a NON typical way.

10. Rumour has it that you are in talks with various Bollywood production houses about new films ��� is this true?
You guys are always getting the news. Yes talks are on with one of my favourite Bollywood camp and I can’t wait to start filming the feature in 2014.

11. With an influx of Asian TV channels in the UK, what�۪s your take on the saturated UK market?
You have to keep up with the audience and have to break boundaries. I strongly believe people need to invest in local UK talent and we need to have more and more local content. As long as you are creative and feeding the audience , you will be fine

12. As a presenter on a UK Asian TV channel, do you think Asians are given enough scope on mainstream channels such as BBC One and ITV?
I am proud to be a British Asian and yes I believe we need to see more Asian faces on mainstream channels , its all about the content and requirement. If you good at what you do, you shall desire and demand it . I mean no offence to Jeremy Clarkson but most Asians boys would love to present ‘Top Gear’, or even I can hands down easily do Gary Linekar’s job at ‘Match of the day’.

13. What do you think of the quality of UK Asian TV channels since you first started on telly with B4U in the mid 2000�۪s?
I was a VJ on B4U music in India hence I have never known the side of UK Asian Channel as all my shoots were done in Bombay. I believe things have progressed and we are creating new content meeting trends in the market and we can only grow further. I strongly believe production values and budgets need to increase in UK Asian TV as it will help provide highest quality content which will satisfy the audience need. I see so many channels just making shows without any quality control and that is damaging the market and losing audience.

14. Future plans?
Well there are movies, there are TV shows and also venturing into few business ideas. I never want to be stopped and want to keep going and going to excel in whatever I do. Thank you for the love for ‘Brits Bollywood’, ‘Grinds My Teeth’ and ‘7 Welcome to London’. watch the space for more

15. Final words?
I love you MUM and Dad 🙂 x

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