Noreen Khan to front ‘Back In Time’ in Birmingham on BBC Two

Lakh Baddhan

Senior Editor


BBC Two’s popular history series ‘Back In Time’ returns for a new series set in Birmingham.

The programme will follow the Sharma family from Solihull as they experience what life in the city would have been like for previous generations of South Asian Brits.

‘Back In Time’ for Birmingham was commissioned to coincide with the Commonwealth Games being held in the city this summer. The series is presented by BBC Asian Network’s Noreen Khan, alongside social historian Dr Yasmin Khan. It looks at the impact of arrivals from South Asia over the last 75 years. Today nearly 250,000 Brummies, more than a quarter of the city’s population, have Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi or Sri Lankan heritage.

Starting in the 1950s when significant immigration from the Indian subcontinent began, the Sharma family – dad Vishal, mum Manisha and children Alisha and Akash will fast forward through five decades of rapid change, exploring every facet of British Asian family life. They’ll take on the jobs of their predecessors, living where they lived, cooking what they ate and facing the same difficulties (how do you produce authentic home cooking when there’s only baked beans in the cupboard and no-one sells chilli?)

The Sharma’s will also devote their spare time to the same leisure activities families enjoyed across the decades – from trips out to watch movies at the region’s first Asian cinema in the 50s, to entertaining the aunties at home in the 60s, enjoying a bhangra evening with musical legend Balbir Singh in the 70s, heading out for a picnic to celebrate the anniversary of partition and the Queen’s silver Jubilee and bunking school for a 90s daytime bhangra rave complete with glow sticks.

Presenter Noreen Khan says, “I’m genuinely so excited to be a part of this incredible series! Taking viewers on an insightful, emotional journey over 5 decades of the South Asian story will be fascinating. Can’t wait for everyone to watch this!”

Nasfim Haque, BBC Commissioning Editor, says, “I’m really looking forward to telling the story of Birmingham through the eyes of the British Asians who have made the city the vibrant and exciting place it is.”

‘Back In Time For Birmingham’, a 4×60’ series for BBC Two and iPlayer, is made by Wall to Wall Media The Executive Producer is Emily Shields and the Series Producer is Naveed Chowdhary-flatt. The series was commissioned by Patrick Holland, Director, Factual, Arts and Classical Music and Catherine Catton, Head of Commissioning, Popular Factual and Factual Entertainment. The BBC Commissioning Editor is Nasfim Haque.

The series will on BBC Two each day at 2-:– starting Monday 20th June until Thursday 23rd June.