Ray Khan, who has been with the BBC Asian Network for over 25 years, is leaving the station as part of a number of schedule changes.
Ray is taking a sabbatical from broadcasting to focus on a new business venture. He started his broadcasting career at BBC Asian Network in 1990, presenting Wednesday night magazine show ‘East In West’ from Pebble Mill.
Alpa Pandya has taken the decision to leave after four years to fully focus on her career as a professional business coach. Suzi Mann remains as presenter of The Official Asian Download Chart until the end of the year. Both Alpa and Suzi joined the Asian Network in 2012.
There are new additions to the schedule as well, following changes to the station’s service licence – approved by the BBC Trust – relating to language programming and to enhance the station’s focus on younger audiences.
Comedians and actors Mawaan Rizwan and Emily Lloyd-Saini will open the week with a brand new show on Monday nights from 9pm-midnight.
There are new roles for current presenters on the station. Harpz Kaur will now have an extended role on Breakfast across the weekend (Saturdays and Sundays, 6-10am). Harpz joined the station from a community radio station in Leeds last year.
Guz Khan takes on a new weeknight slot (Tuesdays, 9pm-midnight) bringing a more after-hours flavour to his show with his own brand of ‘comedy and grime’.
Yasser’s BBC Introducing show, dedicated to the best in new Asian music from across the globe, now moves to Wednesday nights (9pm-midnight). Yasser will also be taking control of The Official Asian Music Chart (Saturdays, 3-6pm) where he’ll be running through the Top 40 streamed and downloaded Asian tracks each week.
A brand new show, Friday Night Residency (9pm-midnight), will set the tone for the weekend. The first host is Jasmine Takhar who will be the first to step up to the decks, joining from community radio stations Kemet FM (Nottingham) and Westside Radio (Southall). This year she has been shortlisted as a finalist for Outstanding Young Journalist of the year at the Asian Media Awards 2016.
Finally, YouTube star and Gujarati community icon Parle Patel (Planet Parle) joins Asian Network to present his new self-titled programme each Sunday night (10pm-midnight) featuring upfront Gujarati pop and Bollywood beats. Parle presents his first show on Sunday 6 November, 2016.
Mark Strippel, Head of Programmes, says: “This is another milestone for BBC Asian Network, a station that is continually evolving, has more listeners than ever before, and is looking firmly to the future. I’m excited to be introducing some brilliant new talents in Mawaan, Emily, Parle and Jasmine to the station, but would also like to thank Ray Khan, Alpa Pandya and Suzi Mann for their massive contribution.”
These schedule changes are to be introduced following the BBC Trust’s approval of proposals from BBC Radio to change the BBC Asian Network’s Service Licence conditions relating to Languages. The previous conditions, stipulating that the station should broadcast at least 20 hours of language programming a week, have been removed to allow the station to focus on reaching a younger British Asian audience.
Bob Shennan, Controller says: “These changes to BBC Asian Network’s Service Licence are necessary to help the station evolve its unique offer for the younger British Asian community whilst remaining as distinctive and relevant as ever. The station will still be culturally rich and showcase the best content from across Asian communities, and it will continue incorporate South Asian language in its programming where editorially appropriate.”