A Bradford resident has been hired by BBC Radio Leeds to report on local issues in the city.
Following a comprehensive selection process, Faisal Motin, a 24-year-old working for HMRC, has been given a one-year paid contract to work with the station.
Faisal, from Manningham in Bradford, was picked from over 100 hopefuls who auditioned last month in front of judges: BBC Radio Leeds presenter Gayle Lofthouse, Keeley Donovan from BBC Look North, Managing Editor of BBC Radio Leeds Sanjiv Buttoo, and Acting Head of BBC Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Tim Smith.
The announcement was made at Bradford City Hall on Monday evening by Cllr Susan Hinchliffe, the Leader of Bradford City Council, who revealed Faisal as the winner live on BBC Radio Leeds.
Faisal, who performed a rap at his first audition, has been through weeks of screen and audio tests since applying to be the Voice of Bradford at the end of September. He found out last week that he had made it through to the last three where he was up against Shama Amin and Christy Sherry.
He will join the station’s existing team who are already based in the city and complement their coverage with community-based stories.
The station says Faisal will be fully trained and supported by experienced BBC producers and journalists for the new role. Alongside reporting for BBC Radio Leeds, Faisal may also appear on other BBC radio, TV or digital programming across the Corporation, gaining further experience and exposure.
Faisal lives with his parents and three sisters in the Manningham area of Bradford. Currently, he works with the tax office during the day and is a rapper at night. He enjoys writing poetry, watching Bradford City and is a fan of David Hockney.
A very emotional Faisal Motin said: “I can’t believe it! It means everything to me. It’s a big achievement for me – to be recognised for something I’m good at is overwhelming. I have got lots of stories that I want to tell and I will give it my all and take it as far as I can.”
Sanjiv Buttoo, Managing Editor of BBC Radio Leeds, said: “The selection process has been long and exhaustive and we’re really pleased to welcome Faisal to our team. Our listeners will get the chance to hear his stories and we’ll give him all the help and training he needs. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has taken part in Voice of Bradford and in particular to Shama and Christy who made it to the last three which is a real achievement in itself.”
BBC Radio Leeds Drivetime presenter, Gayle Lofthouse, added: “Faisal is an absolute gem! He is creative, passionate, knowledgeable, determined and all these qualities shone very brightly in that first audition. At the same time though, he is also a very humble character and I think he may really have surprised himself this time. I can’t wait to work with him.”
Faisal will start his new role with BBC Radio Leeds in January 2018.