Added: (Thu Jun 14 2001)

Pressbox (Press Release) - 14 June 2001

Radio Asia 558 AM is under new management and is in the process of a complete programme overhaul that will send shockwaves through the Asian community in Greater London. New Radio Asia is the only Asian radio station in London playing an assortment of fresh and funky music including; Bhangra, Bollywood, UK produced Asian hits, remixed and popular music from Pakinstan and India, along with mainstream R&B. For the first time an Asian radio station will be playing the music young Asians want to hear and tackling controversial issues, such as child abuse, arranged marriages, domestic violence, divorce and homelessness.

Radio Asia, which had an eight year history of broadcasting to 1st generation Asians in Hindi and Urdu, has embraced the latest technology, and in the near future will broadcast twenty four hours a day on the Internet and through digital mediums. The all new Radio Asia will no longer target 1st generation Asians and has produced a programming format in English to appeal to 2nd and 3rd generation Asians, irrespective of political affiliation or religious beliefs.

“ Since we started to bring in the changes the response has been overwhelming. The phone lines are hot with young London Asians saying ‘ At last, a radio station for us!’ “
Sumerah Ahmad, Station Director and weekday breakfast show host

A hard-hitting line up of presenters will carry the shows including well-known figures who have worked with the BBC, MTV and Zee TV. The weekend boasts a strong line up with EMMA award winning comedian Jeff Mirza hosting the weekend breakfast show, followed by Ray C of ‘Asian Star’ with ‘Bhangra Fever’ on Saturday. DJ Ritu (who boasts a background at BBC Radio and gigs at the Ministry of Sound, The Astoria and Camden Palace) winds up the weekend with ‘Asian Hit List’ on Sunday.
‘Club Asia Mix’ is a regular guest DJ slot, soon to be introduced, providing a diversity of Asian music:
DJ Pathaan of Stoned Asia offers the latest in Asian underground
DJ San-J Sanj playing ‘Bom-Bass’ (Bollywood tunes mixed with UK House and Garage)
Hanif from MTV’s ‘The Lick‘ with the latest in R&B
Trickbaby, a London five piece band who are currently recording tracks for their forthcoming debut album, will also soon be joining the line up. Page 1 of 2
The programming will be interspersed with regular news bulletins with a specific focus on British Asian community issues, and a daily discussion programme, The Forum. Each Forum will be a lively debate session featuring an expert in the related field of discussion. The lid will be taken off controversial issues affecting the Asian community, with discussions ranging from disability and homelessness within the community to topics affecting the extended family and the treatment of older members. At the end of the week Shazia Mirza (renowned on the stand-up comedy circuit) will host a light hearted Forum slot in her unique comedy style.

For further information contact: Natalie Besbrode @ S-Presso PR
Tel: 020 7439 1399 / natalie.besbrode@s-presso.com
Available for interview: Sumerah Ahmad - Director, Radio Asia
Visuals Available

Notes to the Editors:
Radio Asia broadcasts on Spectrum International to Greater London. The new programming has resulted from in-depth research into the Asian community. The new format intends to target the 2nd and 3rd generation Asians of today and tomorrow. Radio Asia has a current listenership of 125,000 (RAJAR - Radio Joint Audience Research)
Over 86% of UK Asians speak English as their main language.
By 2002 there are set to be over 2 million Asians in the UK.
There are 650,000 living in the Greater London area, with 400,000 Young London Asians ( under 35 ).

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