THE ASIAN MIX: UK HOSPITAL RADIO’S FIRST BRITISH ASIAN SHOW

When first asked by a colleague at BHBN Hospital Radio, to write ‘a bit about myself and my show’ for the magazine, I thought, OK, how do I do this?  Almost immediately I realised that this wasn’t too hard because the show really does speak for itself.

For anyone that has not listened to the Asian Mix then please do, the show is a blend of Asian music and culture, discussing stories relevant to the British Asian Community from Birmingham and the surrounding areas.

I try and cater to all communities from the South Asian diaspora on the Asian Mix, to ensure that the show is providing a good representation of everything ‘desi’ (meaning from the homeland or of the desh [land]). The show caters primarily to British Asians, but also, to anyone else who might be listening in over the internet, and that’s why I called my show The Asian Mix – a fusion of all thing’s British and Asian. But how did the Asian Mix come about I hear you ask? Well…

How did I end up Producing and Presenting the Asian Mix?

Having studied a degree in Film and Media at University and having completed a placement at the BBC Mailbox in Birmingham on the Midlands Masala show, I found myself searching for my next adventure. I was keen to get into radio production so decided to look into community radio in Birmingham. I came across Hospital Radio and thought it would be a great starting point. I went onto the BHBN website, found an email address for Programme Controller Colin Monaff and sent a brief email requesting to get involved with the station along with a copy of a radio demo where I’m reporting live for the BBC on the Midlands Masala show.

There was no work available at BHBN at the time, however Colin expressed his interest in setting up an Asian Show for the station which he had been looking to do for 10 years! He just never managed to find the right person to do it, as he told me. We arranged to meet to discuss setting up the show and I was asked to construct a radio pitch for an Asian Show for Colin’s consideration. I did just that and before I could say BHBN found myself training up on the weekends with three other request presenters in preparation for the Asian Mix. In no time at all, I was presenting and producing my own show on live radio for BHBN and I’ve never looked back since!!

What’s the best part about being with BHBN?

The fact that I have the creative space to do whatever I want! Within guidelines of course, but the fact that Colin, my Programme Controller has full faith in my ability to produce and present great content week after week, with no major restriction on what is to be discussed. As with any working relationship, trust in your employee’s ability is paramount and there is a lot of that here at BHBN; this is probably my favourite thing about being here, and of course being part of the live radio experience.

What have I learnt after joining BHBN Hospital Radio?

The quick answer? So bloomin much! It’s coming up to my three-year anniversary with BHBN Hospital Radio this Summer and time really has just flown by. Along with that though, my knowledge, skills and experience in broadcast media has grown significantly. There is always something new and exciting going on at BHBN, constantly creating new opportunities for people like me at the station. Being a part of BHBN is wonderful and I guess the most valuable lesson I’ve learnt is ‘if you never ask, you’ll never know’. Had I not written that email to Colin almost three years ago enquiring about work opportunities with BHBN I would never have ended up with my own show! Anything can be yours, if you have the courage to try!!

What does the Asian Mix bring to Hospital Radio?

The show brings diversity, a blend of our wonderful British Asian culture through our music and topics to Hospital Radio. The Asian Mix is also the first British Asian radio show in Hospital Radio in the UK! It has been brilliant putting the show together for my listeners for almost three years now but also something to be truly proud of! The first Producer and Presenter of a British Asian show in Hospital Radio in the UK! Fantastic!!

Why should you listen to the Asian Mix?

Well, why wouldn’t you? I play the best of Bollywood, Bhangra, Sufi, Fusion, Old School tracks, the latest chart hits, Quwali, Folk music and much more. We really do have an excellent selection of music and topics of discussion on the Asian Mix. Although, don’t just take my word for it, tune in every Sunday from 6pm to 8pm live on bhbn.net or via Channel 5 on Hospedia to find out for yourselves!

How to get in touch if you have dedication’s requests or stories to share with us?

It really is quite simple, as all those who are involved in the media know, it also requires being involved with social media, something I steered well clear of until joining BHBN, I never cared much for social media before. As with most things we avoid in life it was time to embrace it, because well, let’s face it, new media really is the way forward isn’t it? So you can find me on twitter: @raveetabanger and on Instagram and Snapchat: Raveeta Banger. I haven’t quite made it to Facebook just yet, but I’m sure one day in the near future I will, however, until that day, there are many ways in which you can get in touch with me directly to request or dedicate a song of your choice, to anyone you wish. I seem to have the hang of this whole social media thing by now, you will be pleased to know, I am a prompt communicator!

A message to my listeners

Keep listening, but if you haven’t tuned in yet, then start listening, to the Asian Mix! No one show is the same, I aim to deliver fun, happy and uplifting content to patients who are missing home life and their good health in general. It’s such a satisfaction, making someone feel better through my show and is always fantastic hearing feedback from the listeners, so do keep your comments coming in! As every radio listener knows, it’s amazing what you can see and feel with your ears! To see what all the fuss is about, tune in on Sunday’s from 6pm and have a listen to the Asian Mix on BHBN Hospital Radio.

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