November 5 2014
Old and new talents recognised at awards ceremony…
IT WAS VERY much a night when some of the unsung heroes of the trade were given the spotlight.
There were 22 awards in all recognising both new talent and old at the second Asian Media Awards on Tuesday last week (October 28) in Manchester.
In essence, it was the stalwarts of the industry that really made an impression.
Among the winners was Krishnan Guru-Murthy (pictured above), now a veteran TV newscaster (he actually began on “Newsround”, a sister programme of the iconic BBC kids show “Blue Peter”).
He was presented with the Media Personality of the Year Award.
He called on Asian parents to drop their traditional hostility to a career in the media.
“I earn more than most doctors,” he said pressing home the material argument.
He also felt that matters were not going forward but back – that there were not enough Asians working in the mainstream media.
From the podium on receiving his award, he said it was important the community made more of a fuss – “complain more” and for young journalists to propel themselves towards the mainstream media.
Guru-Murthy was not the only longstanding journalist working in the mass media to be recognised on the evening.
Shekhar Bhatia was named Journalist of the Year.
Bhatia has been a veteran of Fleet Street for around 30 years, writing first for the Evening Standard before becoming one of the star reporters on the Daily Express, where he was showbusiness and night editor for periods.
Widely recognised in the industry for his tenacity, diligence, and sharp journalistic acumen, he has moved more recently into documentary film making.
His special report on Oscar Pistorius before the trial for the BBC3 was one of the most watched programmes in the station’s history and had a global impact. Similarly, his interview with the parents of Reeva Steenkamp and his coverage of the Anni Dewani case have put him in the global spotlight and have illustrated his brilliance as a story-getter and digger.
He said: “I’m very honoured, grateful, humbled and totally knocked out by this. It’s amazing.
“It’s been an incredible year for me. I’ve just came back from South Africa on Friday.
“It’s a tough and gruelling exercise but an honourable and wonderful career. I’m very lucky to have met some great people and to get this is incredible.”
He dedicated his award to his grown-up daughter Chameli.
Anita Anand was presented with the Radio Presenter of the Year Award.
She took over from Jonathan Dimbleby after 26 years, hosting the topical news discussion programme, “Any Questions” on Radio 4.
From the podium, she said the show was important in engaging the public and disparaged comedian – now political commentator – Russell Brand, who has in the past urged young people not to vote.
Later, Anand added: “There has been much talk of a disconnect with politics of late – with some calling on the public not to vote.
“Men and women struggled, often risked their lives to give us a voice. Never let anyone tell you that you can’t be heard.”
She has been writing about the life of Sophia Duleep Singh, the daughter of Maharajah Duleep Singh, the last Sikh King. Sophia was a prominent womens’ rights activist in the early part of the 20 century and was one of the leading suffragettes of her day, campaigning for women to get the vote.
Adding a touch of populist glitz to the awards show was former Eastenders star, now roaming undercover reporter, Ross Kemp.
His programme, “Extreme World India” for Sky 1 saw him pick up the Best Investigation Award. In this he explored the seedy and often violent world of child and young women sex trafficking in India. In the closing sequence, he talks to a man who claims to kidnapping and killing thousands in the brutal trade.
In accepting his award, Kemp said he was a working-class lad in TV – to emphasise the point that underrepresentation isn’t just an issue for ethnic minorities.
Nina Wadia, another former Eastenders’ star won the Sophiya Haque services to British Television Award 2014.
Named in memory of the one-time “Coronation Street” star, who died quite suddenly from Cancer in early 2013, the award was presented to Wadia by Haque’s sister Seyera.
Wadia said she had never planned a career as an actor and had wanted to be a writer originally, but standing in for someone to perform her own work, she fell into performing.
Haque, who had a very varied career that had begun in India with popular youth channels, MTV Asia and V, was last seen in West End musical, “Privates on Parade” before being diagnosed with cancer in late 2012.
Wadia revealed that she has been offered a part in the West End and is mulling it over in light of her commitments as a mother to two small children.
Another soap star Chris Bisson picked up the best TV character for his role as Jai Sharma in ITV’s “Emmerdale“.
The best publication award went to Eastern Eye, the iconic news title which is more than 20 years old and the BBC Asian Network was named Radio Station of the Year.
There was also a special appeal for the Alan Henning Memorial Fund – in memory of the Manchester taxi driver who had gone to provide humanitarian assistance to those in suffering in Syria was murdered by fanatics from ISIS.
Among the other highlights of the evening was a special performance and presentation to Apache Indian.
Now some 20 years after his initial breakthrough and his megahit “Boomshackalak”, which has featured in seven Hollywood movies, including “Dumb and Dumber” and “Scooby Doo2”, he has branched out with great effect into television.
Last year his discussion show programme on Brit Asia TV, “Real Talk” tackling difficult and sensitive subjects was a hugely popular and influential and bagged him a 2013 Best TV Show accolade.
From a well-established artist to a rising star of the youtube generation – Humza Arshad – aka “Diary of a Badman”, was given an award for the Best Video Channel.
Since 2010, his comedy skits, that often focus on Asian themes and cultures, have racked up near on 60 million views and he has a subscriber base fast approaching a quarter of a million.
In recognising the very latest journalism stars, Layla Haidrani walked away with the Outstanding Young Journalist Award.
She beat off fierce competition from Anila Dhami, Harpreet Kaur and Rahil Sheikh.
The University of Kent history graduate has written on a wide range of subjects and was among the very first students to become a Huffington Post student blogger.
Paul Broster, associate director, Journalism and School of Arts and Media from sponsors University of Salford at Media City UK, said: “The word outstanding is very apt because we had four outstanding nominees in this category.
“The depth and breadth of the work was tremendously impressive; nominees with material across print, online, TV and radio, with many articles and packages published and broadcast in a range of local and regional and national media organisations.
“It was a difficult choice because all four nominees had genuine merit as potential winners.
“The winner was someone whose work as an undergraduate student was truly outstanding and prolific. Taking on big issues – mental health, alcohol addiction and fighting for the disabled.”
This year’s awards were hosted co-hosted by Central ITV newcaster Sameena Ali-Khan and Football League show presenter Manish Bhasin from the Hilton Hotel in Deansgate, Manchester.
The judge were: Liza Aziz; Anita Bhalla OBE; Mehdi Hasan; Shamim Chowdhury; Vidar Hjardeng; Tony Johnston; Sanjay Shabi; Safina Mirza.
The award sponsors were: Asons Solicitors, University of Salford Manchester, Hilton Manchester Deansgate, Manchester Metropolitan University, routes into languages north west, AMT lawyers and ITV is one of several partners.
Main picture and top: Saty Singh, Studio 4 photography
Full list of Winners Asian Media Award winners 2014:
Publication of the Year – Eastern Eye
Best Blog & Commentary – Look! A Singh!
Best Website – BizAsiaLive.com
Best Video Channel – Humza Productions
Best Live Event – Nirbhaya
Media Professional of the Year – Farzana Baduel
Media Agency of the Year – Media Moguls
Best Social and Charitable Campaign – Act Fast Stroke Campaign (Here and Now 365)
TV Report of the Year – Why Muslim women wear the veil (Channel 4)
Best TV Character – Chris Bisson
Best TV Show – Burka Avenger
TV channel of the Year – Star Plus
Regional Radio Station of the Year – Asian Star 101.6
Best Radio show – Tommy Sandhu
Radio Station of the Year – BBC Asian Network
Radio Presenter of the Year – Anita Anand
Outstanding Young Journalist – Layla Haidrani
Best Investigation – Ross Kemp: Extreme World India
Journalist of the Year – Shekhar Bhatia
The Sophiya Haque Services to British Television Award – Nina Wadia
Outstanding Contribution to Media – Waris Hussein
Media Personality of the Year – Krishnan Guru-Murthy
Postscript: Congratulations to Look! A Singh! – winner in the best blog and commentary section.
www.asianculturevulture.com was among two others in the running alongside ‘Priya Mulji’s Blog’ and the rednotebook.co.uk for this award.
We were delighted to be nominated after just over a year in existence and it is reflection of how far the site and the team has come in just a short space of time.
Commiserations to Priya and rednotebook, blogging takes time, great courage and commitment and we salute your efforts and hope that you are able to build on this prestigious nomination. Sailesh Ram, editor www.asianculturevulture.com
For more comment and gallery of pictures please see our facebook album page on this and click Like for the page please.
Asian Media Awards www.asianmediaawards.com