November 3 2016
Annual media jamboree sees gongs for new kids on the block as well as familiar faces…
THERE were top awards for actors Art Malik, Shelley King, and Nitin Ganatra and well-known journalists, Fatima Manji (Channel 4) and Kim Sengupta (The Independent) at the Asian Media Awards.
There were also a number of rising stars recognised in this year’s awards, held at the Hilton Deansgate, Manchester on Thursday (October 27).
The industry event helps to bring different parts of the Asian media and the community together for one evening and also brings wider appreciation to the sterling and sometimes barely recognised work of those outside the mainstream mass media.
On Thursday night, there were winners like veteran actors Malik and King and long-running Fleet Street scribe Sengupta, rubbing shoulders with such winners as Jay Shetty (best blog) and Kaamil Ahmed (outstanding young journalist).
Malik was given the biggest award of the evening – in a career spanning 30 years, he revealed that his family were none too keen on his career choice.
“They thought I would bring disgrace on them,” he confided.
As it has turned out, he has probably become the country’s most iconic British Asian actor and one of the few who is easily recognised by all, at home and abroad.
He was among the stars who featured in the recent big budget Bollywood cinematic part folklore fantasy tale,“Mirzya”. It enjoyed a red carpet Love Gala premiere screening at the London Film Festival (#LFF October 5- 16) and www.asianculturevulture.com was there to record it.
In our video interview on the LFF red carpet, he also talks about why likes “Mary Poppins” and “Pakeezah” and was presented with the Sophiya Haque Services to British Asian and Film Television on the evening, by Haque’s three surviving sisters: Aisha, Sayera and Suraya. Sophiya died suddenly in 2013 – she had been diagnosed with cancer after feeling unwell and appearing in the smash West End musical, “Privates on Parade”. She had enjoyed a varied 20 year-plus media career that had started in India as one of the first young presenters of Star TV there.
King was presented with the outstanding contribution to media award and has also enjoyed a rich and varied career – after being told that she would never make it as an actor.
On the evening, she namechecked a few of the oldest and best known Asian theatre companies, which gave her a start and helped to establish her professional credentials.
She praised Tara Arts founder and director Jatinder Verma for first giving her a break and all the work his company has done over the last 35 years or so; similarly, she said Tamasha founded and led by Sudha Bhuchar until 2014 and Kali, set up Rukhshana Ahmed Ahmed and Rita Wolf in 1991 – and more recently developed under Janet Steele – had all helped to establish a generation of actors like herself.
She joked that she was one of the few people who still knew “Emmerdale” TV star Bhasker Patel (in the audience), when he had had hair.
King had begun her working life in a soap, “Angels” in 1977 and continues to grace “Coronation Street” as ‘Yasmeen Nazir’, and helped to break new ground as the drama’s first Muslim family in its 50-year plus history.
Current soap star Ganatra was presented with the best TV character award for his role as ‘Masood Ahmed’ in “Eastenders”. He confirmed he would be leaving the series and joked that the scriptwriters were likely to “send him to Pakistan”, rather than kill him off.
Veteran reporter Sengupta took the journalist of the year award. The current defence and diplomatic editor of the Independent, he has been with the paper 21 years and is probably best known for his reporting on major global conflicts.
He spoke of his start on “Today” a new mid-market tabloid newspaper in the 1990s, started by tycoon, Eddie Shah. A little remarked figure (in the media industry, he writes popular novels now) these days, Shah was one of the first proprietors to look beyond Oxbridge and employ talent regardless of ethnicity and/or educational background.
Fatima Manji was named media personality of year – the Channel 4 reporter has been much in the news herself.
The hijab-wearing journalist has come under fire from former Sun newspaper editor, Kelvin Mackenzie, who feels her form of headwear is inappropriate in some news reporting contexts.
She lightly lampooned her detractors and said the award was personally very precious to her.
“We are still in a place where Britain on TV isn’t looking like the Britain we know.
“So I would like for the Asian community as well as all the other multi-cultural communities to be properly reflected and for us to have to stop banging on about diversity,” she said.
On a couple of occasions, those presenting awards chose to speak about the tensions between Pakistan and India and said the awards were a voice for solidarity and community cohesion in Britain and that whatever war of words was being waged elsewhere, the British Asian media in its widest sense, remained unaffected.
This year’s awards were hosted by Nina Hossain, a regular presenter on ITV’s London Tonight and Huddersfield born journalist.
Among the other winners was vlogger, social media star and now Huffington Post New-York based motivational speaker, Jay Shetty, for best blog; the production of the First World War drama, “Wipers” by The Curve Theatre in Leicester; Ambreen Razia was named as best newcomer, for her much acclaimed one-woman play, “The Diary of a Hounslow Girl”.
Full list of winners (In order of presentation on the evening):
Best Blog: Jay Shetty
Best Website: Sister-hood
Publication of the Year: Asian Wealth Magazine
Best Video Channel: Rahim Pardesi
Best Live Event: Asian Network Live
Best Stage Production: Wipers
Media Professional of the Year: Anjna Raheja
Creative Media Award: #What a Girl Really Wants Campaign
Best TV Programme/Show: Murdered by my Father
AMA Best Newcomer Ambreen Razia
TV Channel of the Year: Star Plus
Best TV character Nitin Ganatra (Masood Ahmed in Eastenders)
TV Report of the Year: The Asian Women Stopped from becoming Councillors (BBC Newsnight)
Best Radio Show: Bobby Friction
Regional Radio Station of the Year: Sunrise Yorkshire
Radio Presenter of the Year: Yasmeen Khan
Radio Station of the Year: Sunrise Radio
Regional Journalist of the Year: Arif Ansari
Outstanding Young Journalist: Kaamil Ahmed
Best Investigation: ISIS The British Women Supporters Unveiled
Manchester Metropolitan University and Routes into Languages Journalist of the Year: Kim Sengupta (The Independent)
Outstanding Contribution to Media: Shelley King
Media Personality of the Year: Fatima Manji
Sophiya Haque Services to British Television & Film Award: Art Malik
All pictures (except top two – acv) : Clive Lawrence for Asian Media Awards 2016
To see full list of nominees and story: http://asianculturevulture.com/portfolios/asian-media-awards-2016-diversity-making-that-difference/
For more on the awards itself, including Judges and sponsors, please see http://asianmediaawards.com/