Mix of well-known celebrities and rising business and media personalities In the spotlight…
By Mamie Colfox
STAR of ‘Bridgerton’ Simone Ashley is one of those shortlisted in the Arts & Culture category of this year’s Asian Achievers Awards.
The winners will be announced at a glittering dinner at The Grosvenor House Hotel on Friday (September 23) in London. The full list of nominees for the 10 award categories in all was revealed on Monday (August 15). It will be the 20th Asian Achievers Awards.
The awards aim to recognise the work of individuals across the South Asian community.
Actor Ashley has appeared in shows such as ‘Broadchurch’ and ‘Sex Education’, as well as ITV’s psychological thriller miniseries ‘The Sister’.
Over the last year Ashley has hit our screens in the second series of Netflix’s Regency era ‘Bridgerton’ in the lead role of Lady Kate opposite Jonathan Bailey and is set to reprise her role in the third series
The other nominees in this category are Chandra Chakraborty, Namit Malhotra and Charlie XCX.
Chakraborty has been performing since she was six, and is founder of Kalakar Arts UK, which aims to support emerging artists by providing a platform for them to develop and mounts productions. She is also co-founder of Saudha, Society of Poetry and Indian Music. Chakraborty has led performances at the House of Commons, Southbank Centre and Edinburgh Fringe, and has a published book about her contribution to contemporary classical music.
Namit Malhotra is the son of Bollywood film producer Naresh Malhotra, and is now the CEO of animation and British stereo conversion company DNEG. He made his name in the industry as founder of the world’s largest independent integrated media services company, Prime Focus, which he first established in India. In 2006 Prime Focus expanded to become Prime Focus World and since then Malhotra’s company has converted films into 3D including ‘Clash of the Titans’, ‘Harry Potter and the Death Hallows’, ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ and ‘Shrek 2’. His company has been behind seven Oscars and a string of Baftas in technical categories.
Charli XCX was born Charlotte Emma Aitchison and is a singer and songwriter who was first discovered when she posted songs on the social networking site MySpace, where she was discovered by a promoter and asked to perform at warehouse raves. In 2010 she was signed by recording label Asylum Records and in 2012 she began to make a name for herself when she collaborated with electronic duo Icona Pop for song ‘I Love It’, before her song ‘Fancy’ with Iggy Azalea was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 2014. Her mother is a Gujarati East African Asian.
In the Media category the nominees are Raj Baddhan, Ahmed Hussain, Aasmah Mir and Naga Munchetty.
Baddhan is the founder of the website, BizAsiaLive, and became CEO of radio broadcaster Lycamedia in 2021. He posted on Instagram thanking the Asian Achievers Awards for the nomination: “Truly touched & honoured to have been shortlisted for the 20th Asian Achievers Awards for the first time. Hugely grateful to the Asian Achievers Awards team for selecting me under the category of Excellence in Media. A bigger thank you to my well-wishers, family & of course my parents for the blessings they’ve always showered me with. Good luck to all nominees on the night!”
He is up against Hussain who in 2020 became head of the BBC Asian Network. He started out in pirate radio and worked at the BBC Asian Network before going off to run the UK’s Prison Radio service and being recruited to head up and return to the BBC.
Mir is a breakfast show presenter on four-days a week on broadcaster Times Radio. She has a regular column in the The Sunday Times and was a familiar voice to anyone who listened to BBC Radio Five Live for some years.
Munchetty is best known as the presenter of BBC Breakfast and started her career as a journalist on the Evening Standard and the Business section of The Observer. Her television career began as a reporter for Reuters Financial Television and she was a reporter for Channel 4 news.
Other prominent shortlist nominees include education reformer Katharine Birbalsingh CBE in the Community Service category, chemist Sir Shankar Balasubramanian in the Professional of the Year category, and award-winning broadcast journalist Emb Hashmi for Woman of the Year.
Judges for this years awards are Former Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bas Javid, Former President of the Royal College of General Practitioners Dr Mayur Lakhani CBE, COO of Monzo Bank Sujata Bhatia, music producer Bally Sagoo, Welsh Assembly Member Natasha Asghar and Artistic Director of the Darbar Festival Sandeep Virdee OBE.
In August 2021, Asian Business Publications Ltd (ABPL) partnered with Economic Policy Group (EPG) to bring the Asian Achievers Awards back following the lockdown.
Pratik Dattani, managing director of EPG, said: “The first time I attended the Awards was about a decade ago. At that time, as is the case today, I remain in awe with what our community has achieved. It is a privilege to meet and interact with behemoths in the community and unsung heroes.”
Asian Achievers Awards, Friday, (September 23), Grosvenor House Hotel, 86-90 Park Lane, W1K 7TN
Full list of award categories and nominations (news and blog section): https://asianachieversawards.com/shortlist-asian-achievers-awards-2022/
Upper row: Simone Ashley and Charli XCX
Second row: Naga Munchetty and Aasmah Mir
Third row: Raj Baddhan and Chandra Chakraborty
Lower row: Namit Malhotra and Ahmed Hussain