London : More than 100 prominent British Asians including Meera Syal, as well as Bollywood stars Shilpa Shetty and Amir Khan have called for the BBC to change its decision to close the Asian Network, the digital radio station.
The BBC is already under fire over plans announced this week to close BBC 6 Music and faces a new wave of protest today as more than 100 prominent British Asians want the Asian Network to be saved.
Prominent stars, actors and peers have signed a letter, urging the BBC to halt the closure of the station, The Guardian reports.
The letter to BBC Trust chairman Sir Michael Lyons is also signed by Bend It Like Beckham director Gurinder Chadha, England cricketer Vikram Solanki, singers Jay Sean and MIA and Sir Mota Singh QC, Britain”s highest-profile Sikh member of the judiciary.
All signatories expressed their “profound shock” at the BBC”s decision to shut the national station.
The letter says that the eight-year-old digital broadcaster provides a “key platform” for the national Asian community and offers creative British Asian talent an outlet which is demonstrably under-represented in the more mainstream BBC. This would all be tragically lost if these proposals are agreed.
The decision to shut both the Asian Network and 6 Music were part of a strategy review by BBC”s director general Mark Thompson, published earlier this week, The Guardian reports.
The station, which broadcasts mainly in English but also has programmes in Hindi/Urdu, Punjabi, Bengali, Gujurati and Mirpuri, has also lost around 20 percent of its listeners over the last three years, totalling an average of 360,000 listeners a week at the end of last year.