BBC Asian Network is creating a season of Bollywood-related content to mark the 100th anniversary of the Indian film industry with an offering of star interviews, BBC Red Button specials and major BBC collaborations, starting this April.
The centrepiece of the season is a '100 Greatest Bollywood Hits' audience vote to find the greatest Bollywood song ever released. A panel of Bollywood experts will compile the list of songs from the last 100 years and Asian Network listeners will get to vote for their all-time favourite tracks. The station will unveil the panel of star experts next month with an on-air launch.
Asian Network’s Red Button TV offering continues with a Bollywood At The BBC special, with BBC archive content including interviews with Salman Khan, Rekha, Dilip Kumar and music performances from Lata Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar.
Lata Mangeshkar also returns to BBC Asian Network with a Sanjay Sharma interview chronicling her career over six and a half decades. Anushka Arora will be taking on an exciting new role, delivering a range of Bollywood star interviews across the station as part of 100 Years Of Bollywood. Anushka presents her final show with Bobby Friction this Friday but will continue to be heard on the drive/evening show as she brings listeners details of all the best South-Asian TV and drama.
The music stars of Bollywood will also feature throughout the season, with Shreya Ghoshal, Atif Aslam, Ash King and Hariharan some of the stars featuring. BBC Asian Network will also broadcast a collaboration between the BBC Concert Orchestra and Kuljit Bhamra and guests at the Royal Festival Hall.
And finally, the station returns to Bradford after its Queens Of Melody concert as part of the BBC Three spectacular Bollywood Live, a one-hour special live from the centre of the city which re-tells the story of Bizet’s Carmen in a contemporary Bollywood style.
BBC Asian Network's Head of Programmes, Mark Strippel, says: “Asian Network is set to deliver an unmissable and unique range of Bollywood coverage this spring. We’ll be bringing the rich heritage of the Indian film industry to life through BBC archive and reflecting the work of community organisations right across the UK celebrating the wonder of Bollywood.”