The Asian Media Awards 2021 Finalists

The shortlist for the Asian Media Awards 2021 were announced on September 20, 2021. Find out who this year’s finalists are.

The Asian Media Awards 2021 Finalists f

"our first live ceremony since 2019"

The 2021 Asian Media Awards (AMA) finalists were announced on September 20, 2021, at MediaCom headquarters in London.

It recognises the work of journalists, writers, broadcasters and bloggers from across the UK.

The shortlist also highlights the contribution of media professionals in the creative and marketing industry.

In what will be the AMA’s ninth ceremony, winners will be announced at the Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester on October 29, 2021.

It will be the first live event in two years and it will be held in accordance with government restrictions.

Winners from the 2020 ceremony will be invited to attend the 2021 ceremony.

The 2021 AMAs marks the first time that Emirates Old Trafford’s award-winning conference and events venue will host the industry-leading awards ceremony.

During a period of constant upheaval and changes, the media industry has been focused on delivering trusted news and content for communities from all backgrounds and cultures.

Throughout the pandemic, there has been an effort to challenge misconceptions as well as highlight injustices both here and across the world.

Arif Asif, Event Manager at the Asian Media Awards said:

“We are proud to be hosting our 2021 ceremony at Emirates Old Trafford.

“It is a much sought-after location for high-profile events in Manchester.

“We are sure the team at the Emirates Old Trafford will assist us in helping to make this, our first live ceremony since 2019, a memorable one.”

The event has seen many familiar winners in the past. This includes the likes of Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Waris Hussein, Art Malik, Mehdi Hasan, Nina Wadia, Anita Rani, Shobna Gulati and Faisal Islam.

Speaking about the event, Liz Cooper, Partnerships Director at Lancashire Cricket, said:

“The Asian Media Awards has established itself as one of the most prestigious and best-supported media ceremonies in the UK and we are honoured the organisers have placed their trust in Emirates Old Trafford to host this year’s event.

“After 18 months of digital events, including last year’s Asian Media Awards ceremony, we know there is a huge amount of excitement at the prospect of gathering so many people face-to-face and the team at Emirates Old Trafford can’t wait to provide a first-class experience for this year’s attendees.”

The University of Salford is the premier sponsor of the event. Other partners include ITV, MediaCom, Reach PLC, Manchester Evening News, Press Association Training and

The media event is also supported by Manchester Metropolitan University, Routes Into Languages North West, AMT Lawyers, DKR Accountants, 6G Internet, Emirates Old Trafford and LCCC, Supreme Dream Events, Payal Events and Cleartwo.

DESIblitz is also proud to be shortlisted for the ‘Best Publication/Website’ award.

Established in 2008 and a three-time AMA winner for ‘Best Website/Publication’, the website has earned its publication status by growing tremendously with a large UK and international reach, especially in South Asia.

To reflect the diverse lifestyle content, the publication is organised in 10 prime categories. Namely, Arts & Culture, Brit-Asian, Fashion, Film & TV, Food, Health & Beauty, Music & Dance, Sport, Trends and Taboo. These categories then have further subcategories giving the visitor more granular choices.

With its strapline, News, Gossip and Gupshup, the website is not only a lifestyle publication but also has expanded into providing two sister websites to its audience. Namely:

  • DESIblitz Jobs – which provides jobs from employers looking to enhance diversity in the workplace
  • DESIblitz Shop – which offers visitors Desi attire and products to purchase

Whilst being an established publication in British Asian media, its prime aim has always been to develop young British Asian writers, journalists and content creators, thus, to produce high-quality editorial content with the input of a diverse team.

With a talented team of writers and journalists both in the UK and in South Asia, the content of the publication is produced with context, richness and locality in mind.

The platform has created opportunities in an industry which is hard to ‘get into’ and aims to continue to do so and grow the team, across the UK and internationally.

Managing Director Indi Deol said:

“DESIblitz is delighted to have been shortlisted for this year’s Asian Media Awards.

“Over the past year, we have been working extremely hard on our Covid-19 campaign by dispelling the myths and supporting more people from Asian backgrounds against the virus through our content.

“The recent launch of our literature festival shows our dedication to helping emerging talent from Asian backgrounds into the literary world through a host of workshops and in conversations with authors who represent our readers.

“We are looking forward to the awards in October and enjoying the evening celebrations.”

The Complete Shortlist for the Asian Media Awards 2021


Journalist of the Year
Anushka Asthana – Deputy Political Editor, ITV News
Rishma Dosani – Assistant Entertainment Editor, Metro UK
Rohit Kachroo – Global Security Editor, ITV News
Secunder Kermani – Pakistan & Afghanistan Correspondent, BBC News
Rahil Shiekh – Journalist, BBC Panorama
Nalini Sivathasan – Broadcast Journalist, BBC Asian Network
Darshna Soni – Home Affairs Correspondent, Channel 4 News

Best Investigation
Covid Critical: One Doctor’s Story – Filmed & directed by Dr Saleyha Ahsan for Channel 4 Dispatches
India’s Forgotten People – Directed & Hosted by Deana Uppal; Produced by DKU Media; Co-Produced by Richard Blanshard & Edited by Miranda Watts
Libya’s ‘Game of Drones’ – Investigated by Benjamin Strick; Nader Ibrahim; Leone Hadavi and Manisha Ganguly for BBC News Africa
Nearly 1,500 Allegations of Sexual Misconduct by Police Officers – Reported by Yasminara Khan; Produced by Sean Clare; Camera by Jonathan Callery & Tony Mewse for BBC Newsnight
The Plight of Overseas Students During Lockdown – Reported by Anja Popp; Produced by Shaheen Sattar for ITN Channel 4 News

Regional Journalist of the Year
Yasmin Bodalbhai – Reporter & Presenter, ITV Central
Pamela Gupta – Freelance Reporter
Navtej Johal – Journalist, BBC East Midlands
Charanpreet Khaira – Reporter, ITV Wales
Nazia Mogra – Producer & Presenter, BBC North West
Monika Plaha – Reporter & Presenter, BBC Look North
Rajiv Popat – Reporter & Presenter, ITV Central
Gurdip Thandi – Local Democracy Reporter, Birmingham Mail/Birmingham Live

Outstanding Young Journalist
Naina Bhardwaj – Reporter, Daily Record
Alyshea Chand – Digital News Producer, ITN Productions
Andrew Misra – Journalist, ITV Tyne Tees & ITV Border
Meera Navlakha – Freelance Writer
Renuka Odedra – Freelance Journalist
Jeevan Ravindran – Freelance Journalist
Megan Samrai – Reporter, Berkshire Live
Aisha Zahid – News Reporter, Sky News

Sports Journalist of the Year
Vaishali Bhardwaj – Reporter & Presenter
Sachin Nakrani – Writer & Editor, Guardian Sport
Aaron Paul – Reporter, Commentator & Presenter, BBC Radio 5 Live Sport
Kal Sajad – Broadcast Journalist, BBC Sport
Miriam Walker-Khan – Freelance Sports Journalist

Report of the Year
BAME Sexual Abuse: ‘Failures’ of Victims to be Investigated – Reported by Yasminara Khan; Produced by Hannah Barnes; Camera & Edited by Keith Morris for BBC Newsnight
More Cultural Support Needed in Mental Health for South Asians – Aisha Zahid for Sky News
Music Boosts Memories for Ethnic Minority Dementia Patients – Shabnam Mahmood for BBC News
Muslim Female Councillor – Rahila Bano for BBC Asian Network & BBC News
Orphanage Scandal – Yasmin Khatun Dewan for TRT World
Quarantine In Hotels – Gaggan Sabherwal for BBC News and BBC World Service
Youngest Covid Victim in the UK – Darshna Soni for Channel 4 News


Radio Presenter of the Year
Anushka Arora
Raj Baddhan
Ankur Desai
Raj Ghai
DJ Haashim
Noreen Khan

Best Radio Show
Bobby Friction – BBC Asian Network
Breakfast with Gillie & Vallisa Chauhan – Lyca Radio
Breakfast with Harpz Kaur – BBC Asian Network
The Official Turn Up – Asian FX
Sonia Dutta – Sunrise Radio
The Bee & Brekky Show – Asian FX

Radio Station of the Year
Asian FX
BBC Asian Network
Lyca Radio
Sunrise Radio


Best TV Character
Jaz Deol as Kheerat Panesar in Eastenders
Kulvinder Ghir as Cyril in Still Open All Hours
Shelley King as Yasmeen Metcalfe in Coronation Street
Nikesh Patel as Tom Kapoor in Starstruck
Paige Sandhu as Meena Jutla in Emmerdale

Best Programme / Show
Being British Bangladeshi – BBC Three
My God, I’m Queer – Behind The Facade Films for Channel 4
The Wedding Guru – Yeti Television for BBC Wales
We are Lady Parts – Working Title Films for Channel 4

Print & Online

Best Publication/Website
Burnt Roti
Eastern Eye

Best Blog
Fresh and Fearless
Halal Food Travel Guy
Harnaam Kaur

Best Podcast
Brown Girls Do It Too
It’s Preeti Personal
No Country for Young Women
Red Hot Chilli Writers
The Shabby and Man Podcast

Marketing & PR

Creative Media Award
Football and Me – The Football Association
Get In Cambridge – University of Cambridge
Same Voices Unite: West End Stars Raise Awareness for India Covid Relief – Irvine Iqbal
#StrongerRoots: Every Strand Tells A Story – Ethnic Reach for Vatika UK
#TakeTheVaccine: Vaccine Hesitancy Campaign for Ethnic Minority Communities – Media Hive

Media Agency of the Year
Alliance Advertising
Ethnic Reach
House of Advertising
Media Hive

Live Productions

Best Stage Production
Full English – Natalie Davies & Bent Architect. Lead Artist: Natalie Davies; Featuring Kamal Khan & Lucy Hird; Lighting Designer: Sherry Coenen; Projection & Sound Designer Dave Searle; Movement Director: Jenn Kay; Designed & Directed by Jude Wright. Full English is devised from the journals & memories of Natalie Davies
Jabala and the Jinn – Turtle Key Arts. Written by Asif Khan; Directed by Rosamunde Hutt; Creative Producer: Charlotte Cunningham; Lighting Designer: Aideen Malone; Sound & Music Designer: James Hesford; Set & Costume Designer: Mila Sanders; Featuring: Safiyya Ingar; Natalie Davies & Jay Varsani
Misfits – Space Productions. Written by Lekha Desai Morrison; Directed by Bethany Sharp; Assistant Director: India Aujla; Featuring: Patsy Prince, Deven Modha, Lee Farrell & Selina Hotwani; Music Consultants: Selina Hotwani & Deven Modha
May Queen – Paines Lough & Belgrade Theatre. Written by Frankie Meredith; Directed by Balisha Karra; Featuring: Yasmin Dawes; Designer: Lydia Denno; Assistant Director: Kaleyo Baxe
Nartan Online Series 2020 – Nupur Arts
Tickbox – Lubna Kerr. Directed by Johnny McKnight; Dramaturge: Douglas Maxwell; Set Design: Mela Adela; Filmed by William Samson. Supported by Creative Scotland, The Army & Tunnocks

Special Awards

AMA Best Newcomer

Media Personality of the Year

Outstanding Contribution to Media Award

All winners are to be announced at the AMA ceremony on October 29, 2021.

With an array of outstanding nominees, the ninth Asian Media Awards looks set to be a success, celebrating the ongoing efforts of British Asians in the media industry.

Good luck to all the Asian Media Awards 2021 finalists!

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”

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