BBC Asian Network at the Alchemy Festival

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On 7-11 April, Southbank Centre launches ‘Alchemy’, a major new festival celebrating contemporary and traditional culture from India and BBC Asian Network is the official Radio Partner. The five day festival sees a full programme of music, dance, literature, food, debate and fashion and will take over all venues and spaces of Southbank Centre.

The BBC Asian Network will be at the festival, bringing listeners key moments from the Indian extravaganza! On Tuesday 6 April, Sonia Deol (10am-12.30pm) spoke to British Asian musicians Kuljit Bhamra and Mohinder Kaur Bhamra about ‘The Southall Story: Live’. They discussed the Alchemy event, which highlights the communities and buzzing culture of this ‘Little India’.

On Wednesday 7 April, Friction (10pm-1am) is joined in the studio by Ash Chandola from Swaraj Music and other musicians who are performing as part of the Raj Reload at the festival.

Sonia Deol kicks off Thursday 8 April with a very special interview with Bhangra star Juggy D. From 10am, she speaks to the star about his Desi Live performance and how he feels about performing on stage with H Dhami and Jaz Dhami. The evening’s Desi Live show, hosted by BBC Asian Network’s Nihal, sees the three Bhangra stars perform together on stage for the first time, complete with a full live band. Highlights of the show can be heard first on Nihal’s show on Friday 9 April (1-3pm) and will feature across programming after the event.

Also on 8 April, BBC Asian Network presenter Nihal hosts his afternoon show (1-3pm) live from Southbank Centre. This unique broadcast discusses all the ingredients that make up Indian culture today and includes a ‘cook-off’ between two very special guests, judged by film director Gurinder Chadha.

Mark Strippel, Head of Music & Events, BBC Asian Network says: “BBC Asian Network are delighted to partner with Alchemy and support this ambitious curation of creative Asian talent. Asian Network sets the soundtrack to the British-Asian experience and we share an ethos with a festival that celebrates both the diversity and commonality of our audience and the layers of our editorial output, from the heritage of Southall storytellers to the future sounds of Raj:Reload and homegrown talents aboard Nihal’s Desi Live. We’ll be broadcasting highlights throughout the Festival.”

Jude Kelly, Artistic Director, Southbank Centre adds: “Southbank Centre is delighted that BBC Asian Network have joined us as Media Partners for the first-ever Alchemy Festival – an unprecedented coming together of artists and organisations, with the shared aim of promoting Indian arts and culture in the UK and beyond. With programmes on everything from Bhangra and Bollywood to current affairs, food and literature, this vital platform for Asian culture in the UK is ideally placed to help us engage with the community it serves so well.”

To listen to all the Alchemy coverage on the BBC Asian Network or for further information, please visit –

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