The media regulator Ofcom has announced that the UK’s first national Muslim radio station is expected to launch on digital radio in March next year.
British Muslim Radio will broadcast music and speech 24 hours a day, with elements of Islamic content. It will target British Asians and the broader Muslim community.
Ofcom says: “The programming will constitute a mix of news, interviews, features, music and information predominantly in English but with elements in languages including Urdu, Punjabi, Bengali and Gujarati.
“Presenters will be informed and knowledgeable about the British Asian community and the Islamic faith. Speech content will include regular news bulletins and cover topics such as Bollywood films, features on health, cuisine, celebrity gossip, business, consumer affairs and religious output.
“Particular attention will be paid to special programming at times of major Islamic festivals, such as the Hajj and Ramadan.”
There will also be sports news including football, cricket and boxing, and music will be programmed for the target age group of 15-44, with a mix of Asian tracks and elements of Arabic pop music.
British Muslim Radio will be a sister station to Asian Sound Radio, a service currently broadcasting in Manchester on AM and in other areas on local DAB. The two stations will have complementary programming and music
The company behind both services, Asian Sound Radio, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.
Asian Sound Radio is located in Manchester and is the only 24-hour radio station in the North West dedicated to the Asian community, broadcasting across the whole region from Preston in the North to Stockport in the South. The programming is a blend of news, current affairs, interviews, competitions, music and information in English, Urdu, Punjabi, Bengali and Gujarati.