Asian men, Bollywood and cooking: BBC unveils 'Big British Asian summer' season
By Barfi Culture Team
24th April 2018

The BBC has unveiled a raft of programmes starting in August this year dubbed 'The Big British Asian Summer'.

"Numbering over three million, British Asians are now the biggest minority population in Britain. They’re not just part of the fabric of contemporary Britain - they’ve helped create it," said a BBC press release.

The shows will primarily be on BBC Two. But one of the films, telling the story of the Thakrar family who settled in Britain from Uganda, will be on BBC One.

"From Bollywood to Sharwoods, the season will encompass a huge range of shows - sometimes celebratory, sometimes challenging, always inspiring," said Alison Kirkham, Controller of Factual Commissioning at the BBC.

Here's a brief summary of the programmes

Leicester Sings (BBC1): This three-part series tells the epic and inspiring story of one Asian family, the Thakrars, across three generations. Just 12 of them came to Britain in 1972 with nothing, fleeing for their lives from Ida Amin’s Uganda. Since then they’ve not just made Britain their home, they’ve prospered - finding jobs, love and a new life. Now they number ninety members across three generations.

Bollywood: The World’s Biggest Film Industry (BBC2): A two-part series with Anita Rani (pictured) exploring a world that has captured the imaginations of some British Asians so wholeheartedly that they are traveling East to seek fame and fortune - that of Bollywood

Passengers (BBC2): This three-part series lists the ships that sailed to Britain from the Indian subcontinent from 1878 to 1960. Dr Yasmin Khan, an expert in Asian history from Oxford University, uses the ships to piece together the lives of the some of the new arrivals who came to Britain from the Indian subcontinent between the 1930’s and 1960.

Made In Asia: Looking For Mum (BBC2): Over 20,000 babies have been adopted from India and Sri Lanka in the last forty years. Many of these adoptees have grown up knowing little about the countries of their birth. This series tells the unfolding story of four women, each adopted from the Indian subcontinent as a baby, trying to find their biological mothers.

British Asian Men (BBC2): This explores the stories of a number of different British Asian communities, and the challenges facing their young men. Presenter Mehreen Baig encounters a wide range of young men and families and explores attitudes to work, relationships and identity and how these differ across immigrant communities.

Inside the Factory (BBC2): Gregg Wallace explores the Nottinghamshire factory that produces 250,000 jars of curry sauce every 24 hours. Historian Ruth Goodman talks to the British Asian housewife whose curry crusade helped to bring high street curries closer to Indian home cooking.

In A Taste Of Home (BBC2): Cook and restauranteur Nisha Katona explores the secrets of incredible homemade curries
BBC Two favourite Inside The Factory, will shine a spotlight on curry in a special episode, with Greg Wallace visiting a Nottingham factory which produces 250,000 jars of curry sauce every 24 hours

Gardeners' World (BBC2): will celebrate South Asian influences on British Gardens

The Stolen Maharajah: Britain’s Indian Royal (BBC4): The documentary retraces the journeys of Duleep Singh and his family; from the royal palaces in the Punjab to royal palaces in Britain, to an English country estate to Paris. The programme uses original material such as Singh’s letters (and letters written by those whose knew him), photographs and surviving artefacts.

(some of the titles may change before broadcast)

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