Wednesday, 20 July 2011

New presenter for BBC WM's Midlands Masala

Arshia Riaz has been announced as the new presenter of BBC Radio WM's Midlands Masala programme.

Originally from Telford but living now in Birmingham, Arshia will take over presenting duties after having produced the show for several years.

Arshia has been working at the BBC for over seven years for radio and online after freelancing for commercial stations across the Midlands.

"It's a brilliant opportunity," says Arshia.

"I'm looking forward to the challenges it brings and will do my very best to provide a platform for the British Asian community.

"Midlands Masala aims to showcase real stories about issues that really matter, and play the best in Asian music.

"We also have exclusive, live acoustic sessions in our BBC studios performed by both established and unsigned music artists.

"I love helping to nurture talent and every day I meet people who help me tap into that creativity and help it to flourish. All they need is a platform and I am in a position to offer that to them."

Throughout the week Arshia works as a creative practitioner in schools and colleges across the UK, inspiring and teaching youngsters all about radio.

She was also featured in the top 100 most influential Muslims in the UK - in the Muslim Powerlist 2010.

She is also a volunteer mentor with the Mosaic network and is part of the Speakers Bureau, engaging with schools, running workshops, giving presentations, and inspiring youngsters from deprived backgrounds to get involved with the media.

Arshia, who has hosted major events across the UK, including on the main stage at the Nia in Birmingham for Diwali 2009 and 2010, graduated from Birmingham City University with a Media and Communication degree.

She later qualified as a journalist at Birmingham City University and then trained with the BBC as a Broadcast Journalist. Her love of journalism began after she took part in an internship working at CNN studios in London.

"It was a real eye opening experience," she says.

"I remember booking in guests for the business international show and working with some real high profile names, the experience was fantastic."

Arshia also had the opportunity to experience life in the spotlight when she was crowned Miss Asia UK 2002.

"I remember being interviewed in the old Pebble Mill studios by BBC WM's Daz Hale about my win," she says.

"Little did I know that a year later I would soon be part of the presenting line-up on the very station I had been interviewed on!"

Arshia will start her new role on Sunday 24 July 2011. Her first show will mark the one year anniversary of the Pakistan Floods, where she will speak to those that have been affected by the disaster.

Midlands Masala is broadcast from 7pm-10pm every Sunday evening on BBC WM.

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