BBC to revert India programming back to weekdays slot

BBC World, which had shifted its India-specific programming to the weekend slot following the events of 11 September, is switching back to the old schedule from next month.

Come 1 January, 2002, the crucial 10 PM time slot will again air India-sourced programmes that have an interesting mix of the old and the new in Commando!, Face to Face, Mastermind India, Question Time India, Islam UK and India Business Report.

The icing on the cake is the eagerly awaited Commando which kicks off on the 1st and will air every Tuesday at 10 PM It deals with the rigorous training that the Indian army goes through. The 13-part series follows commissioned officers who train at the Commando Training School in Karnataka. The course will last for a month and a half.

Over 39 days real life conditions will be simulated so that participants get a feel of real life war. Miditech Television has produced the show which will have repeats on Saturday at 10 PM and on Sunday at noon.

The fourth series of Mastermind India, the intellectual quiz show hosted by the inimitable Siddharth Basu will air every Thursday from 3 January with repeats on Sunday at 10 in the morning and will run for 21 weeks .

Face To Face hosted by Karan Thapar will air every Wednesday from 2 January. The show will be repeated on Sunday at 1 PM

On Friday Question Time India hosted by NDTV's Prannoy Roy puts political honchos in the firing line. On Sunday at 11 in the morning viewers can catch up on the latest developments in the country's business and financial circuit in India Business Report. The show will repeat at 10 PM

BBC World will also introduce new shows on Monday which will focus on NRI's living in Britain. From 7 January the channel will premier a new series Islam UK. The seven part programme looks at Muslims living in Britain and how they adapt to the environment. It will scrutinise the misconceptions British citizens have about Islam. This becomes all the more important in light of the 11 September events.

In February the channel will start East which scrutinises three Asian women who have made a mark in the beauty business. It also follows three sisters who escaped being forced into marriage in Pakistan. Then in March the channel is showcasing Bindi Millionaires. The subject matter is three British women who appear in Sunday Times Rich list.

Quoting market research agency AC Nielsen's TAM data, BBC World asserts that in the period from 9 September to 6 October it extended its lead position among the international news channels. Channel share touched 52 per cent followed by CNN at 38 per cent and CNBC India 10 per cent - C&S, SEC A and those above 25 years of age in the top nine cities. BBC claims to be available in 11 million homes in India.

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