Ravi Sagoo triumphs in BBC Asian Network's competition

MUMBAI: Ravi Sagoo has beaten off competition from 700 aspiring broadcasters to land a plum job as a radio presenter on the BBC Asian Network in the UK.

On 19 November 2005, the 24-year-old Sagoo will start presenting the national radio station's Album Chart programme on Saturday afternoons after a panel of five radio producers from the BBC Asian Network decided to award Ravi the slot - after narrowing the final field of hopefuls down to three. Sagoo said, "The whole experience of the competition had a mixed bag of emotions relating to it - lots of excitement and, at the same time, a touch of nerves also. Once the cut was made from 12 to three, I thought I had a good chance. Was I expecting to get the contract? I would say it was 50-50, but you've always got to have a touch of faith, which will hopefully carry you through."

The search for the Asian Network presenter has been a long journey which spanned over seven months around the UK, beginning in April 2005. Ravi has been selected from over 700 hopefuls who initially entered the competition, via post, the BBC New Talent website or by auditioning at the BBC New Talent bus which toured Melas in Bradford; Manchester; city sites in East London; Harrow, West London and Birmingham.

BBC Asian Network assistant editor, Ishfaq Ahmed said, "This was a tough decision - all the finalists were superb. They all had different traits to offer and the decision in the end was to see who would be best suited to the Asian Network presentational style and who would be able to complement our current on-air talent. Ravi complements our existing voices very well but his warm Scottish lilt and his ability to 'connect' with our audience just edged it for him."

The final stage involved Ravi competing against Sandeep Kaur Rai and Hussain Yoosuf. All three finalists took part in a workshop at the Asian Network studios in Leicester, where they met producer Simon Walsh who offered tips to improve their skills - during a day of scripting, playlisting, content-generating, interview arranging and finalising.The finalists were also given the chance to really show what they could do in an individual pre-recorded one-hour programme, which went on air from midnight on 23 October 2005.

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