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Some of the media industry’s most promising and accomplished talents were honoured at London’s House of Lords on Friday, at the launch of the Ethnic Media Awards.

The Ethnic Media Awards were launched in London on Friday (May 20) by Leicester media and events company Pukaar Group, in an effort to recognise talented and inspiring individuals who are making great strides in their chosen field.

Moreover, the awards, which were hosted by Lord Mohamed Sheikh, seek to recognise and promote champions from a range of ethnic backgrounds who are helping to shape the future of the media industry.

On the night, four dazzling media stars were presented with special Lifetime Achievement Awards for the contributions they have made over the course of their illustrious careers.

They were Sameena Ali-Khan, a popular presenter, who has been a familiar face on ITV Central News since 2005, Carol Hinds, formerly of BBC East Midlands Today, Kamlesh Purohit, the current Managing Editor of BBC Radio Leicester, and broadcasting legend Herdle White – who’s been working at the station for over 50 years.

Sameena used her acceptance speech to thank her parents, and to encourage young people to take up a career in journalism.

“We’ve paved the way, so there is no stopping you”, she said.

“We did face racism, we did face opportunities that we felt we could have had, but didn’t get to take”, she added.

“You now have those opportunities that we had to fight for, so please take them, enjoy them and make them your own”.

The Lifetime Achievement awards were presented by special guests Rob Nixon, the acting Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police, Nishan Canagarajah, president and Vice Chancellor of the University of Leicester, Lady Sheikh and Natalie Elphicke MP and OBE.

Picture: Pukaar News

Jo Hayward, morning news presenter at BBC Radio Leicester acted as Master of Ceremonies on the night, where guests were treated to a special three course meal, as well as stunning views of the River Thames.

She announced awards given to those who had made an ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Media’, including Rajiv Popat. He has been a reporter in the Midlands for almost 30 years and a keen champion of diversity. 

Speaking about the importance of the Ethnic Media Awards, he said that they “help give hope to the next generation of journalists who are trying to break through”.

“If you want to do something just go for it, the opportunities are out there and you’ve just got to work for it, fight for it and don’t give up”, he added.

Rajinder Baddhan, Media Executive for Lyca Media was also presented with an award for his Outstanding Contribution, alongside Priti Raichura, a longtime volunteer at Leicester’s Sanskar Radio, and Nimesh Joshi, who currently works as a Programme and Digital Editor at ITV Central.

Former ITV reporter and presenter Balvinder Sidhu was also awarded, alongside Anushka Arora, a popular and promising young presenter at London’s Sunrise Radio.

Lord Mohamed Sheik praised the Ethnic Media Awards and the efforts of their founder, Pukaar Group.

“It’s an organisation which aims to bring together people of all backgrounds, and looks at areas which unite us together”, he said of the Leicester based media and events company. 

“I would like to commend its Founder Romail Gulzar for planning and executing the launch of these awards, and I’m very glad we’re recognising the achievements of members of the ethnic community in the field of media.

“I honestly believe that the United Kingdom is the land of opportunity for anyone who’s prepared to work hard, use initiative and be innovative”.

Mr Gulzar wished to thank Lord Sheikh and also Jaffer Kapasi OBE for being among those in attendance.

Nominations have now opened for the 2023 Ethnic Media Awards, with winners set to be chosen by a panel of independent judges.

The chosen charity partner is the ABF – The Soldiers’ Charity.

The closing date for nominations is December 31.

To find out more or to make a nomination, visit:

To see the full event gallery, visit: