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Sunrise Radio

Sunrise Radio
Broadcast area Greater London
Slogan Greatest Asian Radio Station In The World
Frequency 963/972 kHz, DAB & streaming live on
First air date 5 November 1989
Format Asian Music, Entertainment & News
Audience share 1.4% London TSA (Rajar Q3 2014)
Owner Sunrise Radio London Limited

Sunrise Radio is the world’s first 24-hour commercial Asian radio station, focusing on entertainment, music and news from the subcontinent. Launched on 5 November 1989, it made history as the first 24-hour radio station specifically for the Asian demographic and played a pivotal role in integrating the Asian community into the UK.[1] Today, it is the number one commercial Asian radio station in London and broadcasts on 963/972AM, on DAB and online.[2]

Tony Lit was appointed Managing Director in September 2014 and Gurdev Jassi was appointed Chairman in April 2014.[3]


  • Transmission 1
  • History 2
    • 25 Year Milestone 2.1
  • Influence 3
    • Sunrise Radio Training Academy 3.1
    • Recognitions 3.2
  • Broadcast 4
    • Schedule 4.1
  • Events 5
  • Administration 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Sunrise Radio currently broadcasts on 963 kHz and 972 kHz and Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) to the London TSA (Rajar Target Survey Area). It also streams live at

When Sunrise Radio first launched, it broadcast in west London on 1413 kHz but later moved to 1458 kHz from the Brookmans Park Transmitter north of London.

The station ceased broadcasting on Sky on 27 February 2013, followed by Virgin Media on 1 March 2013.[4] Its DAB outlet went silent upon the cessation of its service on 1458 kHz on 4 February 2014, but is now running again.[5]


Sunrise Radio actually started out as a licensed cable radio station and was named Sina Radio in London, in 1984.[6]

Sunrise Radio aired its first official broadcast on 5 November 1989.[7] It was launched by Avtar Lit and filled a gaping hole for an Asian-specific broadcast media outlet in the UK. It was one of the first media outlets that gave the Asian community living in Britain a platform to voice their opinions and it helped to signal the beginning of a positive change in Asian attitudes to being in the UK.[8] It also helped give rise to modern British Asian culture.

By providing news, music, talk shows and programming in local language, and relating back to the subcontinent, the station maintained an important connection for Asians living in Britain back to their roots.[9]

In 1992, Sunrise Radio acquired Sunrise House in Southall, west London, which was officially opened on 21 January 1993 by Peter Baldwin Chief Executive of the Radio Authority and has been broadcasting there ever since. The company headquarters are based in the same building.

In the 1990s Avtar Lit was presented with an honorary doctorate by Thames Valley University for his contribution to radio broadcasting.

In July 2013 Avtar Lit was one of forty radio professionals honoured by the Radio Centre for their significant contribution to the growth and success of the industry[10]

25 Year Milestone

On 18 November 2014 Sunrise Radio celebrated its 25th anniversary with an event at the House of Commons, hosted by Priti Patel MP and Virendra Sharma MP.[11]

Prime Minister David Cameron recognised the impact Sunrise Radio has had on the Asian community and sent a personal message of congrats, which was aired on 5 November 2014.[12]

Due to its immense impact on the British Asian community and culture, the milestone 25th anniversary of Sunrise Radio caught the attention of media like BBC London News,[13] The London Evening Standard[14] and trade publications, including Radio Today[15] and Media Week.[16]


Sunrise Radio paved the way for other Asian-specific media outlets across the UK, and has had a massive impact on the face of modern British Asian media.[17] Within five years of Sunrise Radio launching, newspapers, magazines, TV channels and a host of other radio stations, catering specifically to the South Asian demographic, burst onto the scene.[18]

The launch of the station also opened up a whole new gateway for Asian trade and business. Asian traders relied largely on word of mouth, as there was little opportunity for advertising in Asian specific media and no Asian specific broadcast media for them to advertise their services or goods. However, Sunrise Radio created a specific platform for businesses to directly reach out to their target market, resulting in a significant boom in Asian business and an increase in jobs.

Sunrise Radio has also been instrumental in bringing Bollywood, bhangra and Asian-inspired music into the UK’s mainstream, through the station itself[19] and various shows/festivals, boosting the careers of artists like Rishi Rich, Jay Sean and Punjabi MC.

Sunrise Radio Training Academy

On 18 November 2014, Tony Lit, MD Sunrise Radio and Gurdev Jassi, Chairman Sunrise Radio, launched the Sunrise Radio Training Academy, a free training scheme for those wanting to pursue a career in radio.[20] The scheme allows those wishing to pursue a career in radio to train alongside professionals and learn every aspect of the business, from producing to presenting and radio journalism.


  • Farah Ahmed ( Bollywood Top 20) named the Best Media Personality by the Pakistani Achievement Awards 2014[21]
  • Andy Gill nominated for Best Show (Breakfast Show Monday-Friday) – Asian Media Awards 2014[22]
  • Sunrise Radio nominated for Radio Station of the YearAsian Media Awards 2014
  • Sunrise Radio wins the NTL Commercial Radio Award for Marketing Excellence 2004[23]
  • Sunrise Radio one of five shortlisted for the Media Week AwardsMedia Brand of the Year 2004 - alongside Century FM, XFM, Living TV & The Independent[24]


From the early 1990s, Sunrise Radio's Astra satellite channel was used to distribute Independent Radio News (IRN) hourly news bulletins to smaller commercial, community and hospital radio stations. This service ceased on 31 August 2004, and a designated IRN channel was set up on the Hot Bird satellite.

The current broadcast schedule includes, Andy Gill, Anushka Arora, Sonia Dutta, Pam Sandhu and Krash.


Monday - Friday

  • 00:00 - Classic Film Hits – with Rani Gill
  • 04:00 - Religious Programme – with Jasvir Singh
  • 06:00 - Breakfast Show – with Andy Gill
  • 09:00 - Pam Sandhu Show – with Pam Sandhu
  • 12:00 - Afternoon Show – with Anushka Arora
  • 16:00 - Drive Time Show – with Sonia Dutta
  • 19:00 - Asif Ghazali Show – with Asif Ghazali
  • 21:00 - Aap ki Pasand – with Maneesha Sharma
  • 23:00 - Late Night – with Harry Sood


  • 00:00 - Late Night – with Harry Sood
  • 01:00 - Classic Film Hits – with Rani Gill
  • 04:00 - Gurbani Vichar – with Jasvir Singh
  • 07:00 - Weekend Breakfast – with Indy Silk
  • 11:00 - Afternoon Show – with Ajay Nagar
  • 14:00 - Family Favourites – with Pam Sandhu
  • 16:00 - Bollywood Top 20 – with Farah Ahmed
  • 19:00 - The Aaron Paul Show – with Aaron Paul
  • 21:00 - Bollywood Hits – with Amit Sodha


  • 00:00 - Classic Film Hits – with Rani Gill
  • 04:00 - Gurbani Vichar – with Jasvir Singh
  • 07:00 - Weekend Breakfast – with Indy Silk
  • 11:00 - Afternoon Show – with Ajay Nagar
  • 14:00 - Family Favourites – with Pam Sandhu
  • 16:00 - Network Chart Show – with Sita Gill
  • 19:00 - The Aaron Paul Show – with Aaron Paul
  • 21:00 - Bollywood Hits – with Amit Sodha


Over the years Sunrise Radio has worked hard to showcase the best in London Mayor’s office to put together the London Mela,[25] launched in August 2003 in Gunnersbury Park, West London. The event attracted an audience of over 60,000.

In 2004 Sunrise Radio launched the Asian Lifestyle Show at London’s Olympia attracting over 40,000 people.[26] The event was widely recognised as the largest celebration of Asian culture in Europe. The show was shortlisted for the ‘Best New Consumer Show 2004’ by the Association of Event Organisers.[27] The Asian Lifestyle Show 2004-2007 was consistently sold out.

Sunrise Radio has most recently collaborated with University College London (UCL) and Imperial College[28] to support their exclusive West End production, Rangeela.


Dr Avtar Lit's Sunrise Radio Group went into administration on 13 January 2014 [29]

The licence for the 1458 kHz frequency was sold by the administrators to mobile phone card company Lycamedia, and it left the frequency at 1600 on 4 February 2014 [30] having gone unbranded since midday the same day.

The Sunrise Radio brand was transferred to 963/972 kHz, the previous frequency of Buzz Asia, and continues to successfully broadcast to London’s young Asian community.


  1. ^ "Sunrise Radio Celebrates 25th Birthday". Asiana (20 November 2014). 
  2. ^ "Sunrise Radio Named No.1 Commercial Asian Radio Station In London". Asiana (12 August 2014). 
  3. ^ Pidgeon, David. "Sunrise Radio appoints new managing director". Media Tel (8 September 2014). 
  4. ^ Baddhan, Raj. "Sunrise TV & Sunrise Radio removed from Sky EPG". Biz Asia (27 February 2013). 
  5. ^ Correspondent, Biz Asia (October 12, 2014). "Sunrise Radio to relaunch on DAB digital". Biz Asia. 
  6. ^ The Guardian: Ex-pirate tops the Asian media rich list (21 March 2005).
  7. ^ "Sunrise Radio Celebrates 25 Years of Broadcasting". Desi News (November 2014). 
  8. ^ "Avtar Lit". Sikh 100. 
  9. ^ Mackrell, Daniel. "Sunrise Radio". Journalism Now (8 December 2012). 
  10. ^ "Roll of Honours" (PDF). Radio Centre (July 2013). 
  11. ^ "Jay Sean & Priti Patel Celebrate 25 Years Of Sunrise Radio". Anokhi (21 November 2014). 
  12. ^ Horrox, Camilla. "Sunrise Radio celebrates 25th anniversary with message from David Cameron". Get West London (6 November 2014). 
  13. ^ "Asian radio station Sunrise Radio celebrates 25 years". BBC London News (5 November 2014). 
  14. ^ Spanier, Gideon. "New dawn for Sunrise Radio as it bids for the Asian vote". The London Evening Standard (November 19, 2014). 
  15. ^ "Sunrise holds birthday party at the House of Commons". Radio Today (21 November 2014). 
  16. ^ "Sunrise Radio: 25 pioneering years". Media Week (10 November 2014). 
  17. ^ "Media, migration and diasporas". Moving People Changing Places. 
  18. ^ Philip, Stephen (4 December 2006). "Black and ethnic media past and present tense". The Guardian. 
  19. ^ "The 'Sunrise' of Indians in Brit media". The Economic Times (20 September 2004). 
  20. ^ Baddhan, Lakh. "Sunrise Radio announces Radio Presenters Academy". Biz Asia (3 October 2014). 
  21. ^ Farooq, Usman. "The Pakistan Achievement Awards, UK & Europe". ebuzz today (16 October 2014). 
  22. ^ "Asian Media Awards 2014 – Our nomination and full shortlists". Asian Culture Vulture (30 September 2014). 
  23. ^ "DJ Fox picks up NTL radio award". Broadcast Now (28 June 2004). 
  24. ^ "Media Week Awards shortlist announced". Brand Republic (16 September 2004). 
  25. ^ "Mayor launches plans for the London Mela 2005". Greater Authority London (16 May 2005). 
  26. ^ "Asian Lifestyle Show HIGHLIGHTS". 
  27. ^ "Asian Lifestyle Show 2005 - This summer’s biggest lifestyle exhibition". Retrieved 29 May 2005. 
  28. ^ "Sunrise Radio to sponsor Just Bollywood event". Radio Today (29 October 2014). 
  29. ^ "Sunrise Radio in Administration". BizAsia. 21 January 2014. 
  30. ^ "Sunrise Radio 1 goes off-air". BizAsia. 4 February 2014. 

External links

  • Sunrise Radio website
  • Radio Authority fines Sunrise Radio £10,000 (press release)

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