Young Letchworth radio presenter selected for new BBC scheme

Renu Chopra BBC Asian Network promo photo

Renu Chopra from Letchworth is one of 13 people selected for BBC Asian Network Represents - a scheme to bring in fresh talent. - Credit: BBC

A Letchworth woman has been selected as one of 13 new presenters for the inaugural BBC Asian Network Represents scheme. 

Renu Chopra will be delivering a show on BBC Asian Network as part of a scheme to find new talent, alongside 12 other applicants. 

The former Hitchin Girls' student said she "never saw herself going down the radio path" when she was studying for her degree in Birmingham.

She told the Comet: "I work for the BBC anyway as a content producer - this was a separate opportunity that came up.

"Alongside my work, I present at SG1 radio in Stevenage. I just decided to take a chance and see if I would get it."

Once a month, a new presenter will get the opportunity to show their skills on the Sunday evening slot of the national station.

Renu has been given the slot in July. She said: "It's really exciting. With COVID restrictions coming down, I will be able to host a celebratory show.

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"From there, you could potentially be taken on as a presenter. Radio 1 ran the same scheme, and from that eight of them have now got jobs. 

"I never really saw people like me in publications - I never thought it would be something I could progress in.

"I took the radio module at university, but then dropped it because I thought it wouldn't go anywhere."

The 24-year-old went on to work at the university radio station, and got involved with SG1 radio after missing the work. 

"With lockdown happening, I wanted to find something to take me out of my comfort zone," she continued.

"Now, I feel like this is something that I could aim towards, it's definitely opened my horizons.

"When I said I was going to study media at both A-level and degree level, people didn't take it seriously - particularly in Asian communities, it's not a career path normally think to go down.

"You can expect to get some of my background in my show. Every one of the candidates has their own niche.

"I didn't have a traditional Indian upbringing. I'll be playing music from up and coming artists from this area and around the world. Soul and R&B are my go-to genres.

"I hope to make people aware that this is something you can do. This scheme is bringing in a wave of new British Asian talent, and new representation." 

Head of BBC Asian Network, Ahmed Hussain says: “The sheer number of entries received for this initiative was a testament to the amount of British Asian talent right across the board.

"This is an opportunity to ensure that Asian Network continues to champion and celebrate voices from across the UK and no doubt our new presenters will make sure that is reflected in the right way."