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Sunday, 25 March, 2001, 20:49 GMT 21:49 UK
Gracious Me wins top Asian award
Meera Syal
Meera Syal won best female personality
Hit TV comedy Goodness Gracious Me has won two awards at a ceremony celebrating the achievements of Britain's Asian community.

Both received the awards at the Mega Mela BBC Asian Success, Innovation and Achievement show at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.

Nitin Award
Nitin Sawhney won the music award
Asia Awards were also given out in categories highlighting achievement in music, media and film.

Judges included the Duchess of York and Nina Wadia, who also stars in Goodness Gracious Me.

Composer Nitin Sawhney won the prize for music. The London-based performer's fusion of east and west rhythms have earned him critical acclaim and led him to work with international artists such as Sting.

The film award went to Mohabbatein. It was shot on the Longleat estate by director Aditya Chopra and starred Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan.

It made 246,000 in its first three days of release, taking it to the ninth spot in the UK film charts at the end of last year.

The arts award went to Akademi. The London-based organisation was responsible for the hit dance spectacle Coming of Age at London's South Bank Centre last year.

Mark Tully
Mark Tully: lifetime achievement award-winner
Former BBC Delhi correspondent Mark Tully carried off the lifetime achievement award.

Nobel Prize winner Professor Amartya Sen was commended for his work on famine, the welfare of children and women, and poverty.

Channel Four was also credited for its series of programmes on the Kumbh Mela festival, which attracts millions of pilgrims to the banks of the River Ganges every 12 years.

Wadi, who was also short-listed for the best female personality award, said: "The level of entries of nominees was incredibly high and made my job an absolute nightmare.

"It's fantastic to see that there are so many wonderful individuals out there who are making a difference to people's lives on a daily basis."

George Alagiah
The event was co-hosted by the BBC's George Alagiah
But the BBC Asia Awards were not for famous names.

Kavita Brahmbatt, 12, won the young achievers award. She signs for her parents who are both deaf.

This means attending doctors appointments and even business meetings with them, signing critical and complicated information.

The event was hosted by BBC newsreader George Alagiah, and Sky news presenter Lisa Aziz.

BBC Director General Greg Dyke, Cherie Blair and news-making minister Keith Vaz were also on the guest list.

Winners in full:

  • Female Personality of the Year: Meera Syal
  • Male Personality of the Year: Sanjeev Bhaskar
  • Media Award: Kumbh Mela - The Greatest Show on Earth, Channel Four
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Mark Tully
  • Special Commendation: Professor Amartya Sen
  • Achievement in Film Award: Mohabbatein
  • Music Award: Nitin Sawhney
  • Achievement in Sport: Respect All Fans Football Initiative (RAFFI)
  • Young Achievers Award: Kavita Brahmbhatt
  • Achievement in Arts Award: Akademi
  • Achievement in Enterprise and Innovation Award: Sasha Dhillon
  • Community Award: The Newham Asian Women's Project, London

  • See also:

    24 Jan 01 | South Asia
    An extraordinary show of faith
    23 Jul 99 | Entertainment
    A night of Gracious comedy
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