A radio jockey, actress, video jockey, anchor and a journalist – UK-based Anushka Arora dons multiple hats in the media industry.
A radio jockey, actress, video jockey, anchor and a journalist – UK-based Anushka Arora dons multiple hats in the media industry. An RJ since the age of 21, Arora recently won the Best Radio Presenter of the Year 2018 at the Asian Media Awards. “It truly, truly is an honour to receive this award. It was my fourth year that I was nominated for the award and I’d never won it previously. The hope and dream were always there and I kept working towards it. I wanted to win it and when you really want something, the universe will give it right back!” expresses the media personality.
It was while doing her degree in Journalism at the University of the Arts - London College of Communications that radio sparked her interest. “I took a very strong liking towards radio and TV and never looked back, since,” shares Arora who started her journey in radio doing a two-hour Bollywood show at Ealing Hospital and gradually moved onto doing Bollywood shows at local community radios. Her talent and passion was well recognised as she was amongst the top five ‘Best Presenter of the Year’ at the Hospital Radio Awards in 2008.
A major milestone during Arora’s exciting tenure as an RJ was doing a 24-hour radio marathon in 2017. She had tied up with a charity called Childreach International to raise money and was on air nonstop, interviewing celebrities every hour. “I had a lot of Bollywood celebrities and music artists reach out to me and help me, listeners from all over the world showed so much support, it was an incredible experience and I am so happy I did this all by myself!” adds the award-winning star.
With Bollywood being her forte, Arora has interviewed the biggest superstars like the Bachchan’s, Salman Khan, Shahrukh Khan, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Ranveer Singh, Katrina Kaif, and Deepika Padukone, as well as India’s top fashion designers like Anita Dongre, Anamika Khanna, Sabyasachi and Manish Malhotra. She has hosted multiple Bollywood events like Atif Aslam’s UK Tour, Asha Bhosle’s Farewell UK tour, Shreya Ghoshal, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Mika Singh’s 2018 show in London, and press conferences for Chennai Express and Krrish 3, among others. In January 2016, she became the first ever British-Asian RJ to broadcast live from the Bigg Boss house in Lonavala on Sunrise Radio.
Arora’s acting abilities have been appreciated in her roles in Fan and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. The young actor states she was always interested in acting but was scared to pursue it. The right opportunity came with the movie Fan. “Although it was one line, it seemed like a powerful one opposite Shahrukh Khan and it was received very well. Two years later, people still tell me they saw me in the movie and that’s a really nice feeling.”
An Indo-British achiever in India and abroad, Arora has become a role model to youngsters who wish to pursue a career in the media industry. She is aware of this new role and wants people who look up to her to know that hard work pays off. “I want them to follow their dreams just like I did and that they should never give up. Of course, we all have good days and bad days but that makes you the person you are.” Her advice is to “be strong and just love what you do. Follow your dreams and never give up!”
Q & A with Anushka
How has the media industry changed over the years?
The media industry has changed drastically and how. I think social media has had a massive part to play in this. Actors are now a lot more aware of journalists/fans, I feel there’s an easy connection between them. Similarly, with me and my listeners, they can reach out to me quicker via social media and I think that’s a great thing. I’ve incorporated these changes myself, I am a heavy social media user so that I know my followers are very up-to-date with what’s ongoing with both me and Bollywood.
Indians around the world have made significant contributions to their immigrated countries, what do you think of this accomplishment?
I think it’s fantastic. That generation who made significant contributions have laid down a foundation for people like myself and the younger generation. In a way, they have made it easier for us as a stepping stone for what we want to do. They have guided us and shown us the light.