Star-making Leeds community radio station Fever FM celebrates 10 years on the airwaves

DECADE OF SUCCESS: Some of the Fever FM crew celebrate the popular  Leeds community radio station's milestone
DECADE OF SUCCESS: Some of the Fever FM crew celebrate the popular Leeds community radio station's milestone
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A community radio station in Leeds - which has been the springboard for a string of stars and has raised £750,000 for charity - is celebrating 10 years on the airwaves.

Fever FM, based in Roundhay Road, Harehills, started broadcasting in March 2007.

Jabbar Karim, founder of Fever FM in Leeds, pictured in 2005 ahead of the station's official launch.

Jabbar Karim, founder of Fever FM in Leeds, pictured in 2005 ahead of the station's official launch.

The station, a social enterprise, is partially grant funded and serves some of the most deprived communities in Leeds where access to mainstream training might be difficult.

All the presenters start as volunteers and are trained free by the station. Many go on to professional radio careers, with two of its biggest success stories - Harpreet Kaur and Yasser Ranjha - now fronting their own primetime BBC network slots.

The station was the brainchild of lifelong radio fan Jabbar Karim, who was born and grew up in Leeds.

Mr Karim said: “We are proud of the stars we have produced and of raising almost £750,000 for charity over the years.

(L-R)  DJ Desi, Imrano Maumoniat, DJ Harpz, Ranj Singh B and DJ Mal.

(L-R) DJ Desi, Imrano Maumoniat, DJ Harpz, Ranj Singh B and DJ Mal.

“We are fortunate to have a good team who cares for the community. After 10 years we are looking to expand and offer opportunities to even more people.”

As well as producing a mix of musical and talk shows - and featuring interviews with Asian superstars like Rahat Fateh Ali Khan - the station regularly teams up with public sector organisations to run awareness campaigns on issues such as domestic violence, youth unemployment and training, and civic pride initiatives like Keep Harehills Tidy.

Its no-hold-barred approach means presenters are unafraid to tackle often controversial issues affecting the South Asian community, including discussions on forced marriage and honour crime.

Mr Karim is especially proud of the station’s fundraising success, and he hopes to push the total raised towards the million pound mark in the coming year.

Young DJs Jennah Karim  and her sister Aaliyah, pictured at Fever FM in 2015. Picture by Simon Hulme

Young DJs Jennah Karim and her sister Aaliyah, pictured at Fever FM in 2015. Picture by Simon Hulme

“We have had our struggles and our own funding has always been an issue,” Mr Karim said.

“However we always look at the glass as half full, and let our passion speak for itself.

“We want to thank the community for continuing to support us.

“We keep getting cakes and chocolates delivered to our studio - that just shows the love and appreciation from our listeners!”

Founderof  Fever FM  Jabbar Karim with his daughter Jennah, who also presents. Picture by Tony Johnson

Founderof Fever FM Jabbar Karim with his daughter Jennah, who also presents. Picture by Tony Johnson

He said expansion plans for Fever FM now include embracing DAB digital, moving into new, larger premises and creating further jobs and training opportunities.

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