Join us as we explore what role religious programming serves in a contemporary context and debate what place it has in a multi-platform, multi-cultural, multi-faith and increasingly secular Britain. Our expert panel of industry professionals include founder and CEO of Avanti Media Emyr Afan, sociologist and writer Keith Kahn-Harris, MD of Cardiff productions Narinder Minhas and BBC TV commissioner Daisy Scalchi.

This event is produced in partnership with the Sandford St Martin Trust, a charity that promotes excellence in broadcasting about religion, ethics and morality. To find out more about our work, visit:

About The Chair

Aaqil Ahmed

Aaqil is the former Head of Religion and Ethics at the BBC and Channel 4, delivering many award-winning programmes, including The Life of Muhammad. He is also Professor of Media at Bolton University, Non-Executive Director of the Advertising Standards Authority and a consultant in Television production, communications and diversity.


About The Speakers

Keith Kahn Harris Headshot

Keith Kahn-Harris

Dr Keith Kahn-Harris is a sociologist and writer, based in London. He is a senior lecturer at Leo Baeck College, an associate lecturer and honorary fellow at Birkbeck College, and he is the project director of the European Jewish Research Archive at the Institute for Jewish Policy Research. His most recent books are The Babel Message: A Love Letter to Language(Icon) and (co-authored with Rob Stothard)What Does A Jew Look Like?  (Five Leaves). 



Headshot of Daisy Scalchi

Daisy Scalchi

Daisy is the Commissioning Editor for Religion and Ethics at the BBC. She commissions content for television across BBC1, BBC2 and BBC4. Recent titles include Pilgrimage – Road To The Western Isles for BBC2,  Stacey Dooley – Inside The Convent, the 5-part series  A Believer’s Guide  and  Jill Halfpenny’s Easter Journeys, all for BBC1, as well as overseeing the acquisition  Mission Joy with Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama for BBC4. 

Prior to joining the BBC, Daisy was a BAFTA-nominated producer, delivering programmes across all genres. In Development, she also won new commissions for several major networks including, Discovery, NatGeo and the BBC.  

Headshot of Emyr Afan

Emyr Afan

Emyr Afan is the CEO of Avanti Media which is celebrating its 25th year in broadcasting this year. The company has production offices in Cardiff and Manchester and employ around 70 staff. Avanti specialises in factual programming, returnable  formats, large events, and long-running returnable series. Emyr has been involved at Producer/Director and Exec level in religious programming for over three decades. He was part of the independent winning bid that secured ‘Songs of Praise’ and has been co- Exec’ing the series for the last 6 years. During this time, he has also produced ‘Sunday Worship’ to keep the doors of the church open for worshippers through the medium of television during lockdown. He has Exec Produced a number of award-winning documentaries such as ‘Jamie Baulch ; Finding My Birth Mother’ (Bafta Best Factual Dosumentary) and C4 Britain’s Billionaire Immigrants (NTA, Best Factual Documentary) Emyr is also a trustee and board member of Sandford St Martin Trust. His grandfather, his father were ministers and his brother also to this day. He often jests that the only way he has managed to avoid the cloth by his mother is by producing Songs of Praise!

Narinder Minhas

Narinder Minhas, CEO of Cardiff Productions, is an award-winning executive producer and creative leader, with a strong track-record of delivering editorially bold and visually distinct content, including documentaries like Tan France: Beauty and the Bleach, Peter: The Human Cyborg and The Private Life of Harley Street; specialist factual programmes such as The Massacre That Shook The Empire and Prince Charles: The Bachelor Years; formats like Priest Idol and We Are Black and British; arts shows such as The Real Michael Caine and Soul Nation; dramas like BBC2’s The Slavery Business; and innovative digital projects like Narinder is also an honorary research fellow at the University of Exeter.