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BBC Back in Time for Brum viewers in for shock as Sharmas enter 80s and 90s

BBC Back in Time for Birmingham has captivated viewers this week as it follows Solihull’s Sharma family through five decades of British Asian history. Tonight is the third episode, and follows the family as they adjust to the 1980s and 1990s.

Dad Vishal, mum Manisha and children Alisha and Akash are living in the heart of Sparkbrook. Now a predominantly Muslim/Pakistani suburb of Birmingham, Sparkbrook was one of a handful of neighbourhoods in the city where new arrivals from across the subcontinent and of all faiths began to settle.

With this comes the freedom but also challenges that faced many immigrant communities. And viewers are in for a shock as they see the Sharma family get a taste of the hostility that was directed towards some of Birmingham’s diverse communities in that era.

READ MORE:BBC Back in Time for Birmingham viewers praise ‘nostalgic’ 70’s episode

Last night, we saw the family get their own store as they entered the 1970s. Sharma Stores was crammed with large sacks of rice, beans, lentils, atta flour, metal buckets, incense, deities and huge tins of ghee.

The Sharmas followed in the footsteps of millions of Asian immigrants who came to the UK to “make good”. You can see in tonight’s 1980s and 1990s episode how this shaped the opportunities today’s generation have.

You will also see their shop under attack tonight, as well as more aspects of the 1980s and 1990s, including throwbacks like raves, heavily carpeted front rooms and Spam.

BBC Back in Time for Birmingham viewers were full of praise for Tuesday’s episode which saw the Sharma family navigate the 70’s decade. Vishal and Akash bagged up and sold their products behind the till as Sharma Stores got busy.


Mum Manisha and daughter Alisha were tasked with cooking authentic delicacies to entice South Asian customers hankering for a taste of home. Brought to the city to celebrate the build up to the Commonwealth Games, BBC Back in Time for Birmingham has resonated with the experiences of immigrant communities across the country.

Social media has been alight with people sharing their own experiences, and celebrating the representation of the show’s first Asian family. @FazzyQadirJust wrote on Twitter: “Watched the first episode and makes you appreciate the sacrifices our parents made for us and how brave and hardworking they were.”

@52wolf tweeted: “Lots of nostalgia; #BackInTimeforBirmingham whoever chose the music got it spot on!! Well done @DJNoreenKhan and all involved.”

“Another great episode in the series, looking forward to tomorrows 80s-90s era episode which represents our childhood”, wrote @23Ash_19

The four-part series will air over four nights on BBC Two. It started on Monday, June 20 and will end tomorrow, on Thursday, June 23 at 8pm. It will also be available on BBC iPlayer.


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