Manish Bhasin is a familiar face to sports fans in the UK. As a BBC sports presenter, he covers both football and cricket at some of the world's biggest tournaments. During the football season Manish can be seen hosting the Football League Show on BBC 1 to well over a million viewers every Saturday night and was recently seen interviewing the likes of Sachin Tendulkar for the channel's coverage of the Cricket World Cup from the Asian sub-continent.
Born and raised in the Midlands, Manish grew-up wanting to become a professional footballer and always made time for his favourite programmes, Match of the Day and Sports Report on BBC Radio 2. He played football whenever he had the chance with his twin brother Rajish and recalls his proudest moment from school as representing every sports team possible - including football, cricket and rugby. Although this childhood dream of becoming a professional footballer did not materialise, it is very apt that his career in the sports spotlight as a top television and radio presenter means that he gets close to his favourite sports every day of the week.
A huge Leicester City fan, Manish started out at his local BBC radio station before moving to ITV in the Midlands. His breakthrough on national television came in 2004 as anchor of the BBC's long-running football magazine show 'Football Focus'. At just 27, he was the youngest regular host, which he enjoyed for 5 years, interviewing personalities such as David Beckham, Jose Mourinho and Pele. He also had the novelty of interviewing the then Prime Minister Tony Blair, as a live studio guest. In his capacity as the BBC's primary Cricket presenter, he's covered an Ashes series in Australia and the last 2 World Cups in the West Indies and India. In 2007, Manish was named by the Daily Telegraph's Jeff Randall as one of the most influential Asians in sport. And it's in this role as a public figure that Manish is always keen to promote various charities. He continues to host fund-raising events and celebrity Q&As for the likes of Scope and the Premier League and is also an active member of the Lords Taverners charity, playing cricket to help raise money for children with disabilities.
We are very proud that Manish is one of our alumni, graduating with a BA (Hons) in Communication Studies & English in 1997.
"Vice Chancellor, it is my pleasure to read the citation for Manish Bhasin for the award of Honorary Doctor of Science.
Manish Bhasin is an exceptionally talented UK sports presenter who is tipped for a very long and successful career in the media.
By his own admission he is living out his dream, working for the BBC as a global presenter for two of his favourite sports - football and cricket. He was omnipresent on our TV screens during the 2010 World Cup and is one of the BBC's lead presenters on cricket covering, most recently, the 2011 ICC World Cup Cricket tournament played across India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
We are very proud that Manish is one of our alumni, graduating with a BA (Hons) in Communication Studies & English in 1997. He decided on a career in the media after being shown the newsroom and studios of BBC Radio Leicester. After completing a broadcast journalism diploma in Cardiff he joined the station as their sports presenter and began to make a name for himself within the fast-moving media world.
It was while he was working in his first role with BBC Radio Leicester that he reported on the Leicester Tigers' last minute, high profile victory against Stade Francais in the 2001 Rugby European Cup Final in Paris. He later joined ITV's Central News East where he covered both news and sport, polishing his reporting skills and advancing his unique presenting style. It was here that he earned himself a nomination for 'Regional Sports Presenter of the Year' at the Royal Television Society Sport Awards at the age of 25.
Born and raised in the Midlands, Manish grew-up wanting to become a professional footballer and always made time for his favourite programmes, Match of the Day and Sports Report on BBC Radio 2. A sports fanatic and all-time Leicester City devotee, he played football whenever he had the chance with his twin brother Rajish and recalls his proudest moment from school as representing every sports team possible - including football, cricket and rugby. Although this childhood dream of becoming a professional footballer did not materialise, it is very apt that his career in the sports spotlight as a top television and radio presenter means that he gets close to his favourite sports every day of the week.
Manish's big career break came when he was asked to take over the anchorman slot of BBC One's Saturday afternoon show Football Focus back in 2005, previewing all the weekend's football action. He was the show's youngest presenter, aged just 27. He then moved onto The Football League Show. At the start of the 2009-10 English football season, Manish was chosen to present the BBC's new Football League highlights package and from January 2010 onwards, he also became presenter for the Midlands edition of the regional football show Late Kick Off.
In addition to his football roles, Manish has emerged as the BBC's lead cricket presenter, hosting highlights of the 2006-7 Ashes Series, the 2007 World Cup, the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 tournament and the 2011 Cricket World Cup. Manish can be seen often on the BBC News Channel and continues to present Football Focus with regular pundits Mark Lawrenson and Lee Dixon.
Manish is a consummate media professional. He has created his own success by turning a lifelong passion into an international career through hard work and sheer ambition and for this we are delighted to honour him today.
Vice Chancellor, it is my pleasure to present Manish Bhasin for the award of Doctor of Science, honoris causa."