BRADFORD-born presenter Anita Rani pushed the case for greater diversity within the media industry as she opened Channel 4's annual DIVERSE festival today.

The Countryfile presenter, who was born in Bradford to Indian parents, told the audience that she had faced the need to justify making documentaries about anything not obviously Asian.

Speaking during the event, held at the University of Bradford, she said she had met with opposition when she had wanted to follow up her successful BBC Two documentary about Bollywood with another about Hollywood.

And she added that she had to put forward a special case to move from the BBC’s Asian Network to Radio 5 Live - something she was ultimately allowed to do.

She told the audience that, while she valued her heritage, she did not feel her ethnicity should define her work choices.

Afterwards, Kersten England, chief executive of Bradford Council, said it had been "brilliant to have our very own Anita Rani" hosting the event and starting by "sharing her experience of growing up in Bradford" and crediting 'Bhaji on the Beach' as her inspiration for her ambition to be in the media.

The general theme of the event was authentic portrayal on television.

Those present included senior executives from the BBC, Channel 4, ITV, Netflix, Channel 5 and guest speaker Hip Hop artist and writer Akala.

Ben Frow, Director of Programmes at Channel 5, told the event: "We have an inredibly powerful tool in television, but it's not enough to just be diverse on screen."

He delivered a keynote session on the importance of reflecting Modern Britain in an authentic way across all genres of programming.

Netflix’s Vice President of Content, Anne Mensah, spoke of her experience of authenticity in the media.

She said: "If every show shows you the same sort of authenticity it becomes a stereotype."

In addition to senior industry executives giving their insight into authenticity in broadcast media, the festival gave independent production companies the opportunity to have one to one pitching sessions with broadcasters’ commissioners.

The festival also held a work shop on how to get into television aimed specifically at young people in the region.

Ian Katz, Director of Programmes, Channel 4 described the event as a "fantastic opportunity for the industry to come together" and share experiences on delivering inclusion and diversity on and off-screen.

The University said it had been "so excited" to host the high-profile event.