A NEW book set in late-nineties tells the tale of setting up of a newspaper for the Asian community.

Based on true events, ‘Five Guys Named Zaika’ follows the lives of a group of friends who decide to publish their own free newspaper.

The comedy written by journalist Shuiab Khan begins on Christmas Eve 1997 and is set in the first month as the group struggles to meet a deadline and publish the first edition of Asian Image from their ‘headquarters’ in a backstreet toilet roll factory.

Shuiab said: “I don’t think anyone has looked at publishing and in particular journalism in this way before. There seemed to be a whole myriad of problems and obstacles you only face when you print something in your home town and a paper of this nature. Especially when you have no money or anyone taking you seriously.

“This is most of all a story of a strained friendship, prejudice, religious strife and how something that started off as a joke between some guys sat in a takeaway went on to become much more significant.

“I wanted to keep it as genuine as possible and was keen to include events such as funerals and small religious gatherings that play a huge part in defining Asian Britain, and these have their own funny moments.

“The story celebrates unique Lancashire humour and in particular the experiences of people regardless of their backgrounds living in a small town such as Blackburn. It lifts a lid on a whole range of issues relating to politics, race, religion, money, drugs, sex, gender and alcohol that I feel are still relevant today.”

The synopsis reads: “Set primarily within a dilapidated office inside a toilet roll factory, this true story explores the uninhibited and comedic tale of how several twenty-somethings set about challenging perceptions of themselves and their own community.

“From censoring the word ‘sex’ to dealing with supernatural beliefs, we follow the group on their journey during those first turbulent weeks when they are expected to conform to norms but have no real idea what those norms should be.

“Along the way they meet some of the town’s most outspoken residents who have their own ideas about what would make a good story. “With the dreaded deadline approaching what seemed like a good idea at the time is quickly turning into their own publishing nightmare.

“The adverts have been sold, the stories have been written and now there is only thing left to do - distribute copies to thousands of households during one bitterly cold and grim night in Blackburn.”

‘Five Guys Named Zaika’ is set to be released in February 2021.