Naga Munchetty caught eating breakfast on air
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BBC Breakfast’s Naga Munchetty is now a household name – but her career in journalism hasn’t always been quite so glamorous. She was regularly told she was “useless” and had to develop a thick skin as she got to grips with the tools of the trade.
I did go home many a day in tears
Speaking in a brand new interview, Naga admitted: “I had copy thrown at me when I first started in newspapers. I was told I was b****y useless.
“I did go home many a day in tears, but equally, I learnt not to make mistakes, that mistakes weren’t acceptable.”
Though there were lessons that were difficult for her to learn, she believes that strict workplaces actually helped her hone her craft.
“That fear of making a mistake meant that you did your research twice as well, and to the best of your ability,” she reflected.
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On the subject of news sometimes being a “brutal” business, she continued: “I remember when I first decided I wanted to explore being on air, I was told, ‘You are quite sensitive.
“‘You do take criticism quite hard and you dwell on things. You need to toughen up’. And I did,” she told the Radio Times.
Nowadays, Naga still receives harsh criticism – and it’s often from viewers who discover her on Twitter.
During her coverage of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations, she was criticised for her “unpatriotic” choice of outfit, after she chose not to dress in the traditional colours of the British flag.
Instead, she decided to don a blue and yellow number, which some believed was a show of solidarity for Ukrainians blighted by the war with Russia.
However, some took to Twitter to exclaim that they hated her “with a passion” and called for the government to defund the BBC.
“Was the flag mocking @TVNaga01 wearing EU colours to our Queen’s jubilee celebrations today?” @SilentM85649515 quizzed at the time.
The tweeter added: “Why is this Union flag hating woman even there? The Queen deserves better.”
Naga was also forced to apologise on another occasion this summer after accidentally announcing that it was a different day than it really was, sparking alarm among viewers of the show.
She has sometimes found herself in hot water after being unafraid to voice her political views too, causing upset among those who believe she should take a position of neutrality when representing the BBC.
“I ‘liked’ tweets today that were offensive in nature about the use of the British flag as a backdrop in a government interview this morning,” she wrote back in March 2021.
“I have since removed these ‘likes’. This do not represent the views of me or the BBC. (sic)”, she wrote, adding: “I apologise for any offence taken.”
In spite of beliefs that Naga was anti-British due to her attitudes towards the flag, she has also received plenty of support from regular viewers.
Meanwhile, the breakfast show host believes she’s known from an early age that presenting is the right career for her.
Naga, whose first alarm out of an array of six chimes at 3:45am each morning, also admitted that she was an avid viewer of BBC shows herself growing up.
She told the Radio Times jokingly: “When I was about two or three, I was sat on my bed with my mum and Play School was on, and I apparently leapt at the television and dived headfirst and hit it — and then just sat on the floor smiling.”
To read the full interview with Naga, pick up a copy of this week’s Radio Times magazine.
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