BBC Breakfast: Naga Munchetty jokes about Christmas tree
BBC Breakfast star Naga Munchetty, 45, stuns on the red sofa at the back end of the week alongside her co-host Charlie Stayt as the pair deliver important news to viewers watching at home. But pathing the way for her success wasn’t as easy as some may think, as she admits her background left her feeling “very different” from her colleagues while she was starting out in journalism.
I was very different, I came from a different background, I looked different and I think that would be difficult for anyone
In a recent interview, the BBC presenter confessed the biggest challenge she faced was “class”, due to being born to immigrant parents in South London and that she “lacked experience” unlike her peers.
“I was very different, I came from a different background, I looked different and I think that would be difficult for anyone,” she said.
“Those are issues that don’t change.”
While she acknowledges that the media are becoming more diverse, Naga explained progress is still “frustratingly slow” and that there is always more that can always be done to make the industry more inclusive, both in the newsroom and in management roles.
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She continued: “Diversity obviously is important because we’re broadcasting or writing for everyone in the UK, which is half women, all different creeds and colours.
“If you don’t have that diversity in the newsroom, how can you reflect it in what you’re writing and what you’re broadcasting?”
Due to her own experiences, Naga joined forces with the John Schofield Trust – a charity that helps young people get into journalism.
Encouraging the industry to take on more “disadvantaged candidates”, she said: “I know I certainly went into [the industry] blind, and could have really done with some help to just know what I was getting into.
“I love it obviously, but it’s hard work.
“So any help that disadvantaged people can get to get into this industry, and bring more diversity into this industry, I fully support.”
But with being a TV presenter, Naga is also the target of regular Twitter trolling, and has mastered the art of calm but sassy responses.
During a recent interview on BBC Breakfast last week with Sean Marett, the Chief Commercial Officer of BioNTech who along with their partner Pfizer, have created a coronavirus vaccine, the viewer took it upon themselves to shower the BBC star with criticism of her job performance.
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But she didn’t let it bother her in the slightest.
Replying to a clip from the official Twitter account of BBC Breakfast, the rude user snapped: “Nagger shut up and let people answer you are an expert on nothing except on being an overpaid biased witch!”
The derogatory misspelling of her name led people to believe the user known as ‘Rosie’ was sailing very close to the mark as they rushed to defend Naga’s honour.
But Naga knew just how to deal with the online troll and hit back with a sweet message of kindness.
“Sending Big Love to you Rosie,” she wrote, with an added kiss for good measure.
BBC weather presenter Matt Taylor also replied with a message of support for his colleague: “Loves you!
Another fan weighed in: “I absolutely hate seeing women use words like witch towards other women. Just horrid.”
A second noted: “Also Rosie… spellcheck @TVNaga01 #PutSomeRespeckOnHerName.”
“Did you not ever learn that if you can’t say something nice, say nothing at all. In my opinion Naga is a highly intelligent, beautiful woman,” a third retorted with a compliment.
BBC Breakfast airs weekdays at 6am on BBC One.
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