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Naga Munchetty’s Controversial Career, Interesting Ethnicity, and Work With Racism!

Naga Munchetty

Naga Munchetty is a popular journalist and British television presenter who has worked for the BBC since 2008. Naga Munchetty is also a newsreader and journalist as she regularly presents BBC Breakfast. She is favoured for interviewing people with ease and approachability and gained most fame following the Panorama episode which explored stories of racism. According to sources, she was a former presenter of BBC World News and BBC Two’s weekday financial affairs programme Working Lunch. In a 2021 BBC ruling, Naga Munchetty broke new social media guidelines after liking a series of tweets about a row involving the union jack flag – however, she owned her mistake and swiftly escaped being fired. 

Naga Munchetty: Take A Look At These Facts About Her Life!

Early life and career

Munchetty grew up in Streatham, South London as Subha Nagalakshmi Munchetty-Chendriah, yes that’s her full name. 

Her mother is Indian and her father is Mauritian although people think her dad is Indian because of her Indian sounding surname. 

Born on 25 February 1975 Munchetty was an only child until her sister came along. 

Munchetty’s extended family lived in India and Mauritius so when Naga was eight years old, the future TV host travelled to India to meet her mum’s parents. Then as she turned 12, Naga also travelled to Mauritius to meet her father’s side of the family. 

Her mother, Muthu Chendriah, and her father immigrated to the United Kingdom in the 1970s when they shifted to Wales to study. Munchetty’s mum came to start studying dentistry and her dad shifted to be trained as a nurse. They then immigrated fully to England, got married and had two children. 

The British television presenter’s early education was at Graveney School in Tooting where the young Naga found it hard to spell her full name, Subha Nagalakshmi Munchetty-Chendriah. As a young girl struggling with her long name, her mum started calling her Naga for short; interestingly the meaning of her name is cobra.

The future British TV host studied English Literature and Language at the University of Leeds, graduating in 1997.According to online sources, she also worked on the Business Section of The Observer.

Career

Munchetty’s first job was as a journalist on the City Pages of the London Evening Standard although her television career began as a reporter for Reuters Financial Television, after which she worked as a senior producer for CNBC Europe, a business producer and reporter for Channel 4 News and a presenter on Bloomberg Television according to Wikipedia. 

According to online sources, Munchetty joined Working Lunch after the show was revamped in October 2008 and stayed with the programme until it was cancelled in July 2010.

Munchetty has hosted Radio 4’s Money Box. The  newsreader also reports from the City for BBC News, assessing the reaction to breaking financial stories in the likes of Budget, and the Pre-Budget Report.

11 years ago, Munchetty presented early morning bulletins (UKT) on the BBC News Channel and BBC World News in 2010. The British-Indian TV host is a regular presenter on BBC One’s Breakfast. Starting this year in January 2021 Munchetty became the presenter on the 10am to 1pm Radio 5 programme on Mondays to Wednesdays after Emma Barnett left the show when she moved to Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. Munchetty co-hosted The Spending Review – The South Today Debate on BBC One with Sally Taylor in September 2010 according to online sources. 

Munchetty also presented Paranormal Investigation: Live on Living on 30–31 October 2010 to celebrate Hallowe’en, according to our sources. 

According to Wikipedia, Munchetty narrated the BBC documentary Fear and Faith in Paris looking at anti-Semitic attacks in Paris and their impact on the Jewish community of France. The TV narrator took home the Celebrity Mastermind, which was broadcast on 2 January 2013. In June 2016, the British television presenter and journalist replaced Sian Williams as presenter of Sunday Morning Live on BBC One. 

On 16 October 2016, the Panorama narrator was a contestant on the fourteenth series of Strictly Come Dancing, having been coupled up to dance with Pasha Kovalev, and being voted out in the fourth week which was devastating. 

The half-Indian journalist and golfer also co-presented Britain’s Classroom Heroes with Sean Fletcher in October 2017. The same year, Munchetty seemed to have a ball as she entered the cast of CBBC sketch show Class Dismissed. Here she had a splendid time playing a fictional Media Studies teacher who acts like a newsreader, so she played herself! 

Controversy

Trump comments

Munchetty was ruled to have breached the BBC’s guidelines for the first time (the second time is below). In September 2019 she criticized former US President Donald Trump for perceived racism while presenting BBC Breakfast with Dan Walker. 

Trump’s comments telling his opponents to “go back” to the “places from which they came” infuriated Munchetty and she said: “Every time I have been told, as a woman of colour, to go back to where I came from, that was embedded in racism. Now I’m not accusing anyone of anything here, but you know what certain phrases mean.”

The BBC was criticized for its decision and several public figures, including Lenny Henry and Adrian Lester, signed an open letter asking the corporation to reconsider its ruling against her. 

Director-General of the BBC Tony Hall personally overturned the decision. 

Flag

In one of the first high-profile tests of the BBC’s new social media rules, introduced by director general Tim Davie in October 2020, Naga Munchetty broke new social media guidelines after liking a series of tweets about a row involving the union jack flag

Director general Tim Davie warned: “think about what your likes, shares, retweets, use of hashtags and who you follow say about you, your personal prejudices and opinions.”

The BBC’s Executive Complaints Unit (ECU) would be accountable if Munchetty had not apologized. The ECU mentioned in a ruling that the TV host was not right to like tweets that were “disparaging of the government’s use of patriotic symbols” after an on-air discussion on March 18, in which she and Breakfast co-host Charlie Stayt teased government minister Robert Jenrick about the union jack flag in the back of his Zoom shot.

The ECU said Munchetty “risked giving the impression of endorsing one strand of opinion in a controversial area”. The ECU said she was in breach of the BBC’s standards of impartiality. 

At the time, Munchetty wrote: “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. I have since removed these ‘likes’. This does not represent the views of me or the BBC. I apologise for any offence taken.”

Personal life

Naga tied the knot to ITV broadcast consultant James Haggar in 2007.

The multi-talented artist plays jazz trumpet and classical piano in addition to showing her flair in cocktail making, a skill she learned while working in bars and pubs during her student days.

A proficient golfer, playing a handicap of nine in 2015, it’s interesting to note that 3 years ago she won the Hertfordshire de Paula Cup at Bishop’s Stortford Golf Club.

Work with Racism

Following the killing of George Floyd last year, a worldwide conversation about racism was started. Naga Munchetty continued the conversation as the TV host travelled across the country to hear stories from people opening up about their experiences with racism and also shared some of her earliest experiences with racial abuse.

Naga told a personal story and shared: “I’ve experienced racism too.

“You never forget your first time. I was 7 when someone I thought was a friend at school said we could no longer hang out because I was a P-word.

“The sense of shame was overwhelming. I was told I didn’t belong when up until then, I assumed I did. From that moment on, I knew I was seen as different.”

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