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Naga Munchetty ‘absolutely delighted’ as she makes debut as Radio 5 Live host

Naga Munchetty, who has begun her new job on BBC Radio 5 Live (BBC/PA)
Naga Munchetty, who has begun her new job on BBC Radio 5 Live (BBC/PA)

Naga Munchetty said she was “absolutely delighted” as she made her debut as the host of the mid-morning programme on BBC Radio 5 Live.

The BBC Breakfast presenter, 45, is replacing Emma Barnett, 35, in the slot after the broadcaster’s move to Woman’s Hour.

Introducing her first show to the sound of dance track U Sure Do by Strike, Munchetty promised her listeners that they would soon “get to know each other”.

Naga Munchetty on 5 Live
Naga Munchetty (BBC/PA)

“Absolutely delighted to be here with you on the first Monday of 2021,” she said.

“I am so excited to be on board with you on this, the morning show we are making together. We are going to get to know each other, I promise. There is so much to talk about.”

Munchetty, who had a stint guest presenting on the station over the summer, teased a number of segments including one about new starts for 2021, including her own.

She said: “Also today, new starts, new jobs, first days, first experiences. What are you starting today?

“It can be huge, it can be massive or it can simply be Monday. What is the first job of your day? Taking the dog out? Starting a brand new job, like me?

“We are going to talk about new businesses, new babies and new lives abroad too.”

The Animal Hero Awards 2018 – London
Nicky Campbell (Ian West/PA)

Later she revealed she made her first gaffe even before starting the show, getting the name of BBC Radio 5 Live breakfast show presenter Nicky Campbell mixed up with that of celebrity hair stylist Nicky Clarke.

She said: “It’s an exciting way to start a new year, the new job. It is a little nerve-wracking.

“I think I made my first mistake before I even started the programme this morning by getting Nicky Campbell’s name wrong. I called him Nicky Clarke.

“He took it rather graciously actually and he said he will aspire to be a better hair coiffeur in the future.”

She added: “All of it is exciting, a bit daunting, but I am sure you will enjoy the journey with me. I hope you will anyway.”

Speaking to one guest, she admitted she had “butterflies” in her stomach ahead of taking to the airwaves.

The show kicked off with interviews with the team behind the Oxford University and AstraZeneca vaccine, as the jab is rolled out in the UK.

She said: “First up, the team which has brought hope to 2021.”

It came as broadcaster Barnett began her first day as Woman’s Hour presenter, taking over from Jane Garvey and Dame Jenni Murray, who both left the show last year.

Munchetty, who joined the BBC in 2008 and became a lead presenter on BBC Breakfast in 2014, will present Monday to Wednesday.

She was rebuked by the BBC last year after commenting on US President Donald Trump’s call for a group of female Democrats to “go back” to their own countries.

The corporation initially ruled that the presenter had breached editorial guidelines before then director-general Lord Tony Hall reversed the decision.

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