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

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”.

“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.”

Naga Munchetty on 5 Live
Naga Munchetty on 5 Live

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 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.