Naga Munchetty replacing Emma Barnett on BBC Radio 5 Live

Naga Munchetty is to replace Emma Barnett as host of the mid-morning programme on BBC Radio 5 Live.

Barnett, 35, is leaving the role to become the main presenter of Woman’s Hour, following the departure of long-standing hosts Jane Garvey and Dame Jenni Murray.

BBC Breakfast presenter Munchetty, 45, will front the show from 10am until 1pm, after a stint guest presenting on the station over the summer.

She will continue to appear on BBC Breakfast alongside her radio work.

Munchetty said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be joining the 5 Live team. I have always wanted to work more in radio and after such an enjoyable experience presenting on the station recently, I jumped at this opportunity.

“Five Live has one of the most passionate, engaged audiences in radio. The prospect of talking to those listeners every week really excites me. I can’t wait to get stuck into the role from January.”

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

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Emma Barnett (Lia Toby/PA)

Heidi Dawson, controller of BBC Radio 5 Live, said: “Naga is a brilliant broadcaster and a fearless journalist, making her the perfect fit for our mid-morning programme.

“She impressed us while working briefly at the station in the summer, when our listeners loved her warmth, wit and straight-talking interview style.

“I’m sure she will make the mid-morning programme a must listen. I can’t wait to hear her interviewing the biggest names in news and telling stories from around the UK that you won’t hear anywhere else.”

Munchetty 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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