Naga Munchetty takes dig at Piers Morgan’s GMB as she defends BBC licence fee
Naga Munchetty has thrown her support behind the BBC charging a licence fee while taking a veiled swipe at her breakfast TV rivals in the process
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Naga Munchetty has defended the BBC licence fee and taken a veiled swipe at Piers Morgan and Good Morning Britain in the process.
The 45-year-old BBC Breakfast host has said that the Beeb’s news content at the beginning of the day was not there to garner social media attention, something that is openly courted by ITV’s breakfast show, with presenter Piers Morgan being particularly outspoken.
Naga’s co-host Dan Walker has already had a couple of public spats with Piers on Twitter after the ITV host slammed the interviewing of government ministers by the BBC Breakfast show.
Ofcom has received hundreds of complaints after Piers tore into ministers over the government’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak, leading to there being an ‘unofficial ban’ on ministers appearing on GMB until Piers left for his six-week holiday.
He has said that the Beeb had been too soft on the ministers but Dan Walker pointed to the ratings as proof that this is what viewers wanted in the mornings.
With the end of the licence fee being mooted by the Government, with a threat to turn the BBC into a subscription service, Naga has spoken out in favour of the fee.
Speaking to Radio Times magazine, she said: “There’s been noise about the licence fee for decades.
“But at Breakfast, we’re not ratings-driven, we’re not there to garner attention on social media.”
Naga continued: “We’re there to provide a service and make sure people are informed, educated and entertained. I think a licence is worth that.”
Naga 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 director-general Lord Tony Hall reversed the decision.
“There are lessons to be learnt. The Breakfast team was very supportive at the time and, since then, I’ve had regular conversations with Tony Hall and other BBC bosses,” she said.
“My whole strategy was to just keep my head down because I didn’t want to be the story.”
BBC Breakfast assistant editor Mark Grannell said of the long-running morning programme: “We’re not the Today programme on television.
“Depending on what the main news is, we try and inject a bit of light into the shade.
“The interaction between the presenters is really important.”
*The full interview is in Radio Times magazine, out now.