Naga Munchetty mocked over being 'fired from Samaritans'
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Naga Munchetty, 45, was left speechless after her BBC Radio 5 Live colleague Nihal Arthanayake brought up something she seemed to want to keep very much a secret on-air. The pair were discussing Kiss rock legend Gene Simmons, also known by his stage persona the Demon, but after she playfully insulted Nihal about a comment that was said during a previous interview with the musician, he hit back in a surprising way.
That’s a cruel thing to say
After revealing that Simmons would be appearing on his 1pm show, Nihal seemed over the moon and played a soundbite from a past chat with the bassist and co-lead singer, which was very complimentary on the radio presenter’s part.
“Gene Simmons thinks I’m a powerful and attractive man!” he laughed, after playing the clip of the legend saying those exact words.
But the segment that he held so close to his heart was instantly mocked by Naga.
“The difference between us and Gene Simmons though, is he thinks it and we know you’re not,” she retorted.
There was as slight pause as Nihal processed the insult, before replying: “Wow. He didn’t think it, he said it…”
Naga sighed: “We all say lots of things.
“He was being polite, but good on him…”
This time it was Nihal’s turn to hit back with a statement that left the BBC Breakfast host wheezing.
“Now I know why you were fired by the Samaritans,” he snapped, seemingly making a joke off the back off her insult.
But the blunt retort left the radio star speechless for a moment, trying to find the words to respond.
“That’s a cruel thing to say,” she giggled in the end.
“There are some truths that should never be told!”
Samaritans is a charity that specialises in providing emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland and can be contacted through their 24 hour telephone helpline.
But while Naga was only messing around with her co-star, the BBC presenter opened up earlier on in the show about how some of the negative comments she has received during her career have stuck with her.
The broadcaster spoke out on despite getting many positive remarks from her fans, it’s the negative ones that don’t fade away as she addressed her own experiences of abuse online.
The candid revelation came as she spoke to Labour MP Luke Pollard, who received online abuse over the weekend after sharing a picture of him and his partner Sydney on Twitter in celebration of Valentine’s Day.
Some users on the platform were quick to reply to Luke’s post with remarks, highlighting the age gap between him and his partner.
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He told Naga: “It has certainly been a good reminder that actually Valentine’s Day should be about love rather than hate.
“That has been a useful reminder sadly, as the post which I felt I was posting the same as many of my friends were – just pictures of themselves and their other halves, to find it turning into a pile on by trolls and the far right.”
Naga went on to talk of her own experiences with online trolls, divulging: “Talking from personal experience, I get a lot of positive comments but it’s the negative ones that really stick.”
Later on in their conversation, she also highlighted the importance of calling negative comments out.
She continued: “There is this element, that overt racism or homophobia or bigotry people will call out.
“So if it happened in the street I would like to think that if someone shouted something abusive, someone would say, ‘Oi that’s not on – pack it in.’
“But when it is on social media, and it is more covert, if it isn’t called out people get away with it.”
She added: “There is a fine line. Do you block? Do you mute to you turn off your notifications or do you just take on board I’m putting myself out there and I’m allowed to?”
BBC Breakfast airs weekdays on BBC One from 6am and Naga’s Radio 5 Live show continues at 10am.
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