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Naga Munchetty – a host on BBC Breakfast- has opened up to her fellow BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin and BBC Triathlon presenter Annie Emerson about how Strictly Come Dancing took her out of her “comfort zone”. The popular broadcaster nearly swore on the podcast, as she described “bricking it” over her first-ever appearance on the 2016 BBC dance competition.
I was absolutely bricking it
Naga is renowned for keeping composure in tense situations, having grilled countless political heavyweights including Hilary Clinton, David Cameron and Tony Blair over the years.
Annie Emerson questioned: “You said you have never been nervous, let me ask you a question, back in 2016 on Strictly…”
Before she could finish her question, Naga excitedly interrupted, adding: “Oh, Oh.”
Annie continued: “When you walked out on that dance floor live for the very first time, please tell me you weren’t a tiny bit nervous?”
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Louise jokingly responded: “She’s going to say no isn’t she.”
Naga replied: “No, I’m trying not to swear, I’m trying not to use bad language, I was absolutely bricking it, absolutely bricking it and you do, [it] way out of my comfort zone.
“You never have enough time to rehearse and learn.
“You’re learning in a completely different way and one thing I learned from Strictly is the way my mind works.”
She revealed how tough she found learning the dances on the programme, as her mind is often overwhelmed from working in the newsroom.
At work, Naga said she would often absorb facts on the spot, but past “10 o’clock” she would struggle to remember them.
She said this made it difficult for her and dance partner Pasha Kovalev when they were choreographing routines, as he would question how someone that “smart” could not remember the steps.
The presenter also spoke about how she has “learnt” to stop seeking acceptance from everyone and admits she is a “grower” when it comes to being liked.
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Naga explained: “The one thing I have learnt from my husband is he said, ‘Look you walk into a room, and there are a hundred people, there is no way a hundred people are going to like you’.
“I’ve never expected people to like me, I’m a grower, most of my friends would probably say, ‘Yeah I wasn’t sure at first’ and they’re intensely loyal friends now.
“I don’t expect people to like me, I don’t care if people don’t like me,” she added.
Annie Emerson agreed: “ I like that attitude, I genuinely do, I think I should embrace it, even more, ultimately you would prefer someone to not like you to begin with and then when they get to know you like you rather than the other way around.”
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Outside of journalism, Naga has achieved sporting accolades including running the London marathon and cycling 100km for Ride the Night 2015.
She also took up golf in 2008 and now plays a handicap of nine.
Naga has often spoken out about the importance of fitness and being active to maintain a healthy mindset while working in pressured environments.
Her Spirit is a podcast designed to inspire women to live a positive and active lifestyle.
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