BBC Breakfast: Charlie Stayt pokes fun at Robert Jenrick's flag
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Naga Munchetty, 46, has been inundated with support on social media after being accused of “sneering” over the Union Jack. The BBC Breakfast host took to Twitter and issued an apology after she liked a tweet about the British flag.
It comes after her co-star Charlie Stayt, 58, pointed out Robert Jenrick had a large Union Jack flag on display behind him in an interview with the Housing Secretary on Thursday’s programme.
“I think your flag is not up to standard size, Government interview measurements. I think it’s just a little bit small, but that’s your department really,” he commented.
Naga was filmed laughing into her hand and added: “There’s always a flag. They had the picture of the Queen, though.”
The TV host’s comments sparked a backlash on social media before Naga liked a tweet which read: “What has Charlie done? The flag sh***ers will be up in arms. Tell him we love him.”
Supporters have since come to Naga’s defence, including historian and Professor Kate Williams who stated the Government were fuelling a “culture war”.
In view of her 121,000 Twitter followers, Professor Williams penned: “The Government wants to whip up this pile on Naga Munchetty – a fantastic broadcaster who was expressing amusement at her co-presenter’s joke – to distract us from their failings, spending, Brexit, COVID. These culture wars are dangerous – real people are targeted.”
In a follow-up tweet, Professor Williams slammed Boris Johnson’s Government being more concerned about flags than the number of deaths as a result of Covid.
Social media users reacted to the post, as one remarked: “Damn straight, Professor Williams. Naga is a professional broadcaster, an asset to the BBC & I think she knows the mood of a room. Satire is a very British quality & one we shouldn’t ever let be crushed.”
Another penned: “We’ll have paid for them to parade these flags. If we want to poke fun at them that’s our choice. That’s a democracy surely. The fact that Charlie made the point and Naga just laughed and yet it’s Naga at the forefront of the abuse is just typical.”
“How had everybody got this so wrong, the flag and Queen weren’t being ridiculed. The minister was for his ‘product placement’,” a third added.
BBC broadcaster Huw Edwards also defended his colleague as he issued a humorous jibe at the incident while joking that he will now be presenting the programme in front of the Flag of Wales in light of the debate.
However, his post has now been deleted “by order”, Huw has since claimed.
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On Friday, Naga apologised for liking a tweet about the British flag on the micro-blogging site.
In a statement, she said: “I ‘liked’ tweets today that were offensive in nature about the use of the British flag as a backdrop in a government interview this morning. I have since removed these ‘likes’. This do(es) not represent the views of me or the BBC.
“I apologise for any offence taken. Naga.”
At the time, social media users hit out at the broadcaster following her apology.
One replied: “Why did you like them in the first place if they do not represent your views? Im confused.”(sic)
“Thanks for apologising. Please hang a Union Jack behind you when you are next on TV,” penned a second.
Another tweeted: “So you should as well what about Charlie Stayt need an apology on @BBCBreakfast tomorrow or both come off the show.”(sic)
Naga, who regularly presents the Breakfast show on Saturdays, was absent from the programme today.
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