From the sofa to the dance floor! BBC Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty joins the lineup for 2016's Strictly Come Dancing
Viewers are used to waking up with her every morning on the BBC Breakfast sofa.
But from the autumn Naga Munchetty will be moving to prime time Saturday night as the presenter joins this year's series of Strictly Come Dancing.
The BBC newsreader has become the ninth celebrity confirmed to take part in the forthcoming series of the Ballroom and Latin show.
Dancing feet: BBC Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty is the latest celeb confirmed for this year's Strictly Come Dancing
The journalist admitted: 'I was so surprised to be asked to take part - I never thought I'd have the courage to say yes, but it would be simply silly to turn down the chance to learn to dance with a professional.'
And, although she's nervous about slipping into her skin-tight crystal-embellished gowns and hitting the dance floor on national television, the 41-year-old can't wait to start training.
Naga - who has been a regular presenter on BBC 'Breakfast' since 2009- explained: 'I'm going to give it my very best and enjoy what's bound to be a great adventure. I am equally excited, nervous and scared - I can't wait to start training!'
Headed to the dancefloor: The journalist looked in great spirits as she left the BBC Breakfast studios on Thursday morning following the Strictly announcement
Bring it on:Although she's nervous about slipping into her skin-tight crystal-embellished gowns, the 41-year-old can't wait to start training
Outside of her career in journalism, Naga is a keen golfer plus she took part in and won her episode of Celebrity Mastermind in 2013 where her specialist subject was The Ryder Cup.
Naga will follow in the footsteps of BBC Breakfast's Carol Kirkwood who starred on last year's series.
She joins Ed Balls, Will Young, Laura Whitmore, Ore Oduba, Melvin Odoom, Louise Redknapp, Danny Mac and Daisy Lowe who have already been announced as contestants for the new series of Strictly.
Something to celebrate? Naga was busy chatting on her phone and looked dressed for a workout as she left work on Thursday
Day job: Naga can usually be found on the BBC Breakfast sofa, where she's been working since 2009
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‘I can be stubborn… she’d whip me into shape’: Married BBC breakfast host Naga Munchetty stirs up Strictly same-sex pairings debate by revealing she wants to dance with a WOMAN on the hit show
Her first dance as a married woman ended with her falling over ‘in a big puff of wedding dress’.
Undeterred, Naga Munchetty was yesterday confirmed to compete on this year’s Strictly – and used the announcement to stir up the debate on same-sex pairings by declaring she wanted professional dancer Karen Clifton.
The BBC Breakfast co-host said Mrs Clifton’s no-nonsense approach to choreography made the Venezuelan dancer the best partner to ‘whip her into shape’ and ignore her stubbornness.
Controversial: Naga Munchetty was yesterday confirmed to compete on this year’s Strictly – and used the announcement to stir up the debate on same-sex pairings
Speaking live on Thursday morning’s show, Miss Munchetty, 41, was asked who she would like to hit the dancefloor with and said: ‘Karen. I know that won’t happen. It’s because she’s so brilliant, she’s just so determined and so on it and would take no nonsense. Because you know I can be a little bit stubborn. So sometimes I need a bit of a kick.’
She added Mrs Clifton, who is married to Strictly dancer Kevin, is a ‘pocket rocket and full of fire and I think she would be able to whip me into shape.’
The issue of whether celebrities on Strictly should be paired with professionals of the same-sex has long been hotly debated.
Feisty: Naga declared she wanted professional dancer Karen Clifton as her partner as Mrs Clifton’s no-nonsense approach to choreography made the Venezuelan dancer the best
Last May, Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood said a same-sex pairing was ‘on the cards’ following successful runs in other countries such as Hungary.
He said: ‘It’ll be either this year or next year, but most certainly, it will happen. They did it already in Hungary or somewhere.
‘We should encourage that sort of thing, absolutely. There are competitions throughout the world that have same-sex couples, you just have to decide who goes backwards, darling!’
Good morning! Naga is best known for presenting BBC Breakfast alongside Charlie Stayt
However the BBC faced backlash in September after issuing a controversial statement to say they would not be introducing same-sex partners on the show.
They said at the time: ‘Strictly is a family show and we have chosen the traditional format of mixed-sex couples.’
Former dancer James Jordan, who supported the show’s decision, said on This Morning: ‘If they [had same-sex partners] they would be a joke couple.
‘People wouldn’t take it seriously - it would be comedy value. I don’t think it would be two men dancing a sexy Rumba together.
‘I’m not saying I don’t want people to do it. There are same sex competitions which is fantastic, but on Strictly let’s keep it traditional. Why do we have to change something just to tick a box?’
Ready to rumba? Naga looked dressed for a dance session as she was spotted leaving the BBC studios shortly after the Strictly Come Dancing announcement was made
However his sentiments were not shared by all dancers.
Responding to the BBC’s statement former professional Gleb Savchenko, 32, criticised the decision, saying TV bosses needed to ‘embrace diversity’.
He told GuysLikeU: ‘I think this would be a great idea. I believe the show should embrace diversity. Dance is for everyone.
‘If it happened, I would look forward to do some very exciting and very different choreography!’
Comical: Former dancer James Jordan (pictured with dancer and wife Ola Jordan) supported the show’s decision to keep mixed couples as he said same-sex partners would be a 'joke'
Miss Munchetty, who admitted it was unlikely she would be paired with Mrs Clifton, also revealed she was concerned about her dancing ability after she fell over in her wedding dress 12 years ago shortly after tying the knot with TV director James Haggar.
She said: ‘I had to dance lessons before I got married and they didn’t quite work out because I ended up falling over on our first dance and James came over and picked me up very gallantly but no they didn’t work out. That’s all I’ve had.’
However, she could be being coy because she revealed that she was invited up on stage by Prince and danced with him on her 21st birthday.
The revelation prompted an awkward exchange live on BBC Breakfast with pop singer Lisa Stansfield who went on to ask if the presenter had slept with Prince, who died in April.
Cha-cha-charming: Naga showed off some her best moves when she performed on stage during Betfair's Newsroom's Got Talent in 2010 which raises funds for charities
The presenter added: ‘I’ve always enjoyed watching Strictly. It’s a brilliant show and it’s lots of fun.’
Miss Munchetty joined the BBC as the presenter of Working Lunch, and became a full-time member of the BBC Breakfast team in 2014.
Miss Munchetty, joins a line-up which already includes ex-shadow chancellor Ed Balls, former Hollyoaks actor Danny Mac, ex-Eternal member Louise Redknapp, singer Will Young, TV presenter Laura Whitmore, radio DJ Melvin Odoom, model Daisy Lowe and sports broadcaster Ore Oduba.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3748000/I-stubborn-d-whip-shape-Married-BBC-breakfast-host-Naga-Munchetty-stirs-Strictly-sex-pairings-debate-revealing-wants-dance-WOMAN-hit-show.html#ixzz4HjVsBeYy
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