January 04, 2021
The two went head-to-head as Barnett moved from Radio 5 to Woman’s Hour with Munchetty replacing her – but it surely won’t be long before they share a studio on a revamped Today
Emma Barnett and Naga Munchetty: how were the new Womans Hour and 5 live hosts?
Many schools are staying closed after Christmas, but, on the BBC’s two leading radio speech networks at 10am on Monday, there was a vivid sense of ringing bells and sharpened pencils. On Radio 4, Emma Barnett took over Woman’s Hour, with Naga Munchetty moving into the slot on Radio 5 live that Barnett occupied until December, bringing two of the finest broadcasters of the younger generation into scheduling competition.
Barnett started by reading out a letter the show had solicited from the Queen, congratulating Woman’s Hour on its 75th anniversary this year: a counterintuitive traditionalism from a 35-year-old presenter, although segueing to a specially recorded song by the former Spice Girl Mel C suggested a desire to cover the generational bases. Munchetty also started with music, reading her menu of the items coming up over a thumping drum’n’bass track, which seemed mainly designed to make the show sound different from Barnett’s reign, and from Munchetty’s other gig on BBC One Breakfast News.
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