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BBC Breakfast's Naga Munchetty details painful experience with racism in her childhood

The BBC journalist's dad is from Mauritius and her mum from India

Sharnaz Shahid

Naga Munchetty has opened up about her experience with racism - something she suffered for the first time as a child.

Ahead of Monday's Panorama programme about race in Britain, the BBC Breakfast reflected on one of the most traumatic experiences of her life as she recalled the moment her seven-year-old self lost her best friend.

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"I was in infant school and it was a boy who was one of my best friends," she told the i paper. "We hung out all the time. In the playground, chatting, collecting acorns, you know what kids do."

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However, one day the boy called her the P-word. Admitting it's still "really emotional and painful" to talk about, Naga added: "I'm not going to say it defines me or that I carry this around with me every day, but it's painful to recall it."

The respected journalist grew up in south London; her dad is from Mauritius and her mum is from India. They were both nurses - and had also experience racial abuse first-hand.

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Naga will share her experience in Monday's Panorama

"It was the first time being in a school that was so multicultural that someone said to me, 'You're different and you're not good enough.' The colour of my skin made me inferior," she continued.

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Since the start of the year, Naga has been hosting Radio 5 Live during the mid-morning slot three days a week, Mondays to Wednesdays from 10am to 1pm. She still co-hosts BBC Breakfast with Charlie Stayt from Thursdays to Saturdays.

The popular broadcaster is the second longest-serving member of the current presenting team on BBC Breakfast. She joined the show in 2009, becoming a main presenter in 2014 alongside Charlie, Louise Minchin and Dan Walker. Naga's first job at the BBC was in 2008, presenting business news programme, Working Lunch.

BBC Panorama: Let's Talk about Race is on BBC One on Monday at 7pm.

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