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Charlie Stayt, Naga Munchetty on BBC Breakfast© BBC/James Stack

BBC Breakfast's Charlie Stayt leaves studio in major format change amid Naga Munchetty's absence

Nina Warhurst hosted the show solo from the studio in Salford's Media City

Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
May 23, 2024
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BBC Breakfast looked a little different on Thursday morning as Naga Munchetty was absent from the programme and Charlie Stayt wasn't in the studio.

Charlie swapped Salford's Media City for Downing Street in London to report on the upcoming general election on 4 July following Rishi Sunak's announcement on Wednesday.

Charlie Stayt on BBC Breakfast© BBC
Charlie Stayt hosted BBC Breakfast from Downing Street in London

Meanwhile, Nina Warhurst held down the fort in the studio to keep viewers updated with the main stories of the day. The business presenter stood in for Naga, who was also missing from the show last week. 

Opening the programme from outside Number 10, Charlie said: "Good morning, welcome to BBC Breakfast with me Charlie Stayt in Downing Street and Nina Warhurst in Salford. 

Nina Warhurst© BBC
Nina Warhurst held the fort in the Salford studio

"The election campaign begins, voters in the UK will go to the polls to decide who will occupy the building behind me, Number 10 Downing Street."

Naga wasn't the only main presenter missing from the show as weathercaster Carol Kirkwood was also absent. Matt Taylor filled in for the Scottish star, who marked two years since announcing her engagement this week. 

Matt Taylor on BBC Breakfast© BBC
Matt Taylor filled in for Carol Kirkwood on Thursday
WATCH: Carol Kirkwood confirms engagement live on BBC Breakfast

On 23 May 2022, Carol revealed the exciting news of her engagement to now-husband Steve Randall during an episode of BBC Breakfast. While delivering the weather report from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Carol showed off her sparkling ring after being prompted by her co-host Sally Nugent. 

"I'm a bit concerned about how you're standing up with a giant rock on that left hand," said Sally, to which a blushing Carol confirmed: "Thank you Sal! It is rather nice. I got engaged!"

Carol Kirkwood and Steve Randall on a boat© Twitter
Carol with her husband Steve Randall

Carol and Steve tied the knot in December last year in a stunning winter ceremony held at Cliveden House in Berkshire. 

At the time, Carol shared details from her big day on social media, saying her nuptials were "romantic and intimate". "We had the most perfect day," she penned, adding: "A day we will never forget. We are bursting with happiness."

It's an exciting time for Carol, who also announced the upcoming release of her fourth novel, Once Upon A Time in Venice, earlier this month.

Carol Kirkwood and partner Steve Randall at The Radio Times Covers Party at Claridge's Hotel© Can Nguyen/Shutterstock
Carol and Steve have been married since December 2023

Taking to social media, the 61-year-old revealed that her new book will hit the shelves in July. Teasing the plot, she penned: "I'm delighted to announce that I have a new novel coming in July called #OnceUponATimeinVenice. This time I'm whisking you away to Italy where masquerade balls, opera stars and Hollywood all collide in a sizzling romance."

The story follows a woman named Gina Bellini, who meets an "enigmatic figure" at the Venice carnival. While the pair share "unforgettable" chemistry, the stranger soon vanishes into the night. 

Carol Kirkwood at Chelsea Flower Show Press Day, Chelsea, London, UK - 23 May 2022© Mark Thomas/Shutterstock
Carol announced her fourth novel earlier this month

"Personal assistant, Issy Roberts is on location with Tinseltown's biggest star. Will he discover her shocking lies?" reads the synopsis. "Opera sensation Lucia De Santis has the world at her feet. How far will she go to get what she wants? As their fates collide in the most beautiful city on earth, will dangerous secrets destroy their dreams?"

Carol made her debut as a fiction writer back in 2021 with the release of Under a Greek Moon, which reached number two on the Sunday Times bestsellers list. Her second book, The Hotel on the Riviera, came the next year in 2022, and was followed by Secrets of The Villa Amore in July 2023.

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