Naga Munchetty told she was "useless" and would cry all the time as junior reporter

Naga Munchetty appearing on A Question Of Sport. (BBC)
Naga Munchetty has said she cried almost every day when she started out as a journalist. (BBC)

Naga Munchetty has revealed she was told she was "useless" when starting out in journalism and would go home in tears most days.

But the BBC Breakfast host admitted the harsh treatment may have made her a better reporter as she was terrified of making mistakes.

Munchetty, 47, told the Radio Times: "I had copy thrown at me when I first started in newspapers. I was told I was b****y useless. I did go home many a day in tears, but equally, I learnt not to make mistakes, that mistakes weren’t acceptable.

Read more: BBC Breakfast's Naga Munchetty: Who is she? When is she on TV?

"That fear of making a mistake meant that you did your research twice as well, and to the best of your ability."

The newsreader recalled being told to "toughen up" when she decided to move from print journalism into broadcast news.

Naga Munchetty hosting BBC Breakfast. (BBC)
Naga Munchetty hosting BBC Breakfast. (BBC)

She said: "I remember when I first decided I wanted to explore being on air, I was told, 'You are quite sensitive'.

"'You do take criticism quite hard and you dwell on things. You need to toughen up'. And I did."

Munchetty - who competed in Strictly Come Dancing in 2016 - has been a host on BBC Breakfast since 2014.

She has often been celebrated for her strong retorts to online trolls who send her abusive messages.

And she is not afraid to speak out when she encounters racism in her daily life.

Naga Munchetty competed in Strictly Come Dancing in 2016. (Getty Images)
Naga Munchetty competed in Strictly Come Dancing in 2016. (Getty Images)

The TV presenter found herself at the centre of a broadcast controversy in July 2019 during a discussion about former US President Donald Trump's comments telling his opponents to "go back to where they came from".

She said: "Every time I have been told, as a woman of colour, to go back to where I came from, that was embedded in racism. Now I'm not accusing anyone of anything here, but you know what certain phrases mean."

The discussion apparently sparked complaints from viewers who felt that the BBC were not remaining impartial and in September 2019, Munchetty was ruled to have breached the BBC's guidelines.

Naga Munchetty
Naga Munchetty has hosted BBC Breakfast since 2014. (Getty Images)

It outraged many, especially as co-host Dan Walker was apparently complained about too but not investigated, and an open letter asking for the corporation to consider their ruling again was signed by famous supporters including Sir Lenny Henry.

Read more: Naga Munchetty mourns the death of pet cat

By the end of September 2019, then-BBC director-general Tony Hall overturned the ruling after looking into it himself.

Watch: Lewis Capaldi embarrasses Naga Munchetty live on BBC Breakfast