BBC Breakfast host Naga Munchetty enrages bosses by topping up her £195k salary with lucrative Natwest adverts
BBC BREAKFAST host Naga Munchetty has risked the wrath of new director general Tim Davie after being caught moonlighting for a second time.
Naga, 45, shot a series of “business interviews” for banking giant NatWest while trousering a fee.
It comes after the former Strictly Come Dancing contestant was warned about conflicts of interest earlier this year after we told how she had been paid to appear in a corporate PR video for crisis-hit carmaker Aston Martin.
Naga, who earns up to £195,000 a year for her role on the breakfast sofa, has now been given a second warning about “external engagements” after we informed the BBC.
The engagement, which was filmed before Mr Davie became DG, saw her interview high profile people in “business, politics and sport” — including former shadow chancellor Ed Balls.
It has caused anger in the BBC newsroom among lower paid staff who have accused her of “having her cake and eating it too”.
A source said: “Naga earns an enormous wage on the BBC already.
"There’s a lot of foot soldiers in the newsroom who are on a pittance compared to her who can’t even dream of earning what she does who are furious about her external engagements.
“How can she remain impartial if she’s doing corporate gigs for a banking giant in her free time?
"What happens if there’s a financial story she has to discuss on the sofa, it’s an impossible situation.”
It comes just days after new BBC boss Tim Davie said there would be a crackdown on stars using their status at the BBC to make money working for private companies, saying there would be “clearer direction on the declaration of external interests”.
BBC insiders say that Naga filmed the interviews before Mr Davie became DG and that that currently additional work is allowed providing they “maintain objectivity and impartiality”.
But they admitted it was a potential conflict of interest and that editorial decisions taken on the BBC show will be influenced by her actions.
A BBC spokeswoman said: “Since this event, Naga has been reminded of the risk of conflict of interest when undergoing external engagements.
"We are developing clearer direction in this area as part of our wider work on impartiality and will have more to say on that in due course.”
Last year Munchetty was found to have breached the BBC’s impartiality guidelines by the corporation’s complaints unit after she condemned President Trump for telling some female politicians to “go back” to where they came from.
That ruling was overturned by then BBC chief Lord Hall, who said the BBC was not neutral on racism.
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