I was called wicked for not want­ing chil­dren, says Naga

The Daily Telegraph - - News - By Anita Singh ARTS AND EN­TER­TAIN­MENT EDITOR

NAGA MUNCHETTY, the BBC pre­sen­ter, has said she was branded “wicked” for choos­ing to be child-free.

Munchetty said that she was fre­quently asked as a younger woman when she planned to have chil­dren, and had been asked out­right if she was in­fer­tile.

Dur­ing a dis­cus­sion on BBC Ra­dio 5 Live, the BBC Break­fast pre­sen­ter, 45, said: “I re­mem­ber when I told some­one that I had de­cided I didn’t want chil­dren, some­one told me I was wicked. Wicked against my mother for deny­ing her grand­chil­dren.

“It’s quite in­ter­est­ing, isn’t it, how peo­ple re­act?”

She added: “I’m past the age now where peo­ple ex­pect me to have chil­dren.

“[But] peo­ple can be quite forthright: ‘Oh, you can’t have them?’”

Munchetty is mar­ried to James Hag­gar, a tele­vi­sion di­rec­tor.

She said: “I think peo­ple find it un­usual that both in the re­la­tion­ship have agreed or de­cided or come to the con­clu­sion that they don’t want chil­dren.”

She added: “Fun­nily enough, I’m re­ally good with ba­bies – not so good with chil­dren but re­ally good with ba­bies, be­cause I think I don’t have that anx­i­ety, so I can ac­tu­ally stop them cry­ing, which al­ways sur­prises all of my friends with new­born ba­bies be­cause they’re al­ways a lit­tle bit scared when I take them.”

Munchetty said there was a def­i­nite dis­tinc­tion be­tween “child-free” and “child­less”.

She was speak­ing to Emma Gannon, an au­thor who is child-free, and who said she ob­jected to be­ing told that she might change her mind one day. “We don’t say it to women who are hav­ing chil­dren – ‘Oh, you might change your mind’ – and we need to be mind­ful that it is a slightly strange ques­tion, be­cause you’re doubt­ing a woman’s choice.”

A re­cent study by the Univer­sity of Wash­ing­ton found that the global fer­til­ity rate has plum­meted since 1950, when women had an av­er­age of 4.7 chil­dren over their life­time.

That fig­ure, by 2017, was 2.4 chil­dren, and the study pro­jected that it will fall to below 1.7 by 2100.

Naga Munchetty, the BBC Break­fast pre­sen­ter, said many had ques­tioned her de­ci­sion not to have chil­dren

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