Natasha Kaplinsky

Natasha Kaplinsky
Natasha Margaret Kaplinsky (born 9 September 1972) is an English newsreader, currently employed by Channel Five. Kaplinsky's parents are Raphael Kaplinsky, an exiled Jewish South African economics professor, and his wife Catherine Kaplinsky née Charlewood, a psychotherapist.


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Natasha Margaret Kaplinsky (born 9 September 1972) is an English newsreader, currently employed by Channel Five.

Kaplinsky's parents are Raphael Kaplinsky, an exiled Jewish South African economics professor, and his wife Catherine Kaplinsky née Charlewood, a psychotherapist. Her paternal grandparents originated from Slonim, now in Belarus, and emigrated to South Africa in 1929. Kaplinsky was born in Brighton, but spent her early life in Kenya (where she claims to have been fluent in Swahili, although she later returned to England, where she was brought up in Barcombe, East Sussex. She attended Ringmer Community College, until the age of sixteen when she moved to Varndean College in Brighton. After graduating in English from Hertford College, Oxford, one of her first jobs was working in the press offices of Labour leaders Neil Kinnock and John Smith. Kaplinsky was the subject of one of a series of BBC television programmes, Who Do You Think You Are?, in which well-known people trace their family trees. Kaplinsky's programme was broadcast on 6 September 2007.

She followed her paternal line to Slonim and was shown official documentation relating to her cousin's family. This included the death of family members during the "liquidation" – massacre – of the Slonim ghetto by the Nazis and another's escape to the partisans and eventual emigration to Australia. Her maternal line included an apothecary to King George III.

Kaplinsky started out presenting on F2F, a youth chat show, for LWT's Talk TV in the late nineties with co-host Sacha Baron Cohen. She then moved to presenting early morning news bulletins at Meridian. Within six months she was co-presenting their evening news programme Meridian Tonight. She later moved to ITV's London News Network where she hosted London Today and London Tonight and a political programme called Seven Days. In November 2000, she moved to Sky News, where she co-presented Live at Five with Jeremy Thompson, as well as the breakfast news programme Sunrise.

Kaplinsky joined the BBC to present BBC Breakfast in November 2002, from Monday to Thursday alongside Dermot Murnaghan, following the departure of Sophie Raworth to present the BBC News at Six. Kaplinsky eventually left Breakfast in May 2005, to become an occasional presenter on the News at Six. Kaplinsky also acted as main weekday presenter on the News at Six, when Sophie Raworth was on maternity leave in October 2005. She was replaced as the main Weekday presenter on Breakfast by Sian Williams.

In 2006, Kaplinsky became only the third woman to present the BBC's BBC Ten O'Clock News, after Fiona Bruce (regular presenter) and Sian Williams who had co-presented the programme from the studio in Westminster with Huw Edwards in April 2005. She continued to present on the programme occasionally in 2007, and was also been on the BBC One O'Clock News.

From mid-2007, Kaplinsky took part in a trial on BBC One in Birmingham, where she presented a special news update at 8 pm, between 60-90 seconds long. On 5 October 2007 the BBC confirmed that Kaplinsky had decided to depart the BBC to become a presenter of Five News. She presented her last Six O'Clock News on 5 October with former Breakfast colleague Dermot Murnaghan. Her BBC salary was a reported £175,000 and her salary at Five was reported to be "in excess of" £300,000. This is believed to make her the highest earning newsreader in Britain.

On 18 February 2008 Natasha presented her first broadcast for Five. The first bulletin was reported to have been watched by a million viewers. Bulletins are at 17:00 and 19:00 on Five, which Natasha presents Monday to Thursday. On Fridays, one of her colleagues, either Helen Fospero, Kate Gerbeau or Matt Barbet will stand in for her.

Natasha began her maternity leave following the 19:00 bulletin on 21 August 2008. Isla Traquair and Matt Barbet stood in for her until Monday 16 February 2009 when Natasha returned to Five News. She will initially present the 5:00pm bulletin only, before later returning to the 7:00pm edition.

In 2004, she participated in the first series of the celebrity ballroom dancing competition Strictly Come Dancing and along with partner Brendan Cole, went on to win the competition. She then co-presented the second series in 2004 with Bruce Forsyth, as maternity cover for regular presenter, Tess Daly. She has also appeared in a number of episodes of the sitcom My Hero, reading the news, mainly reports of character Thermoman's heroic deeds. In July 2005 she hosted the one-off special Strictly African Dancing alongside Martin Offiah. Kaplinsky has also hosted Making Your Mind Up, the UK qualifier for the Eurovision Song Contest.

On 18 November 2005, Kaplinsky hosted the BBC's annual Children in Need charity telethon, alongside Fearne Cotton and Terry Wogan, and again in 2006, on 17 November. Kaplinsky also presented the BBC's New Year Live, celebrating the arrival of the year 2006 and 2007. She has also made at least one appearance on Have I Got News For You, also with Bruce Forsyth hosting.

In 2008, she made a cameo appearance in the BBC television series Torchwood as archive footage for the millennium in the directory of geological studys by DkMd in 2005.

Kaplinsky broke up with her long term boyfriend Michael Barnard while taking part in Strictly Come Dancing and commenced a brief affair with her dance partner Brendon Cole. She then resurrected her relationship with Lloyd Bracey, her former Meridian TV boss.

On 21 August 2005, Kaplinsky married Justin Bower, an investment banker from London at Babington House, Somerset,whom she met on a blind date.

In April 2008, Kaplinsky announced she was pregnant with her first child, six weeks after her debut on Five News. On 25th September 2008, Five News revealed that Kaplinsky had given birth to a son, which she and Bower named Arlo, over two weeks after he was born.

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