Natasha Kaplinsky is one of the UK's leading broadcasters who was the 'face of Five' for three years, anchoring the channel's main evening news programme.
Before her role at Five she was at the BBC for five years. She started there in November 2002 co-presenting Breakfast and became one of the Corporation’s best-known faces. Her job on the Breakfast sofa teamed her up with Dermot Murnaghan in a daily three-hour live show combining news, current affairs and softer items, where she developed a reputation for incisive interviewing with a gentle touch where necessary. She then moved on to co-present the Six O’clock News for two years finishing in October 2007.
Natasha was the subject of one of the programmes in the popular BBC1 television series, Who Do You Think You Are? in September 2007.
While news remains her first love, Natasha enjoys the chance to host the occasional entertainment programme. Whilst at the BBC she has hosted New Year Live, and joined Terry Wogan to co-present Making Your Mind Up, (the show which decided the UK's contestant for the Eurovision Song Contest) and Children In Need, all for BBC1. She presented one of the Proms in the 2006 season for the BBC. In 2005 she hosted the BBC's Bafta red carpet coverage, The VE Day Celebrations with Eamonn Holmes, live from Trafalgar Square. Other appearances have included the Royal Variety Show, co-presenting the final of BBC-2’s Restoration with Griff Rhys-Jones and has also appeared as a guest on Have I Got News For You, The Kumars at No 42, Ready Steady Cook and several episodes of the BBC comedy My Hero - in which she plays a newsreader.
In Spring 2004 she discovered a hidden talent when she took part in a new peak-time Saturday night programme called Strictly Come Dancing … she went on to win it. She took part again in most of the second series - though this time as co-presenter with Bruce Forsyth – and in Summer 2005 hosted a one-off special, Strictly African Dancing, as part of the BBC’s Africa Lives season. As part of the same season, Natasha also returned to her African roots, to present Breakfast from Kenya, her childhood home, and film a special report in South Africa.
Natasha grew up in Kenya and was six when she first saw a television set. Her family moved to Sussex where she went to school before studying English at Oxford University.
She worked in the press offices of Neil Kinnock and John Smith before spotting an advertisement for a news presenter with Meridian in the South East. She was taken on to present early-morning bulletins but soon found herself anchoring the station’s evening news magazine. She moved to Carlton in London to host news and current affairs programmes including their flagship nightly news show.
In 2000 she joined Sky News and was a leading member of the presenting team when the channel won a Bafta for Best News Channel.
She was delighted to be named the Variety Club’s TV Personality of the Year 2004 and surprised when her victory in the Strictly Come Dancing was named as Top Entertainment Moment 2004 while the 2004 Tric Awards honoured her as Newscaster of the Year.
She is a patron of the medical relief agency Merlin and The Willow Foundation, which organises special days for seriously ill young adults.