Natasha Kaplinsky

Natasha Margaret Kaplinsky[1] OBE (born 9 September 1972)[2] is an English newsreader, TV presenter and journalist, best known for her roles as a studio anchor on Sky News, BBC News, Channel 5 and ITV News.

Natasha Kaplinsky

Natasha Kaplinsky 2015.jpg
Kaplinsky 2015 for a Daily Mail Weekend shoot
Born (1972-09-09) 9 September 1972 (age 48)
EducationRingmer Community College
Varndean College
Hertford College, Oxford
OccupationNewsreader, journalist, television presenter
Years active1995–present
EmployerITN (2011–16)
Five News (2008–10)
BBC (2002–07)
Height5 ft 4 in (1.63 m)
Spouse(s)Justin Bower (m. 2005)

After two years at Sky News, Kaplinsky joined BBC News in 2002 where she co-hosted Breakfast until 2005, when she became the host of the Six O'Clock News. In October 2007, Kaplinsky was recruited to help relaunch Five (now known as Channel 5), reportedly for the highest fee ever paid to a UK newsreader, where she presented a new look, retitled Five News with Natasha Kaplinsky for three years. After leaving Channel 5, she went on to join ITV News as a presenter.

Kaplinsky has hosted a series of light entertainment and factual programmes in her career, notably Children in Need and Born to Shine. She was also the subject of the most highly rated Who Do You Think You Are. She is perhaps most famous for being the first ever winner of the first series of BBC's Strictly Come Dancing in 2004. Kaplinsky has co-founded a mother and baby company, Mum & You.[3]

In 2014 the then PM David Cameron asked Kaplinsky to become a Holocaust Commissioner leading a project to interview 112 survivors. She was awarded an OBE in 2017 for her services to the Holocaust Commission.

Early lifeEdit

Kaplinsky was born to Raphael Kaplinsky, a South African[4] political refugee, Professor of International Development at the Open University, and his wife, Catherine Kaplinsky (née Charlewood), a psychotherapist.[5]

Kaplinsky's paternal grandparents were a Jewish family[6] who originated from the town of Slonim (then part of Poland, now located in western Belarus), and immigrated to South Africa in 1929. Kaplinsky was born in Brighton, but spent her early life in Kenya, where she stated that she was fluent in Swahili.[7] The family immigrated to the United Kingdom and Kaplinsky 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 with a degree in English from Hertford College, Oxford in 1995,[2] one of Kaplinsky's first jobs was working in the press offices of Labour leaders Neil Kinnock and John Smith.

Kaplinsky was the subject of an episode of the BBC's Who Do You Think You Are?, in which well-known people trace their family trees. Kaplinsky's programme was broadcast on 6 September 2007.[8] 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 Słonim Ghetto by the Nazis and another's escape to the partisans and eventual immigration to Australia. Her maternal line included an apothecary to King George III.


Early careerEdit

Kaplinsky started out presenting on F2F, a youth chat show, for Granada Talk TV in 1996[2] 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. In 1999, Kaplinsky moved to ITV's London News Network[2] where she hosted London Today and London Tonight as well as a political programme called Seven Days.

In November 2000, Kaplinsky joined Sky News, where she initially co-presented breakfast news programme Sunrise; she later moved to early evening bulletin Live at Five, which she presented alongside Jeremy Thompson.

BBC NewsEdit

Kaplinsky joined the BBC in November 2002 to present BBC Breakfast from Monday to Thursday with Dermot Murnaghan, before moving on the host the BBC News at Six.

In 2006, Kaplinsky became only the third (and youngest) woman to present the BBC's Ten O'Clock News.

Kaplinsky was recruited from the corporation to join Five to help relaunch the channel. In a highly publicised move it was widely reported that her salary was upwards of £1,000,000 per annum.

Five NewsEdit

On 18 February 2008, Kaplinsky relaunched Five,[2] doubling viewing figures overnight.

On 21 August 2008, Kaplinsky began her first maternity leave from Five, followed by a second period after the birth of her daughter.

On 14 October 2010, Kaplinsky announced that she was leaving her job at Channel 5 at the end of 2010, having spent most of her three years at the network on maternity leave.[9] On 23 December 2010, she presented her final bulletin for Five News.


Kaplinsky's first presenting role with ITV was in the summer of 2011, when she hosted a new Sunday entertainment series Born to Shine, which raised awareness for the charity Save the Children, of which Natasha is an ambassador.[10][11]

On 19 August 2013, Kaplinsky presented The People's Medal,[12] a documentary about The Queen's Birthday Honours List.[13]

On 29 October 2013, Kaplinsky hosted the documentary On the Run, alongside journalist Mark Williams-Thomas.[14] The pair then presented a second documentary, Missing Without Trace, on 12 November 2013.[15]

Other television workEdit

Kaplinsky has appeared on a number of light entertainment and factual programmes over the years. She hosted Children in Need with Terry Wogan, Have I Got News for You, and the BBC's New Year Live for many years and later the equivalent for ITV.

She continues to work extensively for ITN Productions, recently[when?] re-signing another two year contract, and is committed to various filming projects.

Strictly Come DancingEdit

In 2004, Kaplinsky participated in the first series of the celebrity ballroom dancing competition Strictly Come Dancing and went on to win the competition with partner Brendan Cole. Kaplinsky then co-presented the first half of the second series in 2004 with Bruce Forsyth, when regular presenter Tess Daly went on maternity leave.[16] Kaplinsky returned to the show in 2012, taking part in the Christmas Special and in 2018 as part of the BAFTA tribute to Sir Bruce Forsyth.

Week Dance Judges' scores Total Result
1 Cha-cha-cha / "Chain of Fools" 7,7,8,5 27 Safe
2 Quickstep / "The Lady is a Tramp" 7,8,8,8 31 Safe
3 Jive / "Jump, Jive and Wail" 7,7,5,7 26 Bottom two, saved by judges
4 Foxtrot / "The Girl from Ipanema" 8,9,9,9 35 Safe
5 Samba / "Love Is in the Air" 9,10,9,9 37 Safe
6 Tango / "Libertango" 8,7,8,8 31 N/A
6 Rumba / "Endless Love" 9,9,9,9 36 Safe
7 Waltz / "With You I'm Born Again" 9,9,9,9 36 N/A
7 Paso Doble / "O Fortuna" 8,9,9,9 35 Safe
8 Quickstep / "The Lady is a Tramp" 9,9,9,9 36 N/A
8 Samba / "Love Is in the Air" 7,7,9,8 31 N/A
8 Showdance / "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" 8,9,9,9 35 Won

Personal lifeEdit

On 21 August 2005, Kaplinsky married Justin Bower. In April 2008, Kaplinsky announced she was pregnant with their first child, six weeks after her debut on Five News. On 25 September 2008, Five News revealed that Kaplinsky had given birth to a son,[17] whom she and Bower later named Arlo, over two weeks after he was born. On 9 April 2010 Kaplinksy gave birth to a daughter, Angelica Pearl Bower.[18] Speaking live on the 14 October 2020 on ITVs 'This Morning' Kaplinsky revealed she had suffered multiple miscarriages and had participated in Channel 5's discussion, 'Miscarriage: Our Story' broadcast 15 October 2020.[19]

On 8 February 2011, Kaplinsky commented in a BBC radio interview on Steve Wright in the Afternoon that she and Bower had performed as disguised extras for the English National Ballet although she "had insisted that her name was not used in the programme". In the production of Romeo and Juliet, she had performed as "Wench number 7" at the London Coliseum.

Kaplinsky is teetotal and a vegetarian.[20]


Kaplinsky became a celebrity ambassador for the UK charity Save the Children in 2010.[21][22] For over a decade she has been an active ambassador and fundraiser for Save the Children, travelling extensively for them around the world.

She is a patron of the Bevern Trust and she is an ambassador for Wellbeing of Women. Kaplinsky is also Patron for the National Maternity Support Foundation and The Willow Foundation.

Kaplinsky volunteered to record 112 testimonies of Holocaust survivors who had never spoken before.[23] She continues to serve as a board member for the Holocaust Memorial Foundation.[24]

She was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2017 Birthday Honours for services to the Holocaust Commission.[25][26]

In October 2018 Kaplinsky and Michael Sheen became vice presidents (an ambassadorial role) of the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH).[27]

In July 2019, it was announced that Kaplinsky had taken on the role as Barnardo's president. Kaplinsky was welcomed into this position at the annual Parliamentary reception by Javed Khan, CEO of Barnardo's, as well as other celebrity champions. Kaplinsky said, "I’m delighted to be joining Barnardo's as the charity’s new President. There are so many challenges for children these days. It must be frightening growing up now. They have so many concerns, environmental changes, the internet, difficulties breaking into jobs, and believing they’ll never be affording a house. It’s even harder for the most vulnerable children Barnardo's supports – like children growing up in the care system. My aim is to visit as many services as I can and meet as many young people as possible, to learn more about the challenges they face and how the charity is helping them." [28]


  1. ^ General Register Office Birth Index 1972 Q2 Kaplinsky, Natasha Margaret CHARLEWOOD Brighton 5h 89
  2. ^ a b c d e The Donor, News and information for blood donors, Winter 2009, National Blood Service, England, page 55
  3. ^ "Baby Nappy | Wipes | Toiletries | Mum products | Mum & You". Us store vview.
  4. ^ Who Do You Think You Are? – Natasha Kaplinsky The National Archives Archived 24 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Taboola (31 January 2009). "Profile on Natasha Kaplinsky". The Scotsman. Archived from the original on 4 February 2017. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  6. ^ "Natasha Kaplinsky cries for family Nazi deaths". The Daily Telegraph. 28 August 2007. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015.
  7. ^ Claim made by Kaplinsky herself on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross on 28 March 2008
  8. ^ Wollaston, Sam (7 September 2007). "Last night's TV". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 September 2007.
  9. ^ Midgley, Neil (14 October 2010). "Natasha Kaplinsky to quit Channel 5". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 17 October 2010. Retrieved 14 October 2010.
  10. ^ "Born to Shine". August 2011. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011.
  11. ^ Natasha Kaplinsky to front ITV show Born To Shine Archived 17 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine, 7 June 2011
  12. ^ "The People's Medal".
  13. ^ "The People's Medal Episode 1". "ITV Press Centre". Archived from the original on 9 January 2016.
  14. ^ "On The Run". "ITV Press Centre". Archived from the original on 9 January 2016.
  15. ^ "Missing Without Trace". "ITV Press Centre". Archived from the original on 9 January 2016.
  16. ^ "Natasha Kaplinsky on her £1m Five News deal". The Times. 14 February 2008. Archived from the original on 15 June 2011.
  17. ^ "Boy born to newsreader Kaplinsky". BBC News. 25 September 2008. Retrieved 13 April 2010.
  18. ^ "Baby girl for Natasha Kaplinsky". BBC News. 9 April 2010. Retrieved 9 April 2010.
  19. ^ "Miscarriage: Our Story". Channel 5. Retrieved 14 October 2020.
  20. ^ "Natasha Kaplinsky: 'I look OK on screen, but I'm no autocutie'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  21. ^ "Natasha Kaplinsky". Save the Children UK. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014.
  22. ^ "Natasha Kaplinsky supports Save the Children". Archived from the original on 13 August 2014.
  23. ^ Shute, Joe (22 January 2018). "Natasha Kaplinsky: my endless tears after hearing the untold stories of the Holocaust". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  24. ^ "Survivors' tales: The project ensuring the horrors of the Holocaust are never forgotten". ITV News. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  25. ^ "Prime Minister's Holocaust Commission Report". GOV.UK.
  26. ^ "No. 61962". The London Gazette (Supplement). 17 June 2017. p. B12.
  27. ^ "Michael Sheen and Natasha Kaplinsky unveiled as new Vice Presidents of RSPH".
  28. ^ "New Barnardo's President Natasha Kaplinsky and celebs praise charity for vital work".

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