Natasha Kaplinsky started out presenting on F2F, a youth chat show, for Granada Talk TV in 1996 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, Natasha Kaplinsky moved to ITV’s London News Network where she hosted London Today and London Tonight as well as a political programme called Seven Days.
In November 2000, Natasha Kaplinsky moved to Sky News where she co-presented Live at Five with Jeremy Thompson, as well as the breakfast news programme Sunrise.
Natasha Kaplinsky joined the BBC to present BBC Breakfast in November 2002, from Monday to Thursday with Dermot Murnaghan, following the departure of Sophie Raworth to present the BBC News at Six. Natasha Kaplinsky eventually left Breakfast in May 2005 to become the co-host on the BBC News at Six, replacing Sophie Raworth who moved to the BBC News at One after her maternity leave.
In 2006, Natasha Kaplinsky became only the third (and youngest) woman to present the BBC’s 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. Kaplinsky continued to present the programme occasionally in 2007, and was also on the One O’Clock News.
From May 2007, Natasha Kaplinsky took part in a trial on BBC One in Birmingham, where she presented a news update at 20:00, between 60 to 90 seconds long.
On 5 October 2007, the BBC confirmed that Natasha Kaplinsky had decided to depart the BBC to become a presenter on 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.
On 18 February 2008, Natasha Kaplinsky presented her first broadcast for Five. Her first bulletin which aired at 17:00 was reported to have been watched by a million viewers. She also presented a second programme at 19:00, Monday to Thursday with news correspondent Matt Barbet presenting every Friday.
On 21 August 2008, Natasha Kaplinsky began her first maternity leave from Five, Isla Traquair and Barbet stood in for her until 16 February 2009. Following her return, she hosted only the 17:00 programme. From 18 March 2010, she started her second maternity leave with Barbet again standing in for her.
On 14 October 2010, Natasha 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. On 23 December 2010, she presented her final bulletin for Five News.
Natasha 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 ambassador.
On 3 August 2011, it was announced that Kaplinsky was to present ITV’s London Tonight programme, providing maternity leave cover for Nina Hossain. During this time, she was also a relief presenter of the national ITV News programmes from mid-November 2011 until Spring 2012. She continues to freelance as an occasional ITV News presenter.
On 19 August 2013, Natasha Kaplinsky presented The People’s Medal, a documentary about The Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
On 29 October 2013, Natasha Kaplinsky hosted a documentary On the Run, alongside journalist Mark Williams-Thomas. The pair then presented a second documentary Missing Without Trace on 12 November 2013.
Other television work
Natasha Kaplinsky has 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 with Martin Offiah. Natasha Kaplinsky has also hosted Making Your Mind Up, the UK qualifier for the Eurovision Song Contest.
On 18 November 2005, Natasha Kaplinsky hosted the BBC’s annual Children in Need charity telethon, with Fearne Cotton and Terry Wogan, and again on 17 November 2006.
In 2003, she made an appearance on Have I Got News for You, during which Bruce Forsyth made a notable appearance, parodying his game show Play Your Cards Right as Play Your Iraqi Cards Right, with the card faces bearing the faces of Iraqi political figures.
In 2008, she made a cameo appearance in the BBC television series Torchwood as archive footage for the millennium in the directory of geological studies by DkMd in 2005.
Natasha Kaplinsky presented the BBC’s New Year Live in 2006 and 2007. In 2011, she presented ITV’s live coverage of the same event.
Natasha Kaplinsky has made an appearance on the ITV show That Sunday Night Show in 2011, and has also made a number of contributions to ITV’s Text Santa appeal. On 1 August 2014, she appeared on ITV’s Let’s Do Lunch with Gino & Mel. On 25 April 2015, she appeared alongside Dermot Murnaghan on an episode of Pointless Celebrities.