Kaplinsky changes channel to replace Young on Five News

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The Independent Online

The BBC newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky is quitting the corporation's Six O'Clock News to become the presenter of Five News. Her appointment by the commercial broadcaster follows the departure in August of Kirsty Young, who was the main presenter of Five News for 10 years.

Kaplinksy said yesterday: "After five incredibly rewarding years at the BBC, I found the chance to work with the team at Five too exciting to pass up. Five has changed the face of news before, and now they are going to do it again. I can't wait to be a part of it." Kaplinsky, 35, is one of the BBC's star news anchors and a guest presenter on the Ten O'Clock News. When she joins Five next year, she will front its main news bulletins at 5.30pm and 7pm as part of a drive to overhaul the channel's current affairs coverage.

Kaplinsky joined the BBC in 2002, fronting its Breakfast programme with Dermot Murnaghan. Before that, she worked for Sky News, initially on the early morning show Sunrise and later as co-presenter on the Live At Five programme. She also presented LWT's Sunday morning current affairs show Seven Days.

Away from the newsroom, Kaplinsky demonstrated her lighter side by appearing as a winning contestant on Strictly Come Dancing in 2004. She also traced her family roots in South Africa on Who Do You Think You Are? and appeared on Children In Need.

Jay Hunt, Five's director of programmes, said: "Natasha is one of the most talented broadcasters on British television. I am thrilled she has decided to join Five and become one of the channel's key faces."

David Kermode, the editor of Five News, said Kaplinsky was "a great communicator" with "a distinctive style that sets her apart". Born in Brighton in 1972, Kaplinsky lived in Kenya for six years as a child. She studied at Oxford and worked as a House of Commons researcher before starting her broadcasting career on Talk TV.

Helen Boaden, the head of BBC News, said: "Natasha is a warm and intelligent presenter who built a great rapport with the audience. We wish her all the best."