Natasha Kaplinsky – “Getting up for breakfast news is easier than the mummy night shift!”

Natasha Kaplinsky, 38, mum to Arlo, 2 and Angelica, 7 months, talks terrible twos, embarrassing toddlers and why she has decided to leave Five News.

We caught up with news presenter Natasha Kaplinsky last week and she told us all about life in the Kaplinsky household.

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Arlo’s just turned two – any sign of those terrible twos yet?

We’ve skipped the terrible bit and gone straight to utterly dreadful and unmanageable! We have various battles, where mostly I win, but I do let him win the odd one because I think it’s important for him to feel like he’s got autonomy. But on the plus side he’s a little spirit and it’s just amazing to see how much personality he’s got. He tells people that he loves them, even strangers, and if we go past building sites and he sees a builder on top of a ladder he shouts ‘be careful man.’

What’s been your biggest parenting challenge to date?

The sleepless nights. It’s annoying, I worked on BBC breakfast for three and a half years where I was getting up at 3’oclock every morning and I could cope with that. It’s the broken sleep which is just so torturous. The children go down to sleep very easily but they just don’t stay down! My husband and I have varying approaches – Justin is much more into you must let them cry but I can’t bear it so I’m up the minute one of them squeaks.

And the best thing about being a mum?

I just can’t believe how much pleasure my two bring and how much pride and adoration I have for them. I’m so deeply in love with them but I do wish I started having children much younger as I would love to have more than two.

Any funny family stories?

The other day Justin was giving the children their milk and Arlo asked him where his cup of tea was. Justin explained daddy didn’t have tea so Arlo then instantly told the nanny to make Justin some. We’ve never ever dreamt of asking the nanny to make us a cup of tea but Arlo at the age of two thinks it’s perfectly within his right to order the nanny to do it. That had us a bit embarrassed!

Is your decision to leave Five News linked to you being a mum?

I’ve worked at Five for nearly three years now and it’s been absolutely lovely but my contract comes to an end in December and there are various reasons why I’m not renewing it but being a mum is one of them. I’m not planning to be a complete stay-at-home mum though, so at the moment, I’m considering my options.

When you’re not working how do you spend down time with the children?

We love dancing in our household, which is why I got involved with Tommy’s dance-athon. It’s the highlight of our evening just before Arlo jumps into his bath. He’s got a little electric piano and he’s learnt a few dance moves – he squeals with delight when he’s doing it.

You won Strictly Come Dancing in 2004. How was that?

It was utterly terrifying and the most stressful thing I have ever done in my whole life – it was stepping so far out of my comfort zone into this alien world of sequins and way too tight short dresses. I married my husband six months after I won and everybody expected our first dance at our wedding to be absolutely amazing. The pressure was ridiculous. I think he thought I was going to be able to lead him around the floor but I couldn’t so we stumbled and fell over each other so it was a massive disappointment for everybody.

Who are you backing to win this year?

Ann Widdecombe is certainly entertaining but my brother was so in love with Patsy Kensit when he was growing up, and had a poster of her on our wall, so I feel like I’m a secret fan of hers.

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Natasha is supporting Tommy’s dance-athon in conjunction with Baby Loves Disco and will take part in the final judging to find Britain’s Best Little Dancer. To talk to a midwife about having a healthy pregnancy, call 0800 0147 800 or visit www.tommys.org

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