Natasha Kaplinsky Exclusive: Dancing with husband will never compare to Strictly's Brendan Cole

Albertina Lloyd
Entertainment reporter, Yahoo UK
Natasha Kaplinsky, who has been awarded an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List, outside Kensington Palace, London. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)

Natasha Kaplinsky has said dancing with her husband will never compare to being on the floor with professional dancer Brendan Cole.

The newsreader won the very first series of Strictly Come Dancing partnered with Cole in 2004, but admits she has not continued to practice the moves she learned on the BBC show.

Kaplinsky, 46, told Yahoo UK: “It’s very different dancing with a drunken husband to a world class professional.

“So I do love dancing but it’s never going to be the same. The opportunity to be literally whisked around a dancefloor with one of the best dancers in the world is really quite magical and once that spell is broken I don’t think it can be recreated.

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“So I love dancing, I find it a wonderful way to release tension and it’s a great form of exercise, but I do not dance in the way that I used to sadly.”

Natasha Kaplinsky and Brendan Cole were Strictly dance partners in 2004 (Credit: PA)

The newsreader met her husband Justin Bower in 2005, a year after appearing on Strictly. Her dance partner Cole famously split from his then fiancee Camilla Dallerup after being paired with Kaplinksy on the show - the first to be struck by the ‘Strictly Curse’ which has seen the pressure of the show end a string of relationships.

Kaplinsky - who has rediscovered another creative passion for art after taking part in new Channel 4 show Kirstie's Celebrity Craft Masters - also said she wants to see Arlene Phillips reinstated to the Strictly judging panel.

Phillips, 76, was embroiled in an ageism row when she was replaced on the show in 2009 by Alesha Dixon. Darcey Bussell announced in April that she is stepping down from the panel, leaving an empty chair.

Kaplinsky said: “It’s going to be a massive loss that Darcey wont be retuning. I think they should bring back Arlene Phillips - she should not have gone in the first place, so I think I should start a campaign to bring back Arlene.”

Jo Wood and Natasha Kaplinsky compete in 'Kirstie's Celebrity Craft Masters' (Credit: Channel 4)

Kaplinsky appears on Kirstie Allsopp’s new Channel 4 crafting show competing against former Strictly rival Jo Wood, who was desperate to be the one to raise the trophy this time.

Kaplinsky said: “I’m the least competitive person on the planet. I’m hopeless at playing tennis or anything like that, because I really don’t care about winning. So I found it quite funny that she was so competitive.

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“And all the way through Strictly I kept on saying, I want to go out, I don’t want to carry on.’ And everyone said that’s just her strategy to try and win, but I absolutely didn’t think I would be there until the end, let alone win it!”

The TV presenter revealed she was delighted to have the opportunity to do something artistic.

Kaplinsky explained: “I did an art A-level and I absolutely loved it and I desperately wanted to go on and do art as a degree. But my father’s a professor of economics and so he sat me down and said, ‘Excuse me young lady I think you ought to go and get yourself a proper education first, you can always go back to art later.’

“And so I ended up going to Oxford to read English and forgot to go back to art.

“So when I had the opportunity to be part of the programme I jumped at it.”

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She added: “I think the show is going to be a huge success. In the way that Strictly spoke to the older and the younger generation, I think that’s what this show will do. “It’s so exciting that everyone can be crafty if you just give yourself a chance. You don’t have to be amazing at it, it’s about how it makes you feel. For me it was like a meditation.”

Kaplinsky - who appears on the show on Tuesday July 9th - is seen creating cuddly alpaca toys from wool collected from her own pet alpacas, that live on her family farm.

Kaplinksy revealed: “I was just absolutely obsessed with having alpacas. They’re such magical creatures. They’re so elegant and haughty and so hard to please, and yet they’re so refined.

“They are my peace. If I ever get stressed or I’ve got a difficult time at work I’ll always go out and just hang out with them.”

Kirstie's Celebrity Craft Masters airs on Channel 4, Monday to Friday at 5pm from July 1st.