Natasha Kaplinsky housed a Ukranian family after the UK welcomed her family as political refugees


‘It was my responsibility to step up’: Natasha Kaplinsky offered a home to a Ukranian family following Russia’s invasion after the UK welcomed her family as political refugees

Natasha Kaplinsky says it was her ‘responsibility to step up’ and house a Ukranian family after Russia invaded the country in February this year.

The television presenter’s father Raphael was a South African political refugee who was given sanctuary in the UK after he took part in Cape Town University’s anti-apartheid protests in the 1960s.

And newsreader Natasha, 49, says she ‘registered to give a home to a Ukranian family straight away’ as her family ‘privileged’ to have been given a home in the UK, admitting she finds it heartbreaking the family can’t go home to see their loved ones.

Stepping in: Natasha Kaplinsky, 49, says it was her 'responsibility to step up' and house a Ukranian family after Russia invaded the country in February this year

Stepping in: Natasha Kaplinsky, 49, says it was her ‘responsibility to step up’ and house a Ukranian family after Russia invaded the country in February this year

She told The Telegraph: ‘I registered to give a home to a Ukrainian family straight away. I’m from a family of refugees and enormously privileged to have the space, so it was my responsibility to step up.

‘When I collected the four of them, a father who is partially blind and so couldn’t fight, a mother, a 12-year-old boy and a six-year-old girl, they had just a small suitcase.

‘They’re the most wonderful family and so grateful, but they just want to be at home. They FaceTime friends and family in Ukraine every day. The worst thing for them is that they can’t go home.’   

Looking back: The television presenter's father Raphael was a South African political refugee who was given sanctuary in the UK

Looking back: The television presenter’s father Raphael was a South African political refugee who was given sanctuary in the UK

Meanwhile, Natasha spoke about her own family, saying that her children are the ‘absolute centre of my life’.

The broadcaster is married to banker Justin Bower and they share son Arlo, 13, and daughter Angelica, 12.

Natasha admits she finds it hard to talk about her struggles to fall pregnant to this day as she suffered multiple miscarriages.

However, she says the day she became a mother was ‘the best day of my life’. 

It hasn’t always been plain sailing for Natasha and her loved ones, with the screen star recalling a horrific incident in which a leaking fuel pipe exploded on a boat while they were at sea during a holiday in the Greek island of Corfu.

She said how her parents were on the boat with her family, with herself and her father suffering burns as a result of the blast.

They were in the water for 45 minutes as they waited for a rescue vessel, with Natasha saying she forced herself to remain calm as her father could not swim, praising his life vest for keeping his head above water.

Natasha said her whole therapy has been in therapy to help process the resulting trauma from the incident, including Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) – a structured therapy designed for war veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

She said: ‘We were very fortunate. It’s left emotional scars, but physically we’ve all recovered.’

Happy couple: Natasha says she 'registered to give a home to a Ukranian family straight away' along with her husband Justin Bower

Happy couple: Natasha says she ‘registered to give a home to a Ukranian family straight away’ along with her husband Justin Bower

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