Natasha Kaplinsky is exiting BBC News to be the new face of Five news.

Kaplinsky will succeed Kirsty Young as Five’s frontwoman in the New Year. She will present Five’s 5.30pm and 7pm news shows.

“After five incredibly rewarding years at the BBC, I found the chance to work with the team at Five too exciting to pass up,” she said.

Kaplinsky, 35, has become one of the BBC’s best known faces since joining in 2002. But it’s a long way since her start in broadcasting where she began on a regional news programme working alongside the future Ali G, Sacha Baron Cohen.

She’s the regular presenter of the BBC Six O’Clock News bulletin and has hosted coverage of events such as Children In Need.

The channel hailed Kaplinsky as ‘one of the brightest stars in broadcasting’ and said her recruitment was part of a plan to refresh and relaunch Five’s news output.

Kaplinsky said: “Five has changed the face of news before, and now they’re going to do it again. I can’t wait to be a part of it.”

Jay Hunt, Five’s director of programmes, said: “I am thrilled she has decided to join Five and become one of the key faces of the channel.”

BBC News boss Helen Boaden said: “Natasha is a warm and intelligent presenter, who has built a great rapport with audiences. We wish her all the best for the future.”