Russian spy Chapman makes debut as TV presenter | world | Hindustan Times
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Russian spy Chapman makes debut as TV presenter

Red-headed Russian spy Anna Chapman has made her debut as a television presenter, hosting a programme about unsolved mysteries in her latest career twist.

world Updated: Jan 22, 2011 14:17 IST

Red-headed Russian spy Anna Chapman has made her debut as a television presenter, hosting a programme about unsolved mysteries in her latest career twist.

Her weekly show, titled Secrets of the World with Anna Chapman, aims to unravel unexplained mysteries, although the makers have confirmed that this will not include any mention of Chapman's spying activities.

Wearing a clingy red-and-black velvet dress in the Friday night debut, Chapman appeared stiff as she intoned cheesy catchphrases such as: "My name is Anna Chapman and I will reveal all the secrets."

The first hour-long episode on privately owned Ren TV investigated the case of a baby in the Caucasus region of Dagestan who attracted hordes of pilgrims in 2009 after verses from the Koran reportedly appeared imprinted on his skin.

Chapman posed in a headscarf to visit Moscow's central mosque but in a largely studio-bound role, she did not actually go to Dagestan, a volatile region where shoot-outs between security forces and Islamist insurgents are almost daily occurrences.

Chapman has capitalised on her sultry looks since being extradited from the United States in a high-profile spy swap in July last year. She posed in lingerie for a men's magazine and appeared on several television shows.

Her hotly anticipated debut as a presenter was a major coup for Ren TV, a relatively minor player in Russian television, dominated by state-owned channels.

Ren TV is majority owned by National Media Group, which also controls the pro-Kremlin Izvestia newspaper, but its news coverage is known for giving air time to opposition figures not shown on state channels.