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Updated: January 22, 2011 22:33 IST

Russian spy Anna Chapman makes TV debut as presenter

AFP
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Anna Chapman takes part in a talk show on Russian Ren TV channel in Moscow.
AFP Anna Chapman takes part in a talk show on Russian Ren TV channel in Moscow.

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 Ms. Chapman's spying activities.

Wearing a clingy red-and-black velvet dress in the Friday night debut, Ms. 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 volatile Caucasus region of Dagestan who attracted hordes of pilgrims in 2009 after verses from the Koran reportedly appeared imprinted on his skin.

In her only admission that could refer to espionage activities, Ms. Chapman commented that she had “visited Arab countries”, where she had seen traditions of decorating skin with calligraphy.

Ms. Chapman posed in a headscarf to visit Moscow's central mosque and was filmed taking off her vertiginous heels to meet the chief imam.

But in a largely studio-bound role, she did not actually go to Dagestan.

“If the Caucasus gets peace and prosperity, that will be a true miracle,” Ms. Chapman concluded during the programme.

Ren TV channel used Ms. Chapman's enigmatic reputation to promote the show.

“The most mysterious woman in Russia presents the most mysterious show,” gushed the channel's documentary director, Mikhail Tukmachev.

Ms. 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.

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