DON’T be fooled by Natalia Cooper’s sunny personality as she delivers your daily dose of weather.
Behind the megawatt smile that graces the weather segments on Channel Nine’s Today is a fiercely determined journalist who carries a segment that draws in millions of lucrative advertising dollars network each year.
And don’t forget it requires a daredevil attitude and the ability to improvise live on air.
Yet Cooper, who started her career as an 18-year-old cadet journalist in Nine’s Perth newsroom, takes the pressure her stride.
“The Today Show is one of the best shows on TV. It is just a dream come true to work for it,” she tells BW Magazine.
The 33-year-old took on the coveted role when her predecessor Steve Jacobs stepped down after 12 years in the job. His shoes were always going to be big to fill, especially given Today’s intense rivalry with the Seven Network’s Sunrise.
While Seven cast the net wide to replace weather presenter Edwina Bartholemew last year, reportedly auditioning Olympic diver Matthew Mitcham and entertainer Rob Mills before deciding on former radio star Sam Mac, the Today team only ever had Cooper in mind.
“Natalia’s such a talented and beautiful human. She’s funny and smart and as humble as they come,” says Nine’s Director of Morning Television Mark Colvert.
“You have to be so versatile in that role, covering cyclones one day and dressing up in circus gear the next. Coops does it all, with minimum fuss and maximum commitment. She’s unique and it’s great watching Australia get to know her as much as we do.”
Cooper says: “It’s been a long road getting to this point but I’m loving it. I am getting to go on a big adventure, travel around the country and meet some cool people.”
Even the early morning wake-up calls aren’t enough to dampen Cooper’s sunny personality. “The earliest the alarm goes off is 2am but the job’s worth getting up for,” she says.
Despite the rivalry, she says she’s good friends with Mac: “I know Sam Mac from Perth, actually. Our paths often cross at airports around the country! He’s a lovely guy. We’re part of the weather fraternity.”
The beach-loving Cooper is at a high point professionally and her personal life is just the same. She wed musician Carl Fox in March last year after they met in a Perth pub more than seven years ago.
“I have married my best friend and he’s behind me 100 per cent,” she says.
The only downside is because she’s on the road so much, the weekends are really the only time the newlyweds have together.
“We make a lot of time for each other on the weekend,” Cooper says. “We do pretty normal stuff, like go out for dinner, see a movie or hang out with friends.”
Cooper, who has two nephews, predicts children in their future, but “timing-wise, we haven’t made a decision on when”.
“At the moment we’ve been married for a year and we are enjoying that and I’m also giving everything I can to making the most of this job and throwing myself into it. That’s where my focus is.”
And it’s been noticed. Today Show news presenter Sylvia Jeffreys said her seeing her colleague shine had been awesome. “She brings a brilliant burst of sunshine to every weather hit and, best of all, never shies away from a challenge,” Jeffreys says. “She’s our Danger Mouse and we love her!”
Whatever happens, it seems that the forecast for Cooper’s career looks very bright and sunny.
Originally published as Nine weather girl’s sunny future