Austrian Abductee Becomes TV Talk Show Host
It is a brave move for Ms. Kampusch to put herself under the white heat of the media's glare — but it feels vaguely exploitive to know that her "girl in the cellar" status will compel viewers to tune in.
Natascha Kampusch, the Austrian who spent eight years locked in a windowless cell after being abducted in Vienna, turns TV chat show host on Sunday when her debut program airs on national television.
In "Natascha Kampusch meets..." Kampusch, whose case returned to the spotlight after revelations that another Austrian woman spent 24 years locked in a cellar, interviews former Austrian motor racing star Niki Lauda, who comments they have both had extreme lives.
"Of course I have realized I will always be different, but what I have experienced hasn't affected me in the way people think," Kampusch tells Lauda in the pre-recorded show which was screened to journalists on Friday.
The first of six episodes of the monthly chat show is to be broadcast at prime time on the private PULS 4 channel.
Although the show was criticized as formulaic and lacking in spontaneity by some in the audience but commentators say it will likely attract a huge number of viewers.
"Recently the role of victim has weighed on her. She told us she wanted to do other things and show what she is capable of," said Kampusch's media advisor Dusan Uzelac.
"She doesn't just want to be the girl in the cellar."