Page last updated at 20:53 GMT, Sunday, 1 June 2008 21:53 UK

First Kampusch chat show screened

Natascha Kampusch and Niki Lauda
Natascha Kampusch's first interviewee is Niki Lauda

An Austrian teenager who spent eight years in captivity after being abducted as a child has made her television debut as a chat show host.

Twenty-year-old Natascha Kampusch says she wanted to do the Natascha Kampusch Meets... show to create a story, rather than be the story.

Her first interviewee is Austria's former racing driver Niki Lauda.

Correspondents say many Austrians were eager to see the show, having been gripped by her story.

She escaped from her kidnapper Wolfgang Priklopil in August 2006.

She had been snatched on her way to school aged 10 and held in a windowless basement cell for more than eight years.

Priklopil killed himself by throwing himself under a train after Ms Kampusch managed to flee.


The Natascha Kampusch chat show trailer

Extreme lives

The three-time F1 World Champion Niki Lauda - who was badly burned in an accident during the German Grand Prix in 1976 - says they have both had extreme lives.

Correspondents say Ms Kampusch appeared cheerful, but shy, during the pre-recorded 40-minute programme.

Ms Kampusch says she plans to interview personalities from the arts and cultural scene, music and literature, science and politics on the Puls 4 channel monthly series.

It is now my wish to create a story in my right, rather than being the subject
Natascha Kampusch

"After the media reported on me for such a long time, it is now my wish to create a story in my right, rather than being the subject," she said in promotional material.

"I'm interested in people who live their lives courageously and positively and with that, very often accomplish extraordinary things."

Ms Kampusch has said that she is still not able to meet large crowds of people or to travel abroad but can manage one-to-one conversations.

She did not attend a preview and press briefing for the show.

Media escape

Connie Bischofberger, of the Austrian newspaper Kurier, has spoken to Ms Kampusch.

"She wants to be a journalist because this was her only way to get contact with the world outside, that was what she told me," she told the BBC's Newshour programme.

"The media was her only way out of this dark cellar, and Priklopil her kidnapper, allowed her to read one newspaper, one Sunday newspaper and a radio show. These were the only two ways to the world outside."

Miss Bischofberger said some people resented Ms Kampusch, doing this show, but not everyone.

"There's a lot of jealousy and, on the other hand, many people admire her for her strength, not to give up, and to go into the public and to do things, not to hide and to be the victim. That's what everyone expected of her but she doesn't play that role."

Kampusch mother in court battle
15 May 08 |  Europe
Austria kidnap girl aims for TV
06 Dec 07 |  Europe

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