Kidnap victim turns talkshow host two years on

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Austrian kidnap victim Natascha Kampusch, who was kept hostage for eight years, has begun to host her own local TV chat show

Vienna -- Austrian kidnap victim Natascha Kampusch turned from interviewee to interviewer when the first installment of her talkshow was broadcast on Austrian TV Sunday evening.

The 20-year-old has been in the media spotlight since summer 2006, when she escaped from the dungeon where her abductor Wolfgang Priklopil imprisoned her for eight years.

Her first interview partner, Formula 1 legend and airline chief Niki Lauda, didn't only talk about his career and personal life, but also asked Kampusch questions about her life in freedom.

"We both experienced extremes in different ways", the president of budget airline NIKI said during the show broadcast by the small local station Puls TV.

While Kampusch asked the three-time world champion about his near- fatal 1976 crash that left him with a scarred face, Lauda wanted to know from his interviewer how she deals with her traumatic experience.

"What I experienced doesn't affect me as much as people think", Kampusch said during the show that was set up as a friendly conversation rather than a hard-hitting interview.

"I am a very self-reflective person", she said. Therefore she was able to process her traumatic imprisonment even as she was experiencing it, she explained.

Kampusch, who seemed relaxed in her new media role, also talked about the moral dilemma she faced as she planned her escape. Because her abductor was threatening her with his suicide should she try to flee, she asked herself if her plan was "okay from a ethical and moral standpoint".

Besides her talk show, Kampusch is currently studying to complete her middle school exams, she told the Austrian daily "Kurier" in an interview published on Sunday.

She finds it hard to manage her study schedule after the eight years of unstructured time spent in the dungeon, Kampusch said. DPA

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