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Watch out Oprah, German Chancellor Merkel wants her own TV show

FILE PHOTO - German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a top candidate of the Christian Democratic Union Party (CDU) for the upcoming general elections, tastes a Syrian sweet as she visits Karl’s Adventure Village in Roevershagen, Germany. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel, poised to win a fourth term as leader of Europe’s largest economy, has a secret wish: to host her own television talk show.

Merkel, 63, told the Rheinische Post newspaper about her desire in a questionnaire to be published on Saturday.

“I wish I could do that - hosting a talk show in addition to serving as chancellor,” the paper quoted her as saying.

Merkel, who always maintains a hectic schedule of speeches, has kicked into overdrive in the run-up to Sept. 24 national elections, often speaking at five or more campaign rallies a day. She also regularly tapes a video webcast.

On Sunday, she is due to face off against her Social Democratic challenger Martin Schulz, 61, the former president of the European Parliament, in a live televised debate.

Merkel told the newspaper she did not have the time to review videotapes of previous debates but would prepare herself by reading various materials.

She said she hoped as many Germans as possible would watch the debate.

Almost half the 61.5 million people eligible to vote are expected to tune in to the debate, according to pollster Forsa. Nearly two-thirds of Germans expect Merkel to win the contest while 17 percent expected Schulz to fare better, another poll showed.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Susan Fenton