Agony aunt takes her leave from Liberty

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The Independent Online
Agony aunt takes her leave from Liberty

The doyenne of media agony aunts Anna Raeburn has taken a pay cut to leave Mohamed al-Fayed's London radio station Liberty and rejoin her old station Talk Radio.

She has moved because no one used to call her phone-in show at Liberty and she was forced to fill time by playing records and making small talk.

Raeburn (right) joined Liberty's expensive line-up of star broadcasters at the station last December after it was relaunched out of the ashes of failed women's station Viva! She was reported to have been tempted by a pounds 180,000 pay offer. Her salary at Talk Radio is likely to be closer to pounds 100,000.

Since its relaunch Liberty has failed to make any impact on the ratings - in the Rajar ratings published this month Liberty was reaching just 93,000 listeners a week or 1 per cent of the London radio market.

"I was inundated with letters when I left Talk Radio so I am very happy to be coming back," said Ms Raeburn yesterday. "My show was a huge success because of the fantastic audience. I can't wait to get back to them."

Liberty denied reports in February that Raeburn wanted to return to Talk Radio because she was getting only two or three calls per show at Liberty compared with 8,000 to 9,000 on her old show.

But Ms Raeburn, who is also a star of daytime TV and appears on advice slots on GMTV and This Morning, is known to have been unhappy at having to "spin discs like an ordinary DJ" according to a source.

Ms Raeburn made her name on Capital Radio in the Seventies and Eighties with her own agony phone-in show that was the first of its kind in the UK.

She has lived as turbulent a life as many of her callers, and her trademark is straight, no nonsense advice no matter how weird the problem. Paul McCann