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Sarah Palin signs on as Fox News commentator

Sarah Palin has signed on as a commentator with Fox News, fulfilling predictions that she would pursue a career in television after stepping down as governor of Alaska.

The conservative star will not have her own show, but will contribute to various news programmes and present an occasional series involving ordinary American heroes.

She will therefore have time for other pursuits that will keep her name alive as a potential presidential candidate in 2012, but the move will increase speculation that her future lies outside of electoral politics.

"I am thrilled to be joining the great talent and management team at Fox News," Mrs Palin said in a statement posted on the network's website. "It's wonderful to be part of a place that so values fair and balanced news."

Mrs Palin made a surprise resignation as governor in July, 17 months before the end of her first term in office.

Her resignation came less than a year after she vaulted to overnight celebrity as John McCain's running mate for the Republicans in the 2008 presidential election.

She remains an immensely divisive figure, but has a million followers on Facebook, the online networking site, which is her main mode of communicating with the public. Her book about the campaign, Going Rogue, was a bestseller that earned a rumoured advance of $7m (€4.8m) from Harper Collins.

The Right-wing Fox News was always her likeliest destination in the media, which she has for the most part disdained for treating her unfairly. The size of her contract with America's top-rated cable channel, owned by Rupert Murdoch, was not disclosed.

The new role will be a return of sorts to her professional beginnings.

In the 1980s she worked as a part-time sports newsreader for KTUU-TV in Anchorage.

© Telegraph.co.uk