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Barbara Walters admits, “I still have the feeling sometimes when I’m watching ‘The View,’ ‘I should be there! I should be participating…’ and then I think of Margaret Thatcher.”
Walters, honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Quinnipiac University Fred Friendly committee, reflected on a 1997 interview with Britain’s longest-serving prime minister, seven years after she resigned from office. Thatcher described her frantic, frenetic days, until one day she realized, “it’s no longer me anymore.”
“That’s the feeling I got this morning when I watched ‘The View,'” Walters joked.
Walters, who stepped aside from hosting the daytime show last month, remains an executive producer. She still has her office at ABC News headquarters, which now bears her name. And her resignation — she used air quotes around the word today — has already been interrupted. As we first told you yesterday, she’ll fly to California in the coming weeks to interview Peter Rodger, the father of Isla Vista killer Elliot Rodger.
Among those celebrating along with Walters: ABC’s Elizabeth Vargas and David Muir, ABC News president James Goldston, and executives Barbara Fedida, Susan Mercandetti and Jeffrey Schneider. From CBS, Gayle King, Norah O’Donnell and Troy Roberts, from FNC, Bill O’Reilly, Bill Hemmer and former anchor Alisyn Camerota and from CNN Christine Romans and Richard Roth.
In addition to Thatcher, Walters recalled interviews with Katherine Hepburn and Christopher Reeve as some of her personal favorites, which were filled with life lessons. She also talked about one of her first jobs in TV, as a “Today Girl” on the NBC morning show.
“On the other side of the street were the ladies of the evening where they would be at 4 o’clock in the morning on my way into the studio. I would be carrying a garment bag and I wasn’t made up and it looked like I had just come from a high rise apartment. And I would look at the ladies of the evening. And they would look at me. And I gave them hope.”
Walters’ closed her remarks by telling the crowd, “I will never retire, as long as there can be days like this.”