She held court at Harpo Studios almost every weekday for a quarter-century – some 4,561 shows in all.
Now, almost two years after stepping down, Winfrey reveals to Steve Harvey – on his own newly successful Chicago-based talk show – the thing she misses most about being the queen of daytime TV.
In a word, it’s the audience.
“I got a little choked up seeing you guys today, because what I really miss is the camaraderie with the audience every day. … I did that for 25 years,” says Winfrey, 59, during an interview airing Friday.
Not that she regrets leaving, but it has been bittersweet.
“I wanted to keep rising, and to leave while I was still rising,” says Winfrey, who now runs OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network. “When I look back at the body of work, those of you who watched us for years, it’s astounding.”
Harvey, 56, hired many of Winfrey’s former staffers when he launched his own eponymous syndicated show last September. Winfrey was glad to see familiar faces during her visit, but something wasn’t quite the same.
“I walk in today, they’re all in suits!” she says. “I go, ‘What happened? Is there a suit rule around here?’ You all didn’t wear suits for me!”