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Barbara Walters bids 'a bientot' in swansong telecast

Published on May 17, 2014 1:12 PM
 
This May 3, 2014 file photo shows Barbara Walters arriving for the White House Correspondents' Association (WHCA) annual dinner in Washington. The pioneering US television journalist signed off for the last time on May 16, bidding fans a fond farewell but leaving the door just slightly open for a possible comeback. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Pioneering US television journalist Barbara Walters signed off for the last time on Friday, bidding fans a fond farewell but leaving the door just slightly open for a possible comeback.

The ABC day-time talk show "The View" that she has co-hosted since its launch in 1997 dedicated its entire hour to Walters, with surprise guests including Hillary Clinton, Michael Douglas and Oprah Winfrey. "Having had this amazing career, how can I just walk away and say goodbye?" said Walters, 84, who will remain a co-producer of the chatty upbeat programme.

"This way: from the bottom of my heart, to all of you... thank you. But then, who knows what the future brings? Maybe instead of goodbye, I should say, 'a bientot', which in French means, 'See you later'."

In a career that spanned six decades, Walters created a much-copied template for high-profile political and celebrity interviews - and blazed a trail for women in an industry dominated by white middle-aged males. "How proud I am today when I see all the young women who are making and reporting the news," she said. "If I did anything to help that happen, that's my legacy."

 
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