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Cheryl and Oprah One on One, Pt. I

May 15, 2011 10:00:00 PM PDT
ABC7's Cheryl Burton sits down with Oprah Winfrey as the "queen of talk" prepares to tape her final daytime television shows.

"I think this is one of the greatest seasons of my career...I started out this season saying let's land this plane the way it out to be landed," Oprah told Cheryl.

And she literally took off from there, flying the entire audience to the land down under. It was a trip of a lifetime. It was just the latest thank-you gift from the guru of giveaways, whose most prized ticket has always been a seat in the audience for the Oprah Favorite Things show.

But it has been those compelling interviews and stories of ordinary people that connect with the viewers and seem to fuel the Oprah phenomenon.

"I'm still guided by my original intention, and that is to do good work that is truthful to who I am," said Oprah.

"After 25 years has there been anyone, dead or alive, that you wanted to interview that you didn't?" asked ABC7's Cheryl Burton.

"I wanted to interview Jackie Onassis," said Oprah. "I remember her calling me years ago about doing a book when she was working as an editor, and I said I would do a book if you'll do an interview. And she just sort of laughed and I sort of laughed, and I didn't do the book and she didn't do the interview."

She also wanted to interview Susan Smith who was convicted of drowning her two children after she said she was carjacked by an African-American male.

"I wanted to interview Susan Smith because I think she changed the consciousness in terms of how people look at parents," Oprah said. "I wanted to talk to OJ Simpson if he was willing to tell me the truth."

And you might be very surprised about how she actually scores those coveted interviews.

"I'm the worst possible you can put on the phone for getting an interview," she said. "I have never landed an interview on my own. That has always been my team."

Oprah often says that she doesn't like surprises, but it brings her great joy when she surprises others. In fact, she counts an Oprah show about a Rwandan woman as one of her most memorable.

"The young woman from Rwanda who was surprised with her family on the show. To this moment, like if you played that tape right now, I might could go into the ugly cry because of the power you could feel through the television the power of their love and connection. That was amazing," said Oprah.

So after more than 4,500 shows and thousand of guests later, does Oprah have any regrets?

"I have none about this show. I have to honestly say that I think I've done it as well as it could be done," she said.

As Oprah says goodbye to the daily grind of her talk show, she says she's excited about finally having time enjoy her success.

"With the ending of the show, I will take some time and be still and think about you the future in terms of what I want to do maybe Broadway or not or how soon to do that. I'm going to go hang out and do that for a while, I'm gonna relax," Oprah said.

Oprah says she is planning to spend two weeks on friend's boat right after she finishes taping her final shows.

ABC7's Cheryl Burton will have a report with more at 10 p.m. on Tuesday. She talks about her big break in Chicago and what she was willing to do to stay in this city.

The Farewell Season: Oprah's Surprise Spectacular will be taped Tuesday night. Cheryl will also have a live report on that Tuesday at 10 p.m.

A half-hour special called Oprah Looks Back: 25 years of the Oprah Winfrey Show will air on ABC7 Tuesday, May 24 at 6:30 p.m.


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