Barbara Walters confirms retirement plans on TV show

The 83-year-old needed to "take a breath" when making the announcement on her show, The View

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Veteran US broadcaster Barbara Walters has announced she will retire in 2014.

Walters confirmed the plans on Monday's edition of The View, the ABC all-female daytime talk show she created in 1997.

Since her career began in 1961, she has interviewed Michael Jackson, Cuba's Fidel Castro and every US president and first lady since Richard Nixon.

The 83-year-old was the first woman to anchor a daily network television news show in 1976.

"It has been an absolutely joyful, rewarding, challenging, fascinating, and occasionally bumpy ride. And I wouldn't change a thing," she told viewers.

I'm perfectly healthy. This is my decision. I've been thinking about it a long time. This is what I want to do," she added.

Irreplaceable

Walters' career in TV journalism began at NBC's morning news and entertainment programme, The Today Show, which she co-hosted for 15 years before moving to rival network ABC to co-host the Evening News, a first for a female journalist.

Barbara Walters and President Barack Obama She has interviewed every US president since Richard Nixon in 1980

ABC said in March Walters planned to retire in May 2014 after more than five decades as a prominent figure on US television.

On Sunday, ABC News president Ben Sherwood said: "There is only one Barbara Walters.

"We look forward to making her final year on television as remarkable, path-breaking and news-making as Barbara herself," he added.

Walters has had periods of ill health over the past three years, including open heart surgery in 2010.

In January 2013, she suffered concussion after a fall, and was then diagnosed with chicken pox, causing her to miss more than a month of work.

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