US & Canada

Barbara Walters retires after five decades

This image released by ABC shows Barbara Walters speaking during a taping of her final co-host appearance on "The View," 15 May 2014 Image copyright AP
Image caption Walters began her on-air career in 1962

Legendary US broadcaster Barbara Walters has retired from a 52-year career with a last appearance on her daytime show, The View.

Walters, 84, began her career in 1962 and was known for her high-profile interviews with broadcaster ABC.

She was joined on the programme by Hillary Clinton and media mogul Oprah Winfrey, both frequent Walters interview subjects.

Walters will continue to serve as executive producer of the programme.

"I can't believe this day has come, and I can't believe it's for real," Ms Clinton told Walters.

Walters began her career on NBC's Today morning programme before moving to ABC in 1976.

There, she presented the evening news broadcast, news magazine programme 20/20 as well as a series of standalone interview programmes, including her yearly Most Fascinating People special.

Among Ms Walters' subjects were a host of music and pop culture stars, every president and first lady since Richard Nixon, and foreign leaders like UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Cuban President Fidel Castro and a joint interview with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin.

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Media captionABC's Barbara Walters speaks to the BBC about her Assad interview

She also interviewed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad a few months after a public uprising that would eventually turn into the country's civil war.

Walters began The View 17 years ago as a morning chat show with four or five women with differing political perspectives.

On Thursday, when the programme was recorded, the studio audience clapped wildly when Ms Winfrey entered.

Image copyright AP

"You're the reason I wanted to be in television," she told Walters. "You shattered the glass ceiling for so many women."

Ms Winfrey later introduced two dozen prominent female television journalists, including Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Robin Roberts, Gayle King, Connie Chung and Joan Lunden, whom a visibly moved Walters called "my legacy".

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