Barbara Walters returning to 'The View' Monday
GalleriesBarbara Walters through the years
"Hello, my darlings," began Barbara Walters, the doyenne of TV journalism, by phone to her colleagues on "The View" Tuesday. She had a little bit of news for them: "Like it or not, I'm going back on the program."
Effective Monday, Walters -- who co-created this franchise with her longtime producer Bill Geddie in 1997 -- will return after more than a month's absence.
The news is not exactly a surprise (even if the timing is since February sweeps will be over). Walters, 83, and ABC indicated recently a return was imminent, while Walters, who has been apartment-bound, has spoken by phone to the show in other instances -- and according to some reports -- has also been active behind the scenes.
She suffered a fall outside the British ambassador's residence in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 19 and was hospitalized for a cut on her head. She subsequently announced that she had come down with a fever, later diagnosed as chickenpox -- or as Whoopi Goldberg said on the Jan. 28 edition, "You all know that she fell and cut her head 10 days ago, and then was running a temperature, but it turns out it is all the result of a delayed childhood. Barbara has the chickenpox. She'd never had it as a child."
Said Walters Tuesday: "I haven't been contagious for a while, but they wanted me to have rest, and I've had enough rest and I'm ready to come back."