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Meredith Vieira opens up about ‘naughty’ Barbara Walters

Meredith Vieira is saying good-bye to an old friend.

The veteran broadcast journalist, 69, paid tribute to her late colleague Barbara Walters In a new essay she penned for People.

“The View” creator died on Dec. 30 at the age of 93.

Vieira revealed how Walters could at times be “intimidating,” but the TV trailblazer also knew how to be “funny” and spew “naughty jokes.”

“I’ve been thinking a lot about Barbara, not just the newswoman — but the lady herself. Most of my memories revolve around my time at ‘The View,’ ” Vieira said.

Viera was the original moderator for “The View” from 1997–2006, before going on to host “Today” and The former “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.”

“She knew what it meant to work harder than anyone else in the room just to be considered an equal,” Viera said of her former boss. “Maybe that’s why she demanded so much from those around her. I understood it and always admired her work ethic.”

Meredith Vieira, Star Jones, Barbara Walters, Joy Behar and Elisabeth Hasselbeck - present the award for Outstanding Service Show Host.
“The View” hosts Meredith Vieira, Star Jones, Barbara Walters, Joy Behar and Elisabeth Hasselbeck present an award at the 31st Annual Daytime Emmy Awards in 2004.

She continued about ABC News icon: “But her intensity could also be intimidating … like flying too close to the sun. If Barbara was upset with you, she let you know in no uncertain terms. And then the words ‘Oh Darling’ would spring from her lips and the matter was closed.”

Vieira specified that if one was “lucky” enough to be sitting with Walters at a dinner table with “martinis in hand,” then she would entertain other guests with “really naughty jokes perfectly delivered.”

“Barbara was funny and sexy and in those moments, she owned it,” she concluded. “Thank you for clearing the path forward. We may all follow in your footsteps. But no one will ever fill your heels.”

Barbara Walters in 2016
Walters created “The View” in 1997 when she was 68-years-old.
Getty Images

Current “The View” hosts Sunny Hostin, Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar also paid a heartfelt tribute to Walters during Tuesday’s episode, following their holiday hiatus.

Current moderator Goldberg, 67, began: “The reason why we’re all sitting here, if not for her I don’t know where most of us would be.”

“[Walters] was not just a friend to us, she was one of a kind and very important to the industry,” Behar, 80, interjected.

Hostin, 54, stated that there was “was nobody like” Walters. “Like all firsts, she’s the first, and there are many of us duplicates — but there will never be another Barbara Walters.”

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