On Friday, Today co-host Hoda Kotb fulfilled a dream: Meeting Oprah Winfrey.
The TV mogul greeted her with a big hug on the NBC morning show on Friday as she joined her and co-host Jenna Bush Hager in celebrating the program's new live-audience studio. Kotb got very emotional, and was seen wiping away tears. She appeared to be in awe of her idol as she later reached for her hand as they all sat down. (Watch video)
"OK, I just need a moment," Kotb said. "Do you all feel like you just need a moment? I feel like I need a moment."
"This is so fun, guys," Winfrey said. "I'm so happy to be here."
Kotb can thank Hager for the long-awaited meeting; she floated the idea to Winfrey during her Oprah's 2020 Vision Tour last month..
"I told her, 'You know, my New Year's resolution was to see [you] again...but Hoda has never met you,'" Hager told Page Six in comments posted on Tuesday. "And she said, 'Well, we're going to make that happen too.' I wrote her a letter [thanking] her for starting her tour with us and said, 'There's always a place if you ever want to come,' and then we had a phone call, and I sent wine to her whole team for helping with this interview. I sent flowers."
"The wine is key to everything," Hager added.
On Monday, Hager surprised Kotb on Today with the news that Winfrey would be joining them on-air at the end of the week.
Winfrey told her on Friday's show, "You manifested this."
"I tried to manifest it, but really, all I wanted was this moment," Hager said, gesturing towards Kotb and Winfrey.
"Thank you," Kotb said.
"I wanted this moment," Hager said.
Kotb and Winfrey then shared another hug.
"Thank you. I can't tell you, Oprah, I feel like I've been in this business 100 years...you know when people say, like, 'You mean to much to me,' but they've never met you and I know maybe it does seems a little weird, but this is really one of those moments for me," Kotb told her.
Winfrey rose to fame in the '80s with her syndicated daytime talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show, which aired for 25 years until 2011. She later launched her own cable network, OWN, and continues to periodically interview guests.
"I watched you over the years, I've watched you lift people up," Kotb told Winfrey. "There's only a couple people on the Earth who you want to emulate in our business. I watched you like, hold people's hearts in your hand, and I remember thinking, like, how does she do that? And you did it in such a way that was always so tender and real, and the fact that you're sitting here on this day is really kinda blowing my mind."
"I mean, I'm 55 or 56, nobody knows," she joked. "Who cares. But it doesn't matter. It just shows you like, the kid in you in still in there when you walk in the door."
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