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Originally published Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at 7:02 AM

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Walters returns to TV to interview shooter's dad

Barbara Walters' time away from television isn't lasting long.


AP Television writer

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NEW YORK —

Barbara Walters' time away from television isn't lasting long.

The TV news icon said Tuesday that she will interview the father of Elliot Rodger, the California man who shot and killed six people and injured 13 others before turning the gun on himself last month. The interview with Peter Rodger will air as a prime-time special on ABC News in the next few weeks.

It was only last month that ABC honored Walters with a prime-time special and going-away party on "The View" when she stepped away from regular appearances on the daytime talk show she invented. She stressed at the time that she wouldn't be retiring, and would still be available for special projects at ABC News.

That came quickly, when Peter Rodger specifically requested to be interviewed by Walters, ABC News President James Goldston said on Tuesday. He called Walters while she was vacationing in Berlin, and she agreed to do it.

"She always said she'd be back for special projects," Goldston said. "I don't think we anticipated one so soon."

Walters, who was given a lifetime achievement award Tuesday by Quinnipiac University, said she booked the vacation in part because she expected to be depressed after all of the festivities surrounding her exit from "The View" were over.

"I didn't get depressed," she said, "but I went somewhere anyway."

Accepting her award, Walters read from an interview that she conducted with former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher shortly after she left office. Thatcher talked of feeling dislocated when the important phone calls and the big meetings stopped.

Walters confessed that "I still have a feeling sometimes when I'm watching 'The View' that I should be there, I should be participating."

Looking out at an audience that included TV luminaries like Norah O'Donnell, Bill O'Reilly, Gayle King and former ABC anchor Charles Gibson, Walters said that "I will never retire as long as there can be days like this."



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