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Norwich TV presenter Trisha Goddard ready to claim Oprah's US talk show crown

Trisha Goddard at Barnardo's Big Toddle in Eaton Park, Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith.

Trisha Goddard at Barnardo's Big Toddle in Eaton Park, Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith.

Archant © 2009

Former Norwich Evening News columnist Trisha Goddard is preparing to take on the biggest challenge of her television career - trying to fill the shoes of US chat show queen Oprah Winfrey.

Trisha, who lives in Norwich with her 49-year-old husband Peter Gianfrancesco, who is head of mental health service provider Mind in Norfolk, has been recruited by American TV network NBC.

The channel has been looking for a successor to Oprah ever since her long-running chat show ended in May 2011.

Trisha made her name presenting her self-titled chat show for Anglia TV between 1998 and 2004 and Channel Five up until January 2009.

Now the 54-year-old has a chance to re-claim her fame, and is determined to grab the chance with both hands when the show starts in September.

She said: “I can’t quite believe it myself. My life’s either about wading through rubbish or sitting in the sunshine!”

The new show will be based in Stamford, Connecticut and Trisha and her husband of 14 years aren’t making plans to leave Norfolk, just yet.

“I don’t want to pack up everything and leave until we see what the ratings are like,” she continued. “I’ll come back to see the kids (Billie, 22, and Madi, 18) a lot.

“When I worked on Maury in the States (another talk show which she made appearances on from 2010), I travelled back and forth, but this will be tougher. We’ll deal with it though and if the show doesn’t work out, then I’ll have had a great year doing it.”

Her American programme will be similar to her UK shows – analysing relationship troubles for her guests and sorting out conflicts between families.

Trisha added: “We want to use DNA testing and lie detectors but with more grown-up stories – things like people confronting their parents as adults because they’ve lied about their past.”

- Have you got a story for the Evening News? Contact reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or david.freezer@archant.co.uk

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