Deborah Norville makes history as longest female anchor for daily TV show
By Inside Edition staff
There is probably only one job in the world where one person would be asked to do so many different things, and for 20 years, INSIDE EDITION's Deborah Norville has had it.
Anchoring INSIDE EDITION is the easy part. It's the stuff that happens outside the studio that's sometimes challenging and often downright fun.
George Clooney even once gave her a kiss at the Golden Globes.
There is never a routine day at INSIDE EDITION. You never know who you'll meet or where in the world you'll end up.
It could be deep in the ocean on a nuclear powered submarine or pulling 10 G's in an F-16 fighter jet.
Norville even got to work as a flight attendant for Frontier Airlines, which left her with a new appreciation for what they go through every day.
A lot has happened over the last 20 years.
On her first day at INSIDE EDITION, O.J. Simpson was on trial for murder, a loaf of bread cost half of what it does now, there was no war on terror and Kardashian was an attorney, not a reality star. Reality TV hadn't been created yet!
INSIDE EDITION has told stories of explosions which blasted not just buildings but our sense of security.
In the 1995 Oklahoma City bombings, terror hit home. Then September 11, 2001 was without a doubt the darkest day in American history.
Norville remembers that day, saying, "That day, I was on a roof overlooking the smoldering Pentagon while our colleagues literally ran for their lives in Manhattan."
There was also the Boston Marathon bombings of 2013 when she reported, "Two massive bombs were detonated."
The interviews have been explosive too.
Paula Jones, who accused then-President Bill Clinton of sexual harassment, didn't like Norville's tough questions.
Norville asked Jones, "Why would Bill Clinton care about you? So, you turned him down."
"That was so rude," said Jones.
Norville then said, "I mean no disrespect" and then Jones stormed out of the interview.
Jones later finished the interview and reached a financial settlement with the president.
Howard Stern's usually the one asking people to take stuff off, and when Norville asked him to take his glasses off, it yielded a surprising vulnerability for the famous shock jock.
Norville asked him to take off his glasses. He said, "I have a very big nose and I am very self-conscious about it. I would get a nose job but I am afraid it will screw up my voice."
Americans are fascinated with Royals, probably because we don't have any.
Our coverage of the Royal wedding of Prince William and Kate was a hit.
Norville traveled to Rome, part of a throng from all over the world, to give INSIDE EDITION's viewers a glimpse of the farewell to Pope John Paul II, "The People's Pontiff."
But nothing's grabbed more attention than when Norville spent five days in jail in the toughest jail in America.
She reflected, "There was no privacy, no special treatment, and very little sleep. These were real criminals."
It seemed the whole nation was watching.
Jay Leno joked on The Tonight Show, "Here is my question? What if it is a huge hit in the ratings? Think they make her stay there?"
Norville admits, "The ratings were huge, but I was miserable. Trust me, this story was not my idea."
There was another idea that wasn't Norville's either. In one episode, she went on air from a hospital bed and said, "About nine hours ago I became the mother of this little girl. Mikaela Katerina. She's fine. I'm fine. My husband thinks I'm crazy to be doing this."
Norville remembers, "The producers said they couldn't find anyone to do the show that day. And I guess they couldn't find anyone to clean up after the rhino at the Detroit Zoo either. They gave me that job."
On INSIDE EDITION, she has been a short order cook, a toll booth attendant, a peanut vender and even recorded a music video. But she had to write the song first!
It's not every day you're invited to The White House. Norville got to read her children's book as part of Mrs. Clinton's reading initiative.
She later spoke to Hillary Clinton when she was campaigning for the Democratic Nomination for president.
Norville then asked her, "What is the difference when you were a candidate as opposed to the spouse of a candidate."
"That's such a great question. It's different to be the candidate. You're on all the time. There's no time off," Clinton said.
At the Democratic Convention in 2012, First Lady Michelle Obama talked about the scrutiny she by then was used to.
Norville said to her, "Everyone is going to be looking at what the first lady wore. You know there is a website that chronicles what you wear everyday?"
Mrs. Obama jokingly replied, "I know shoes, buttons."
Norville then asked, "Does it add to the pressure of what you're going to wear?"
"No, not really. In the end, as you know, you have to wear what you feel good in," said the first lady.
There have been many famous faces on INSIDE EDITION over the years. But for Norville, it's the people we didn't always know who had the most compelling stories.
J.R. Martinez is from Norville's hometown in Georgia. He was serving in Iraq when his Humvee hit a landmine, and he was horribly burned. Many people would have given up, but not Martinez.
He was cast as a war Vet on the soap "All My Children" and later won "Dancing with the Stars."
Norville once asked him, "What are you hearing from other Vets who have seen you on the show?"
"I get a lot of emails from other Veterans that say, 'We cried. We cried. We cried because we are so proud. Go out and show what we can do,'" he said.
Norville reflected, "No one was better at looking forward than my pal, Joan Rivers. A fixture on the red carpet and a model of resilience, she once talked about those dark days when she lost her job and her husband within weeks of each other."
Norville asked, "How do you get through it?"
"I couldn't kill myself. Because of my daughter, that would be a terrible, terrible thing to show her," she replied.
Norville asked, "Did you think about it?" Rivers candidly said, "Oh, my God, yeah. I hope it's a lesson things come around in life and you just keep trying."
Looking back on her 20 years, Norville reveals, "You just keep trying and after all of this I can't wait to try what's next."
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