By Alex Green, PA Acting Deputy Entertainment Editor
Ellen DeGeneres has said the decision to end her talk show left her “crying every day” but she remains certain it was “the right choice”.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show, hosted by the comedian and actress, 64, comes to an end on Thursday after 19 seasons.
The sitcom star-turned-host announced last year that she was stepping down from her TV show after controversy over an alleged toxic workplace environment.
Speaking about planning her final pre-recorded shows, DeGeneres told the Hollywood Reporter: “There was a time a couple of months out where I was crying every day. I was really emotional, even though it was my choice, and it’s the right choice.
“I knew it was time to end this chapter and to do something different, but still it was really emotional.
“But I did not want the last two weeks to be about that. I’d meditate every day on my intention and how much I wanted to be present and enjoy it and I wanted that for the audience, too.
“I wanted people to be reminded of what we brought to television with the music and the games and everything.
“It was more of a variety show than anything, and I wanted the last two weeks to be pure fun because I struggle with anxiety and depression and I know how important it is to have an escape.
“We’re reminded every single day of what’s going on in the world, from a sick family member to wars and fires and global warming. There are so many different things that make you sad.”
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) May 24, 2022
DeGeneres shared the advice her close friend Oprah Winfrey gave her about leaving a long-running show.
“She did say that she regrets (not taking time off when her talk show ended), but she was launching her network at the same time,” she said.
“So, that was bad timing on her part because she really should have taken time to sit and reflect.
“I am going to try to take her advice, which is, ‘Don’t do anything for a year. No matter how good the offer is, just sit for a year’.”
In 2020, DeGeneres apologised to staff after an internal review by Warner Bros found “deficiencies related to the show’s day-to-day management”.
The review was launched after reports of a toxic environment on the programme, but DeGeneres has denied that is the reason she is ending the programme.
Asked whether she had any regrets about not ending the show sooner, she said: “I have to just trust that whatever happened during that time, which was obviously very, very difficult, happened for a reason.
“I think that I learned a lot, and there were some things that came up that I was shocked and surprised by. It was eye-opening, but I just trust that that had to happen.”