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Who will replace Barbara Walters on The View? The TV icon floats an interesting idea

Barbara Walters arrives at the Time 100 gala celebrating the magazine's naming of the 100 most influential people in the world for the past year in New York April 29, 2014.

LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS

So who's the best person to replace Barbara Walters after she leaves The View next week?

The departing co-host thinks it might be time for a man to be allowed entry into the all-female TV club.

Walters – who co-conceived The View and will retain her executive producer duties after she leaves the show on May 16 – made the surprising suggestion to an Extra! Correspondent at the recent Time 100 Gala in New York.

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"The View is entering its 18th year," the 84-year-old TV icon said. "I thought when I created it, the show might last two years. These women are wonderful and I don't know …maybe we'll add a man. …Ah, what a thought."

When asked to expand on her possible successor, Walters alluded to the likelihood that The View will test out several candidates before choosing a replacement.

"I think we'll try some different people and I think it would be nice to add a man," she said coyly. "Stay tuned."

Following nearly four decades in the TV business, Walters teamed with producer Bill Geddie to create The View, which launched on ABC's daytime schedule in 1997.

In the years since, the show has grown to become one of the most-watched programs on daytime television and has spawned a raft of imitators, including CBS's The Talk and the more recent Canadian series The Social.

And for the past 17 seasons, a diverse range of female personalities have filled the host chairs on The View.

The show recently announced that every woman who has ever held a co-host role on The View will return May 15 for a special episode paying homage to Walters.

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Former co-hosts Rosie O'Donnell, Star Jones, Joy Behar, Debbie Matenopoulos, Meredith Vieira, Lisa Ling and Elisabeth Hasselbeck with return for the tribute episode alongside current co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Sherri Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy.

On the day of Walters' retirement, ABC will air a two-hour special looking back at her life and her most memorable TV interviews.

And although Walters is stepping down from the show in two weeks, she doesn't appear to be recusing herself from the TV business.

Just last week, Walters scored the only TV interview with V. Stiviano, the woman involved in the racism controversy surrounding L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling, which aired on this past Friday's episode of 20/20.

While the Stiviano sit down didn't produce any earth-shattering revelations, the interview earned ABC its highest Friday-night ratings since November, 2012 – with most of the credit going to Walters.

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