Inside Edition celebrates its 31st season this week and Deborah Norville has been in the anchor’s chair since 1995. The show has won several awards during it’s impressive run including the George Polk Award and he National Association of Consumer Agency Administrator’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
CBS Local’s Matt Weiss spoke to Norville about some of her favorites stories as well as what’s to come on the new season.
MW- Hey Deborah, first off I want to say congrats on the 31st season of Inside Edition, obviously a huge milestone.
DN- Thank you!
MW- As you look back, what do you take from your time on the show? What were some of your most memorable stories?
DN- I think I’m just really proud of the fact that we’re still here. I think it’s a testament to the creativity of the team that works here. The stories that my mind jumps to are going to jail for a week in the toughest jail in America was a real eye opener and terrifying to me personally. It also was a really good story nationally, and obviously great for the ratings, but we were able to show how when people are thrown in jail – that incarceration in and of itself doesn’t do a darn thing to make people less likely to commit crimes.
Then there are stories, one was a woman who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma which is an incurable form of blood cancer. Within diagnosis death was usually within four years, there was no cure and nobody was looking for one. Our story was about how she and her identical twin sister decided to create a foundation that raised seed money for promising research. The promising research was then taken all the way and researched by the big pharma guys. There are now seven drugs being used to treat myeloma patients, this lady is not dead, was named one of Time Magazine‘s 100 most influential Americans and has changed the lives of millions of people including Tom Brokaw, who was diagnosed with myeloma.
I love doing stories about people who could have been defeated by what they were confronting and instead decided that, ‘No I’m going to figure out a way to make it so that I win.’
MW- Both such incredible stories and there are more to come of course. This week we have the story of this new trend where hot rod cars are being driven dangerously in many parts of the country.
DN- Obviously this is very dangerous but what was less obvious to us was how widespread it is, this is something that is going on all-around the country. We were in at least three of four cities filming but you can go on YouTube, which is where most these events end up because they love to see their viewer count increase by the more outrageous stunts that they can get on film.
What we thought was truly astonishing was not the fact that 50 cars all gather in the same spot and do drag racing or spin donuts or burn rubber so thick that you can’t see through the black smoke – what was astonishing was not once did we see a police officer right a ticket.
MW- Wow, I can’t believe that.
DN- The crazy thing was we interviewed one guy who’s one of these hotrodders and said, “Why do you do this?” He said, “We want to see people excited when the cars come.” Then you look at the faces of the folks who are watching this mayhem in the middle of the street. There are many adjectives to describe their face – excited is not one of them. Terrified, fearful – but not excited.
MW- And also on the show this week there was some investigation into Meghan Markle’s lesser known family history…
DN- There have been a lot of stories about the family of Meghan Markle, that I’m sure Ms. Markle was not happy about. The father’s side is, shall we say, outspoken, but we’ve heard very little about her mom’s side of the family. So Inside Edition decided to search the family tree on Meghan Markle’s mother’s side. What we found is fascinating, it is truly an American story. We traced her family back four sets of great greats so we went back to the early 1800’s and indeed she is the descendent of slaves on a farm in Georgia.
We went to the Ragland family farm which is where her mother’s surname originates. We found shirttail cousins, third cousins and second cousins, we spoke to them. Among the fascinating members of Meghan Markle’s forebears is one gentleman who was a member of the Negro Baseball League back in the early 1900’s. So while Meghan Markle may be regarded as the trailblazer or the only trailblazer in her family – the truth is there were plenty who came before her.
MW- What a great story!
DN- Yea it’s a good one!
MW- Well thank you so much for the time today Deborah and good luck on season 31!
DN- Thanks, have a good one!
Tune into the new season of Inside Edition for these stories and so much more CBS3 at 7pm.