'The Ricki Lake Show': 'I feel like I've come a long way'

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If there are no second acts, no one has told Ricki Lake.

The year after she redefined herself for much of the public as a fierce competitor on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars," Lake is returning to a format in which she succeeded before, the talk show. The new "Ricki Lake Show" premieres in syndication Monday, Sept. 10 -- the same day Katie Couric and Jeff Probst ( "Survivor") launch their weekday talk shows -- and the host guarantees what she also delivered daily from 1993 to 2004: herself as she really is.

"I feel like I've come a long way," Lake tells Zap2it. "I have been rich. I have been poor. I have been fat. I have been thin. I feel like I've had this life experience, and I'm an open book. I'm willing to share my hardships and my triumphs. I think I have compassion, and I think people can tell. I care about bettering the world, and I have high hopes that this really can be a smart show [where] people can learn from each other."

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Indeed, Lake wants to hit a wide range of topics relevant to the daytime audience now, and she admits "there's a lot of pressure because there's a lot of money that's invested in this show, and you want lightning to strike twice. I do feel like I have a lot more to offer this time around. I'm involved with the creation of the show from the ground up, whereas last time, I was just cast into it."

Even then, Lake feels no need to be in the forefront of every conversation on the show, content just to get "people talking about something that I believe warrants a discussion. That's where I'm coming from. This really is about having a reverence for this genre and this platform that they have given me this opportunity [for] again."
Photo/Video credit: NewsCom