Ellen DeGeneres was joined by Oprah Winfrey as she hosted the first episode of her talk show since announcing it was coming to an end.
The comedian and actress announced on Wednesday she was stepping down after 19 series, following allegations of a toxic workplace environment.
Last year DeGeneres, 63, 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 following reports of a toxic environment on the programme, but DeGeneres has denied that is the reason she is ending the programme.
Thursday’s episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which featured a performance from singer P!nk, saw her elaborate on her reasons.
She said: “I didn’t rehearse the monologue. I knew what I was going to say but the words hadn’t come out of my mouth.
“So, I was okay until I started talking and it became real. Obviously, I got emotional because it’s real now, but I’m feeling good.
“I feel like it’s the right thing to do but I’m charged. It’s a weird thing to announce that I’m stopping.”
Winfrey, who hosted 25 series of her own chat show between 1986 and 2011, sympathised with DeGeneres over decision to end her show.
She said: “I know what those feelings are. I also know the feelings leading up to it.
“So, hearing you say and announcing to the world that it was your instinct and that you thought long and hard about it because anybody would know that for something that is as powerful as this show is in other people’s lives, that you would not take that lightly and that the coming to the realisation that now it is time is a process.”
DeGeneres insisted she would remain involved in the digital side of her business including her website, Ellen Tube.
“There’s just different things as a creative person that I feel like I need to do,” she said.
“We still have the digital Ellen Tube, Ellen Tube is huge. We have original show. That’s going to continue.
“Our social media’s going to continue. I still am going to be very much involved with digital.”
Earlier in the day, she appeared on US breakfast show Today where she dismissed the idea the decision to end her talk show was the result of allegations of a toxic workplace environment.
She said: “If it was why I was quitting, I would have not come back this year.
“I really did think about not coming back, because it was devastating.
“It started with attacks on me and attacking everything that I stand for and believe in and built my career around.
“I am a kind person. I am a person who likes to make people happy.”
She said she had had “no idea” there were problems behind the scenes until she read press reports and added: “I don’t know how I could have known when there’s 225 employees here and there are a lot of different buildings, unless I actually stayed here until that last person goes home at night.
“It’s my name on the show, so clearly it affects me, and I have to be the one to stand up and say this can’t be tolerated.”