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Howie Mandel confesses he ‘didn’t remember’ Meghan Markle being on Deal or No Deal

Howie Mandel hosted the game show from 2008 to 2019

Amber Raiken
New York
Wednesday 13 March 2024 10:44 GMT
Related: Meghan Markle wins defamation suit brought against her by half-sister Samantha

Howie Mandel has candidly reflected on Meghan Markle’s time on Deal or No Deal.

The 63-year-old comedian opened up about his time on the reality game show, which he hosted from 2008 to 2019, during a recent episode of the Good Guys podcast. During the conversation, he was asked if he stayed in touch with Meghan Markle, who was a briefcase model on Deal or No Deal from 2006 to 2007. In the game show, contestants choose between 26 suitcases with different cash amounts in them, ranging from one cent to $1m.

After Mendel noted that he doesn’t talk to the Suits alum, who married Prince Harry in 2018, he also confessed that he initially had no idea that she had been on the show, until he was reminded about it.

“When I heard that she was on Deal or No Deal, I didn’t remember her,” he said during his appearance on Good Guys. However, he did share that he does have a photo of her on the show, before acknowledging that he can’t recall a lot of the women who worked as briefcase models.

“I have a picture of her in my office, well she’s one of many of the girls standing behind me on Deal or No Deal,” he said. “I don’t remember a lot of people [on the show]. You know Chrissy Teigen was also a Deal or No Deal model.”

This isn’t the first time that the America’s Got Talent host has been asked about Meghan’s Deal or No Deal stint. During an interview withE! News in 2018, he first revealed that he couldn’t recall her appearance on the program in 2006 and 2007.

“To be honest, I don’t even remember her. I don’t. I don’t,” he said. “I’d like to say I do and if she’s watching, and she’s not right?”

He continued the quip by looking at the camera and saying: “I don’t remember you. I don’t remember you. I’ve seen a lot of pictures and I don’t.”

Mandel’s recent comments about Deal Or No Deal come over a year after Meghan revealed why she left the program. During an episode of her Archetypes podcast, which aired in October 2022, she said that she didn’t like how Deal Or No Deal made her feel, which was “not smart”.

“I didn’t like feeling forced to be all looks,” she explained while speaking to podcast guest Paris Hilton. “And little substance. And that’s how it felt for me at the time being reduced to this specific archetype, the word bimbo.”

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Meghan also claimed that women were forced to “line up” for beauty treatments.

“We were even given spray-tan vouchers each week because there was a very cookie-cutter idea of precisely what we should look like. It was solely about our beauty,” she said. “I was surrounded by smart women on that stage with me, but that wasn’t the focus of why we were there and I would end up leaving with this pit in my stomach.”

In May 2023, Lucas Green – the chief content officer at Banijay, which owns the Deal or No Deal format – hit back at Meghan’s claims that the game show demeaned women. Speaking to Variety, Green explained that he disagreed with Meghan’s assessment because he said the company is always “modernising” the game show format.

“We are constantly evolving the format so that it isn’t the same show it was 15 plus years ago,” he said. “A lot of work goes into modernising our formats to ensure they represent our values as a company and wider society.”

While Meghan appeared on the US version of the game show, there are more than 60 other versions worldwide. “The UK version, for example, will continue to use members of the public from all walks of life to open the boxes,” Green added, instead of the famous “briefcase models” used in the US iteration.

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