Charlie Rose has been practicing the art of the interview for decades on the stark black set of his popular self-titled PBS show—but on Monday night, his routine got a little shake-up. TIME’s Editor Nancy Gibbs helped Rose flip the script at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York, where the two took the stage for Gibbs to ask Rose a few questions. Here’s what we learned about the interviewer extraordinaire:
He bought the round oak table on his set himself.
When Gibbs asked Rose about the set of his TV show—”What’s the deal with the table—and the black?”—Rose’s response was a straightforward one. “The deal was poverty,” Rose said. “I bought that table myself. I knew that if I could put a table in a room with not much light and a couple of chairs, I could have a real conversation. And I know that people…like to eavesdrop on…
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