Former Deal or No Deal host Howie Mandel joked about the Duchess of Sussex’s career trajectory, saying that she was working on her duchess skills while she worked on the game show.
“I used to say to her, ‘Meghan, open the case.’ And she used to say, ‘Not now, I’m doing some work on becoming a duchess.’ It was the master plan, so I don’t think she’ll come back for us,” Mandel said in an exclusive web interview with American tabloid magazine Us Weekly.
He had been asked by the interviewer if he thought Meghan would ever return to her acting career.
Mandel replied in the negative before stating that she’d still be on television, but only on news programs or documentaries “because she’s a duchess.”
Meghan appeared on the popular NBC game show from 2006 to 2007 as one of the “suitcase models” — 26 models who carried suitcases with varying amounts of dollar value inside of them. A contestant would pick suitcases in order to increase their cash winnings while fielding offers from an unseen banker to take a settlement or keep going. The suitcases contained everything from one cent to 1 million dollars.
Meghan carried suitcase 24 for the season she appeared on the show, and overlapped in some appearances with model and cookbook author Chrissy Teigen.
“I was on Deal or No Deal with her and she was lovely,” Teigen told the Daily Mail in 2018.
“Now everyone asks me what she was like and I say, ‘Sorry, no dirt.’ She’s gorgeous.”
Meghan continued to film guest appearances on television shows including 90210, Fringe, and Without a Trace before she landed the role of Rachel Zane on Suits in 2011.
Jokes aside, Meghan spoke about her time on Deal or No Deal as a learning opportunity to figure out what kind of roles she wanted to take.
“I would put that in the category of things I was doing while I was auditioning to try to make ends meet. I went from working in the U.S. Embassy in Argentina to ending up on Deal. It’s run the gamut,” she said in an interview with Esquire in 2013.
“Definitely working on Deal or No Deal was a learning experience, and it helped me to understand what I would rather be doing.”