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James Hibberd

Howie Is a Big ‘Deal’

July 23, 2006 7:48 PM

“Deal or No Deal” host Howie Mandel had no desire to talk about his well-reported obsessive compulsive disorder with critics or on the air at his show’s press tour session Saturday. Mandel, for example is so germ-phobic he doesn’t shake hands with contestants, but instead bumps closed fists with them. “I do that with a professional therapist,” Mandel said of discussing his OCD. “I don’t need a national TV show.”

Viewers shouldn’t be judgmental of players on the show, which seems simple but is much more stressful when you’re staring down the chance to go home a millionaire, “Deal” executive producer Scott St. John said.

“When they are out there, their heads explode,” he said.

Mandel is not one to be risky with his own cash, he admitted, noting that despite working Las Vegas regularly, he has “never put a quarter in a [slot] machine.”

“I drive a hybrid,” he said.

But it’s not an act when Mandel expresses concern for contestants who look like they are about to make an expensive mistake on the show.

“I’m legitimately a nervous wreck,” he said. “I watch these people and I live vicariously through them.”


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