After an involuntary hiatus, Joan and Melissa Rivers are prepping for their return to the territory they’ve become synonymous with: the Hollywood red carpet.

On Sunday, the mother-daughter team will again work an awards show – rubbing shoulders with, and mangling the names of, celebrities at the Golden Globes.

“We can’t wait to get back out there,” said Joan.

“Absolutely,” Melissa added. “We’re so excited.”

The duo will host the TV Guide Channel’s “Guide to the Golden Globes” at 5 p.m., EST leading into the live, red-carpet show from 6 to 8 p.m. The 62nd annual Golden Globe Awards will air on NBC.

“They keep saying we created the red carpet,” said the elder Rivers. “Well, we didn’t, but we certainly made people aware of the red carpet.”

They began their reign at E! and jumped to the TV Guide Channel last year for a lucrative package deal. But after they arrived at TV Guide, they and the network learned that E! had an exclusive on the red carpet for the Primetime Emmy Awards.

So the Golden Globes are the first chance for the two to be carpet celebrity-baggers on their new channel.

They won’t be alone. “The View” couch-dweller Star Jones Reynolds is E!’s new red-carpet maven.

That Joan is notorious for gaffes hasn’t kept her from working.

“When I was doing “The Tonight Show,”‘ Joan Rivers said, “they would spell the names on the TelePrompTer phonetically and I would still mispronounce them.”

When she was at E!, “people would take bets on how many names I would screw up. I would say, “Aren’t you thrilled to be nominated?’ “No, I’m presenting.”‘

While the Rivers matriarch admits to a chronic case of foot-in-mouth syndrome, it hasn’t hurt her ability to get A-list celebs to talk.

“You hear that so-and-so won’t talk to us,” said Melissa, “and it’s like, “Who?’ They’re always so far down on the list. Julia Roberts and Nicole Kidman and Tom Hanks and Tom Cruise, they don’t avoid us.”

“Brad and Jennifer come to us for advice,” Joan joked.

According to the younger Rivers, if any celebrities’ feathers have been ruffled, it had nothing to do with her or her mother’s conduct.

“That was more a backlash against the programming on E! at the time,” she said, “and their more tabloidy shows. It wasn’t about us. Really, there is no one of any substance or importance who avoids us.”

In fact, it is the Rivers who do the avoiding.

“If there is someone I really hate,” said Joan, “I will turn around so our eyes don’t meet so they don’t come over.”

So who have they snubbed?

“We’ll never tell,” said Melissa. “You never know, next week they may be our new best friends.”

Added her mother: “That’s right, we’re completely shallow.”

(c) 2005, New York Daily News.

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Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.


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Joan and Melissa Rivers

AP-NY-01-13-05 0922EST

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