Sharon Osbourne

07/25/2003 at 10:44 AM EDT

Since her family's reality-series debut on MTV, heavy-metal matriarch Sharon Osbourne has become a star in her own right – whether it's guiding the career of husband Ozzy or watching over kids Jack, Kelly and (offscreen) Aimee.

Now, she's stepping out on her own with The Sharon Osbourne Show, a syndicated talk show set to debut this fall, and her family is back for another season of their MTV hit. She spoke to PEOPLE during the recent Television Critics Association summer press tour.

You said last year that you didn't want to do The Osbournes anymore. What made you change your mind?
It's an idea of squeezing out every moment that I possibly can in my life, and at the time I wasn't feeling too well and things in my life weren't exactly great. When somebody says you have a 33 percent chance of survival, you kind of like to rethink your life. At that time, I thought if I had only three or five years to live, I didn't want to live them all on the air. So it kind of makes you rethink things.

But why spend more of your life in front of cameras?
First of all, I am a show off. Secondly, I was one of those kids that was born into the industry. I was trained as a dancer and an actress as a kid. I never made it. So maybe it's something inside of me saying, "I made it, but it is just a bit later." I always wanted to do a talk show. Everybody has a little fantasy of what they want to do, and this was my fantasy.

Should celebrities be afraid to talk to you?
I would hope not. I don't want to demean anybody. That's not what I do. I wouldn't want anyone to do it to me, so I wouldn't want to do it to anybody. But I think there is a way of asking a personal question in a way that is dignified.

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