DEC 15 OPRAH INVADES AUSTRALIA
Earlier this year, TV talk-show queen OPRAH WINFREY made the announcement that, after 25 years on the air, this would be her last season. As someone who doesn't watch a lot of daytime TV, you might not realize how momentous this announcement is. Not only is the America's top celebrity, Oprah is also a world-wide phenomenon. Her show can be seen 145 countries around the globe. It is translated into fifty different languages. People everywhere love her unbounded enthusiasm and her over-the-top segments. So it came as no surprise that her FINAL season will be the biggest ever! This week, she took the show overseas to film a week's worth of episodes down under in Australia.
But...as we said...Oprah never does anything small. Her company, Harpo Entertainment, made a huge deal with the Australian Tourism Board. They shelled out $6 million dollars for the empress (and 302 audience members) to launch 'OPRAH'S AUSTRALIAN ADVENTURE!' to the world. While many Aussies scoffed at the massive sums of public money going to an American diva, government ministers have assured taxpayers this is a wise investment. The fact is that since the amazing successful 2000 Sydney Olympics, the nation has seen its once lucrative tourism industry slide deeply during the recession. It costs over a thousand dollars for anyone to fly there, and it's not exactly cheap once you get there. The government hopes Oprah can make people forget this fact and make the world fall in love with Australia.
And she can! Let's review the first couple of days: It began with six thousand fans surrounding an elaborate stage at the famed Sydney Opera House (cleverly renamed the Sydney OPRAH House.) Oprah greeted the adoring fans with a bang. She said "Now I understand why you call Australia 'OZ,; 'cause we truly are at the end of the rainbow." Her first guest was none other than mega-hottie-actor RUSSEL CROWE, an afternoon talk show favorite. Next, an equally hunky Hugh Jackman tried to make an elaborate entrance via zip-line from high atop the Sydney Oprah House. Instead, he bumped his head, recovered with some Aussie chardonnay, and created some much-sought-after news headlines worldwide. She closed the show with a touching interview with the widow of 'Crocodile Hunter' STEVE IRWIN. A tearful Terri told Oprah how difficult her life has been since his sudden death after a mantra-ray speared his chest two years ago.
Next up for Oprah was a visit to the iconic Sydney Harbor Bridge. To her surprise, the Aussies had put a hundred-foot-high 'O' erected on the side. Ten thousand red bulbs lit up to honor the queen. She'll also go snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, hike half-way up the Outback's famed Ayers Rock and relax at posh resort near Melbourne. And escorting her along the way will be her 302 friends. "Life is so much better when you can share it." Oprah says!