Oprah eyes Oz

Unless you've had your head buried in the sand this week, you can't fail to have noticed that a certain chat show queen will be bringing her massively successful show to Australia as a special "treat" for her audience.

After giving away cars to each member of her audience in the opening show of her 19th season, Oprah Winfrey had to raise her game in honour of The Oprah Winfrey Show's final season.

''We're going to Australia,'' she screamed recently in an episode that aired Wednesday on TEN. ''We're going to Australia. You and you and you and you. We're going to Australia!''

Since announcing that she is going to ship an entourage of 450 enthusiastic Americans over to Australia to take part in at least two episodes of her talk show's last season, there has been much debate about what her itinerary might include.

After having prolonged talks with Tourism Australia regarding funding and itineraries, Oprah was convinced to ship her show to Oz and will most probably spend her time taking in the sights and sounds of Melbourne, Sydney and the Gold Coast.

With the visit slated for early December, Aussie fans will be able to vie for remaining tickets to the show through a lottery to be run in the coming months.

There has been controversy in Australia though, at news that the New South Wales Government is to shell out $3 million for the trip, from Tourism coffers and the public purse. While it appears to be a substantial investment, it is probably a reasonable price to pay to host the world's most powerful celebrity.

However, Oprah has expressed a desire to cut her accommodation costs by partaking in a spot of couch surfing in the country. Social-media sites and message boards have been awash with offers to host the talk-show superstar.

"The idea of staying at a real Aussie's house is actually pretty appealing to me," Winfrey said to Channel TEN.

"I don't know who that would be, but I'm not ruling that out."

Who wants to bet that the "real Aussie" called will be Mr Crowe, Ms Blanchett or Mr Jackman?

Roll on the "Oprah House" puns...

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