Will Oprah overwhelm Oz?

  • 0comments

When the Queen of Daytime Television plans to relocate to your country for a week, you make sure the red carpet is rolled out and no expense is spared.

As Oprah Winfrey et al prepare to take over Sydney for two shows of the final season of The Oprah Winfrey Show, the rest of Australia is vying for a piece of the action.

Scheduled for filming on the steps of the Sydney Opera House, the talk show specials are less than two months away.

And with an international audience of over 200 million viewers in 145 syndicated countries, the visit is the ultimate opportunity for the Aussie tourism industry -- with all regions of the nation fighting over her limited time in the country.

North Queensland is attempting to seduce Winfrey with the promise of a luxury yacht worth $10,000 a day and top-notch accommodation valued at $4,000 a night.

Melbourne is singing the praises of its shopping and restaurants in a bid to lure the media mogul, along with her 300 American audience members and 150 crew, to Victoria.

And after she mentioned that she'd like to stay in a real Aussie house, homeowners from Darwin to Adelaide have been declaring offers of hospitality left, right and centre in order to have the privilege of hosting her for part of the eight-day tour in December.

New South Wales, however, has contributed a significant amount of funding to the costly junket -- reportedly between AU$1 million to AU$2 million -- so it's likely Oprah's time will be directed by the will of Sydneysiders.

But where to put everybody?

Along with Oprah's American team comes the thousands of enthusiastic Oprah fans, both in Australia and worldwide, who would go to any lengths to secure tickets for the iconic show that has rarely been filmed away from its Chicago studios.

But with the steps of the Sydney Opera House able to cater for a capacity of just 3000 people, there are concerns that the city may not be able to fully capitalise on the expected influx of visitors, losing millions in potential tourist dollars.

Do you think that the Australian episodes of The Oprah Winfrey Show will be a success for the country and the program?