Oprah's Ultimate Australian Adventure - December 2010
Monday, September 13th marked an emotional day for Oprah Winfrey, her lucky fans and Tourism Australia when the iconic talk show host officially announced “Oprah’s Ultimate Australian Adventure” coming our way this December.
The eight day all expenses paid Australian visit will take place in December and see Oprah film at least two episodes of her talk show here, including December 14 at the Sydney Opera House, which they will call “The Sydney Oprah House” during the television shoot.
Oprah Australia Video
The Sydney Oprah House
The Sydney Oprah House taping will occur in front of thousands of Aussie fans –tickets are available by lottery- and 300 American viewers who are being flown in via Quantas with famous celebrity pilot of Pulp Fiction fame, John Travolta. Considering around 150 crew members are accompanying Oprah and her audience, the number of tourists being brought in through this promotion is at approximately 450.
After 25 years of benevolence, Americas TV talk show queen was still able to stun her Chicago studio audience on Monday’s premier episode of her farewell season by announcing that she would be heading down under her “ultimate” US fans – the lucky audience members in studio on the day.
Oprah has beaten her own record. In 2004 the Oprah show went down in history creating the “greatest moment in television history” when she gave each member of her studio audience a brand new Pontiac G-6 sport sedan.
'Project O' for Oprah
“I wanted to kick off my 25th season in a big way and I've heard Australia is the ultimate adventure… It's one of the places I've always wanted to visit,” Winfrey said in a statement. Making the premiere episode of her final season one to remember, Oprah topped all extravagant gifts of the past declaring to the crowd, “We’re going to the other side of the world. We’re going to Australia!” Always a flare for drama, the hysteric audience began waving mini Australian flags with excitement.
This is the first time Oprah will film her show outside of North America and marks a unique opportunity for Australian tourism as the show is watched by over 40 million North America viewers and is aired in over 147 countries world wide. In 2008 she hosted a show celebrating film in Australia entitled “The Stars of Australia.” Though there is no match for the media exposure Oprah’s 8 days and 7 nights of Aussie adventure will bring.
This has been a closely guarded secret, code named ‘Project O’ by Tourism Australia and New South Wales state government. The Keneally government has been finalizing negotiations with Oprah producers over the past two months and is contributing one million dollars in incentives, mostly through accommodation.
Oprah's Dream Destination - Australia
Tourism Australia’s Chairman, Geoff Dixon explains, “Partnership with the Oprah Winfrey show is a real opportunity to show how they can make their dream a reality.” As her emotional audience screamed, cried and jumped up and down in response to the announcement, the world saw that Australia is a dream destination and Oprah is known to make the “Wildest Dreams” come true.
"For many people around the world, Australia is a dream destination," Andrew McEvoy, managing director of Tourism Australia acknowledges, "and we turned that dream into a reality for some of Oprah's ultimate viewers. We are excited to show them and Oprah's global audience why there really is nothing like Australia."
“Oprah’s Ultimate Australian Adventure” will be cast in two full episodes, airing in early 2011; sometime next January the world will see the Sydney Oprah House episode and one other, in an area which remains to be announced. Conceivably a second episode may be produced outside of the studio, though until there is an official announcement speculation is heresy. There is no official word as of yet for another studio location and date.
Really Big Travel Plans for Oprah
Oprah explained, "My team has been planning this trip for almost a year and we are so excited to go down under." Leading up to their Sydney shoot, the travel itinerary to date includes Melbourne, our Wine Regions, the Outback and The Great Barrier Reef.
On the big announcement day Oprah also presented her audience with another gift, a Motorola Smartphone, that Winfrey jested as "water resistant, so if you drop it at the Great Barrier Reef, no worries.” Comedy aside, Oprah’s plans are incredible and will have a positive influence on our tourist economy, leaving an imprint of Australia in the minds eye of a global audience of adoring fans, a demographic with disposable income, many with families, avid travellers looking for their next vacation getaway.
In addressing her audience, Oprah sincerely explained, “This really is my 25th season and this is really my last chance to do something really big." We know there are really big things coming our way with all her attention on Australia.
Oprah's Focus on Famous Australians
Australian star power is rumoured to hit the Oprah limelight, some definitely to appear in Syndey’s opera house turned studio, including Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, Cate Blanchett, Cathy Freeman and Baz Luhrmann amongst others. We’re not privy to the location breakdown, though rumour has it that there may be a visit to Bondi Beach with Mr. Jackman or a visit to Byron Bay alongside popular surf musician.
Some of the details remain a mystery though the fact of the matter is “Oprah’s Ultimate Aussie Adventure” will show the world Australia once again, in case they’ve forgotten our dream destination post Sydney Olympics in 2000.
The pop culture appeal of day time celebrity Oprah Winfrey is also an opportunity to explore the Australian entertainment scene and celebrate our own homegrown and world renowned great talents.