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SYDNEY — Nicole Kidman and husband Keith Urban have been confirmed as the first two Aussie stars to appear on the Sydney editions of The Oprah Winfrey Show being taped here on December 14.
Hugh Jackman and wife Deborah Lee Furness, Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin, Cate Blanchett and Jon Bon Jovi, who is touring here, as well as other “local heroes” are also being tipped to appear, although no other guests have yet been confirmed.
Kidman and Urban will also appear on The Oprah Winfrey Show on November 30, in a “teaser” episode, as will a number of Aussies who’ll tell Winfrey and her 300 audience members what they can expect on Oprah’s Ultimate Australian Adventure, when they depart a week later for their eight-day trip.
On the same show one more audience member will win a last-minute ticket to join the trip. That person will initially be flown to Perth in Western Australia before meeting up with the rest of the Oprah travel party in Sydney.
But it appears that another major production has beaten Oprah Down Under. Contestants in The Amazing Race, and host Phil Keoghan, were spotted “racing” around Sydney Monday, according to local blogs and fan sites, with an overnight trip to the outback town of Broken Hill their next destination. Those episodes will screen as part of The Amazing Race Season 18, with the cast “fan favorites” from previous series.
Meanwhile Harpo Productions Tuesday confirmed that Oprah’s Ultimate Australian Adventure will take place December 7 – 15. “Hundreds of thousands” of Australians have been “requesting tickets, offering goods and services, inviting the production to visit, telling their stories and more,” a statement from the company said.
“We’re just weeks away from our ultimate Australian adventure and we’ve got a case of Aussie fever! I can’t wait,” Winfrey said in a statement.
350,000 requests were made for tickets to the two tapings of the program at the Sydney Opera House on December 14, with more than 95% of the 6,000 tickets to the two shows available given to Australian residents.
A third show will be produced with footage taped from across Australia from both the audience and Oprah’s excursions. Harpo Productions crews were here in September filming and meeting with the show’s partner Tourism Australia and representatives from all states and territories throughout Australia.
A statement from Harpo said that “between the shows at the Sydney Opera House, videotaped packages and the excursions, the ‘Oprah’ show plans to represent as much of Australia as possible during their short visit.”
Australian tourism minister Martin Ferguson said Tuesday that the announcement of Oprah’s trip has already generated more than AUS$17 million ($16.6 million) in advertising.
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