It’s Oprahmania in the land of the roo
MELBOURNE: Thousands of screaming fans thronged to welcome US talk show queen Oprah Winfrey to Australia yesterday, sparking scenes of adulation usually reserved for royalty and rock stars.
Winfrey, 56, yelled out her enthusiasm for Australia, saying she had been welcomed by open-hearted people as the crowd waved banners and flowers, and blew kisses at the megastar who filled Melbourne’s Federation Square to capacity. She appeared on a stage with Prime Minister Julia Gillard amid scenes rem- iniscent of the welcomes afforded to the Beatles and Abba in the 1960s and 1970s and Princess Diana in the 1980s.
In a short speech to fans, some of whom had reportedly slept overnight in the square for a chance to see the superstar, Winfrey said she was loving her first trip to Australia. She described the country as “breathtaking”, saying she had flown over the Great Barrier Reef, visited Uluru (Ayers Rock) in the country’s desert heartland and had seen koalas mating.
ROCK STARS: Oprah Winfrey with children on a visit to outback Australian landmark Uluru this week.