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The Oprah effect -

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Talk show Queen Oprah Winfrey has taken over Sydney Harbour, hosting a show today at the Opera
House. The show is the culmination of Oprah's week long tour of Australia's tourism hot spots -
Tourism Australia hope her star power will bring visitors down under.


HEATHER EWART, PRESENTER: More than 12,000 Oprah Winfrey fans invaded Sydney today, as the
television queen taped two of her chat shows at Circular Quay. The screaming throng included 300
audience members from the United States who've been travelling around the country for the past
week. Not even a stunt that level actor Hugh Jackman with an eye injury could dampen the mood in
front of the Opera House. Taxpayers helped bring the show here, but tourism officials believe
Oprah's marketing magic is worth every cent. Danielle Parry reports.

DANIELLE PARRY, REPORTER: This was the moment Oprah Winfrey's legion of fans in Australia had been
waiting for.

The star-studded show on Sydney Harbour was the culmination of a week-long Australian adventure for
the talk show queen and her 500-strong entourage of American guests and staff.

OPRAH WINFREY, TALK SHOW HOST: I love Australia! It's so great here! And to the rest of the world
watching right now, you've gotta come to Australia!

DANIELLE PARRY: That endorsement amounts to marketing gold.

OPRAH WINFREY: It is immeasurable what four hours of a love festival about your country, broadcast
in 145 countries around the world, can do.

ALAN JOYCE, CEO, QANTAS: Qantas spends well over $100 million a year on marketing and I've
absolutely no doubt in my mind that this is the best marketing expenditure that we could make.

DANIELLE PARRY: It's cost taxpayers about $5 million to bring one of the world's richest and most
influential women Down Under. But the tourism industry says it's worth every cent, with her program
drawing more than 70 million viewers in 145 countries.

ANDREW MCEVOY, TOURISM AUSTRALIA: The big thing with us is her audience is predominantly
25-to-54-year-old women who earn higher-than-average income. For the travel and tourism industry in
Australia that's gold because they're the people that make decisions for themselves and for their
families to come on holidays.

KITTY KELLEY, BIOGRAPHER: I can't think of anybody more powerful than Oprah Winfrey, to tell you
the truth. Not the Queen of England, not the President of the United States. She is all-powerful
when it comes to the media.

DANIELLE PARRY: The local tourism industry has been bending over backwards to get a slice of the
action, pulling out all stops to showcase the best Australia has to offer.

OPRAH WINFREY: I have flown over the crystal blue waters of the Great Barrier Reef. I watched the
sun set at Uluru, one of the most sacred places on Earth. Even climbed to the top of the Sydney
Harbour Bridge!

I have named myself an unofficial ambassador for Australia and I have the biggest mouth on Earth!
So, a big mouth and a big platform.

DANIELLE PARRY: The talk show queen admits that she, like many Americans, has rarely ventured
beyond US shores, but she hopes she can broaden people's horizons.

OPRAH WINFREY: People who'd never even thought about Australia, didn't know where it was, are gonna
go Google Earth it and find out where it is. And other people, the seed will be planted in their
hearts: we've got to get to Australia.

DANIELLE PARRY: Perth woman Sally Ann Innes was one of more than 350,000 Australians who signed up
for the online lottery to get tickets to today's shows. She's inspired by Oprah's universal
rags-to-riches story.

SALLY ANN INNES: She's had kind of every disadvantage in life - in her younger life and she's got
to where she's got under her own steam, I think, and I think that's quite an admirable quality.

KITTY KELLEY: She grew up poor, became the richest woman in the world; I think it resonates all
over the world, because it isn't just limited to the United States. It's a universal story. It's
like Cinderella, really.

DANIELLE PARRY: American author Kitty Kelley spent four years writing her controversial
unauthorised biography of the chat show queen. She says Oprah Winfrey has crafted a careful
narrative about her life over the 25 years she's been hosting her show and isn't always quite as
she seems.

KITTY KELLEY: She, in person, is not as open and as expansive as she is on television. She's much
more reserved, she's much more of a loner and she's much quieter and not quite as friendly in
person as she is on television.

DANIELLE PARRY: But there's no doubting Oprah's commercial clout. A mention on her show can turn a
book into an instant bestseller, which is why reclusive writers like Cormac McCarthy have granted
her rare interviews.

ANDREW MCEVOY: There's no doubt about it, her success is not just connecting with people, it's
commercial success. And she understands the value of her power and she does that exceptionally
well. Better than anyone ever.

DANIELLE PARRY: The tourism industry is hoping Oprah's presence will do for Australia what her book
club has done for publishing in America.

What will be the test of success and whether that investment has been worth it?

ANDREW MCEVOY: Look, ultimately it's more people show up from around the world and spend great
money in this great country. I think we'll see the benefit of this program in the long term.

DANIELLE PARRY: What has been immediate is the endorsement of Oprah Winfrey's fans. For Sally Ann
Innes, the trek to Sydney to see the queen of talk is everything she dreamed.

SALLY ANN INNES: The atmosphere around here's amazing and people are just wanting to come out and
show how incredible and how I think thankful they are that Oprah's come to Australia.

FAN: Sydney has just gone mad for Oprah. We all have.

FAN II: I got to kiss her and it was just so gorgeous.

FAN III: It was amazing and I'm sold to the church of Oprah now. (Laughs).

OPRAH WINFREY: It has exceeded every expectation I would have had for being embraced, being
supported and feeling the love of a country. I've really never encountered anything like this.

There's no question I'll be back!

HEATHER EWART: Danielle Parry reporting.