G'day everyone. You would have heard... media, entertainment and TV talk show queen, billionaire - Oprah Winfrey is about to land in Australia, and will conduct at least two television tapings, with the iconic Sydney Opera House being a key part of the excitement. What you may not of known is that her visit to Australia has more secrecy and security than that any other political - diplomatic, or any other visit to Australia in history (or so our spies tell us). Her only public appearance is tipped to be in Melbourne's Federation Square, and security will be at an all time high, and Oprah, her guests (inc 300 approx Americans) and minders (150 of) do not wish to gamble with security. We have learned that Oprah will be staying at James Packer owned Crown Towers, right next door to Crown Casino, but don't expect to see her gambling at the tables. Media Man and Gambling911 take on 'The Oprah Effect' with this special report, just as 'O's touched down in Cairns. Lights, camera, action...
She's just touched down in Cairns by way of 100m dollar private jet.
When the Oprah Winfrey show gets into Melbourne, Aussies have essentially been told details of the taxpayer-financed tour is none of their business.
Roughly 110 of Oprah's guests, who landed at Sydney International Airport yesterday and were welcomed at the Intercontinental Hotel by Aboriginal performers and song, will commence 3 days of shopping, penguin spotting, grabbing a sip of win, and some guests have already biked around the Sydney Oprah House and visited Taronga Park Zoo.
Later today Oprah is join many of her guests on the Whitsunday Islands. Hope she doesn't mind that there's aren't any waves to surf.
The Victorian part of the tour will culminate at Federation Square this Friday with a meeting between 'O' and Prime Minister Julia Gillard in front of up to 80,000 fans. Good thing Rudd isn't PM anymore... that would have been scary, especially given the Wikipedia leaks about Rudd being "mistake prone" and "arrogant".
All of the government agencies and tourism operators involved have been forced to sign a confidentiality agreement that binds them to secrecy about the tour until Oprah's two Aussie shows are broadcast this January.
As Oprah's 300 guests begin spreading out over Australia, secrecy still surrounded her touchdown.
Sources at production company Harpo confirmed she would make her only official public appearance in Melbourne at federation Square on Friday.
The 110 or so audience members heading to Melbourne will stay at the InterContinental Hotel in Collins St, but Oprah herself will spend Friday night in the room of James Packer's Crown Towers, adjacent to Crown Casino.
Her 5 star plus penthouse villa will be similar to the one where her mate Tom Cruise from 'Mission: Impossible' fame stayed with wife Katie Holmes ('Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark') when they were doing Melbourne last year.
Security is about as tight as you can get as the main reason for the secrecy surrounding the trip. Victorian Police confirmed there was "no credible security threat to Ms Winfrey" while she is in Australia, but Media Man has heard of at least one "threat", but we don't think the communication was especially credible.
Numerous sources and insiders said Harpo Productions, 'O's company, was controlling every aspect.
"It's a secret because Oprah loves surprises. It's the premise of the show," a source said.
We've also learned its about not having the the TV shows content leaked.
Australian taxpayers are understood to have contributed $4 million big ones to the trip, including at least $500,000 from the Victorian Government. Sydney's been pulling its weight also, but the details are not known. They must be secret!
A spokesman for the Federal Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson advised the Government had not signed a confidentiality agreement, but it was not at liberty to provide details about the tour because "they are here to make a show for Oprah, not for Australia".
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If you have a bet, please bet with your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.
*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911
*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They cover a dozen industry sectors including gaming and offer media, entertainment industry and political commentary and analysis. They also publish Australian Sports Entertainment http://www.australiansportsentertainment.com and Hollywood Slot Games
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