Australia-bound Ellen does an Oprah

American talk show host Ellen DeGeneres is coming to Australia and so are 400 of her excited audience members.

On a show, taped in the US today, DeGeneres announced the audience would be going on a holiday to Australia. But it won't be like the Oprah trip, when the star and the audience travelled here together and became part of the show.

The Ellen DeGeneres Show will not be recorded in Australia. Instead, she will film segments in Sydney and Melbourne to be played on her program at a later date. The audience each received an airline ticket to travel to Sydney or Melbourne on any date in the next 12 months with six nights' accommodation at a four-star hotel.

When the announcement was made, Nicole Kidman was a surprise guest on the show, with the audience believing she was there to talk about her Golden Globe and Screen Actors' Guild nominations.

Instead she spoke to DeGeneres about her children and Australia, including a rendition of a kookaburra call.

DeGeneres' wife, Australian actress, Portia de Rossi is from Victoria but DeGeneres has never visited the country.

Kidman suggested she visit Kununurra in outback Australia. "When I was filming the movie Australia I was swimming in the water there and that's when I got pregnant, which was a miracle. I think those watering holes are magical."

DeGeneres laughed, "Well if I go swimming there and get pregnant it would be a miracle!"

Jennifer Mertus, 39, from Huntington Beach was seeing The Ellen DeGeneres Show as a present. "This is my 40th birthday present from my best friend so now you can say she gave me a trip to Australia for my 40th. I've never been to Australia but I've been dying to go. My husband is an avid surfer so we'll go and surf. And I want to see a koala bear."

After the show DeGeneres said, ‘‘So, I am actually for the first time in my life going to Australia … I’m going in March and I’m going to shoot a bunch of stuff in Melbourne and Sydney. We’re going to do tape pieces and meet the fans and hang out."

The Ellen DeGeneres Show's visit to Australia is part of a promotional deal with Swisse and Qantas. Shelly Horton was a guest of the two companies in Los Angeles.

Nicole Kidman and Ellen DeGeneres talk Australia.

Nicole Kidman and Ellen DeGeneres talk Australia.


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