Television executives used to think Australian audiences were too reserved to make a local talk show work.
That notion was turned on its head today when American comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres appeared in Melbourne, receiving a rock star welcome from thousands of screaming fans.
“Unbelievable!” DeGeneres shouted to the crowd at Birrarung Marr. “I love you all so much! You have no idea.”
Not only had the Melbourne turnout exceeded that in Sydney on the weekend, she said – it was bigger than the crowd at her recent appearance in New York’s Central Park.
“I’d like to introduce you to my favourite Australian: my wife, Portia de Rossi,” DeGeneres said, bringing her Australian-born spouse on stage.
Born Amanda Rogers in Horsham in 1973, de Rossi spent her childhood in the Geelong suburb of Grovedale and her late teens in Mont Albert. In 2008, she wed DeGeneres in the United States.