Ellen Degeneres is coming to Australia for the first time.
The talk show host, who is married to Australian actress Portia de Rossi, made the announcement during filming of The Ellen Degeneres Show in LA this afternoon.
“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,” she said during a segment with surprise guest Nicole Kidman.
Ellen also revealed that each audience member would receive airfares and six nights’ accommodation for their own Australian holiday.
Unlike Oprah Winfrey’s Australian visit in 2010, there will be no full episodes of The Ellen Degeneres Show filmed locally. However, segments will be filmed in Sydney and Melbourne to be featured in future episodes.
1. Australian actors Hugh Jackman, Naomi Watts and Jacki Weaver have all received nods in the 85th Academy Award nominations, released today.
Jackman, who hosted the ceremony in 2009, has been nominated for the first time for his portrayal of reformed prisoner Jean Valjean in Les Miserables. His competition for the Best Actor gong includes Bradley Cooper, Denzel Washington and Daniel Day-Lewis.
Watts’ performance in The Impossible, set during 2004 Thailand tsunami, has earned her a place in the Best Actress category, while Weaver received her second Best Supporting Actress nomination for Silver Linings Playbook, in which she plays the mother of a bipolar sufferer.
You can see the full list of nominees here. All will be revealed on 24 February – if the suspense is too much, why not distract yourself with this gallery of red carpet fashions from last year’s ceremony?
3. Destiny’s Child, the nineties pop group who gave us Bootylicious and Independent Woman, have reunited for the first time in almost a decade.
Band member-turned-solo-superstar Beyonce Knowles (of Single Ladies fame) announced the news on her website.
“I am so proud to announce the first original Destiny’s Child music in eight years! – Beyonce,” she wrote, alongside an image of the trio, including fellow bandmates Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams (not to be confused with the Michelle Williams formerly of Dawson’s Creek).
The group are releasing Love Songs, a compilation album of their top romantic hits, including one brand new track, Nuclear. Here’s hoping it has all the booty-shakin’ qualities of their early work.
Meanwhile, Beyonce’s path to total world domination continues. As one of GQ magazine’s 100 Sexiest Women of the 21st Century, she appears on the February cover in a pair of briefs, gold chains and a football jersey that appears to have shrunk in the wash.
5. The selection of tokens preceding a game of Monopoly can be a source of serious family conflict. And now Monopoly is shaking things up by killing off and replacing one token in a Facebook voting campaign.
The board game’s manufacturer, Hasbro, is giving players the chance to vote out one traditional token, that will then be replaced with a new design. So come February 6, your beloved dog, top hat or wheelbarrow (seriously though, who fights over the wheelbarrow?) token could become a cat, a robot or even a guitar.
Unsurprisingly, current voting has the poor wheelbarrow sitting on death row with a mere 4% of the vote, followed by the iron and the old boot at 6%. Meanwhile, the ever-popular Scottie Dog has reason to wag his tail, sitting safely at 33% of votes.
Wheelbarrow and iron fans, fear not: there is still time to rally some support. To participate in this historic election, visit the Facebook page here.
7. Red carpet looks from the Critics’ Choice Awards.
Award season is well and truly upon us, and with it comes a slew of covetable new red carpet fashions. Check out the looks from the 18th annual Critics’ Choice Awards, currently underway in Los Angeles.