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Oprah's motorcade in Melbourne freeway scare

Oprah arrives at Crown

Oprah arrives at Crown. Picture: Bruce Magilton Source: Herald Sun

oprah in uluru

Oprah boards her private jet at Uluru. Picture: Craig Greenhill Source: The Daily Telegraph

Oprah Winfrey

Orpah with some of her US guests at Uluru. Picture: Craig Greenhill Source: Herald Sun

OPRAH'S motorcade almost came a cropper on the way into Melbourne from Tullamarine today when a battered old Holden came to a sudden stop within metres of the TV megastar.

As the Audi carrying Oprah approached the Bolte Bridge, a 1964 EH Holden stopped suddenly in the right-hand lane, causing a car-carrying semi travelling behind it to take evasive action, veering into the second lane.

The incident, which occurred just a couple of vehicles ahead of the car carrying the TV superstar, created dust and smoke before blocking the lane where the Holden had stalled.

Oprah’s car moved past the scene without incident as she made her way to Crown before her scheduled appearance at Federation Square this afternoon.

Oprah arrived at Melbourne Airport via private jet after flying from Uluru this morning.

Tens of thousands of adoring fans are expected to try to catch a glimpse of the TV host when she takes the stage at Federation Square after 4pm, during an event which kicks off at 2.30pm.

After a week-long build-up ahead of the queen of the small screen's arrival in Melbourne, the heart of the city is expected to break out in an Oprah frenzy, even though Winfrey will appear for just 15 minutes.

All the details are being kept secret right up until the last minute, including a special W-class tram redesigned in her honour.

The 110 audience members of Oprah's Ultimate Adventure will ride the tram today before heading to Federation Square for the event.

Yesterday some of the visitors were flown in nine helicopters over the Great Ocean Road to the Twelve Apostles.

Half the group lunched at Apollo Bay, while the rest dined at Domaine Chandon winery in the Yarra Valley.

Last night they were expected to visit the penguin parade at Phillip Island. They have also enjoyed dawn balloon flights over the city in an itinerary designed to lavish them with five-star treatment.

Tonight they will attend a cocktail party and shopping trip at the Block Arcade in the city. It is unclear if Winfrey will also attend this event, although in Queensland and at Uluru she did attend functions each night with guests.

The television host, who earns more than $220 million a year, is staying at Crown while she is in Melbourne.

Yesterday, security organisers were seen once again assessing the venue for her arrival, a service usually reserved for visiting international dignitaries.

She is expected to arrive early afternoon in her private jet, then be driven to Crown.

Yesterday, Australia's most prolific pest, the fly, made its mark on Oprah's tour.

Batting them away better than Ricky Ponting, the TV maven had clearly done her homework on the art of the "great Australian salute".

It was a skill she put to good use at Uluru yesterday, teaching her travelling audience to smile and swat for the cameras.

Winfrey said the rock "strikes awe in your soul".

Where you can see Oprah today

10am - Federation Square is expected to start filling up. Organisers are expecting crowds similar in size to New Year's Eve with as many as 50,000 trying to attend.

Midday - Oprah Winfrey arrives in Melbourne and will head straight to Crown

2pm - Federation Square is expected to reach capacity. Birrarung Marr has been established as the overall venue where fans can watch Oprah on a large screen. Extra police officers have been rostered on to handle traffic.

4pm - Oprah will travel from Crown amid tight security. She will appear on stage for a scheduled 15 minutes. Prie Minister Julia Gillard might also appear with her.

4.30pm - Oprah will be back at Crown where she will stay the night.

6pm+ - Oprah's audience will attend a cocktail party and shopping event at the Block Arcade.


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