Ellen DeGeneres extravaganza hits Sydney

5:41pm March 23, 2013
March 23, 2013: Thousands of fans packed Mrs Macquarie's Chair in Sydney's Botanic Gardens today, to watch the filming of Ellen DeGeneres' Sydney show.

She danced, fans screamed and a sprinkling of Australian celebrities joined in as Ellen DeGeneres recorded her show at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney.

The TV host drew tears, laughter and deafening screams during Saturday's pre-recording, which featured guests including Russell Crowe, Jessica Mauboy and rugby league and Australian football stars.

There was some initial confusion surrounding the venue, with many fans going to the Opera House instead of the Opera on the Harbour in the Gardens, after DeGeneres tweeted that she would be at the "Opera on the Harbour" on Saturday morning.

A first-come-first-served audience of about 3000, made up predominantly of young female fans, looked on as the Emmy-winner took to the harbour stage that's usually set up for the opera Carmen.

She immediately declared her love for Sydney and Australia.

"I'm moving here, it's so beautiful," DeGeneres told her admirers, who were obviously delighted to be there despite the uncomfortable 30C heat.

March 22, 2013: Talk show queen Ellen Degeneres has kicked off her long awaited tour of Australia with a ferry ride across the harbour to Taronga Zoo.

Australia had the "most beautiful people in the world", she said, before calling her Australian-born wife Portia de Rossi onto the stage.

Crowe came on later, encouraging DeGeneres to visit the many "beautiful" parts of Australia.

The Oscar winner, who captained Oprah Winfrey's boat during her made-for-TV regatta on Sydney Harbour in 2010, offered DeGeneres two cattle whips which he said she might need while catching "some brumbies" during a visit to regional Victoria.

Crowe and DeGeneres took turns testing out the whips before he called players from his beloved rugby league team, the South Sydney Rabbitohs, onto the stage.

Crowe, the club's part-owner, also offered DeGeneres a membership, before throwing signed footballs into the crowd.

Mauboy, the Australian singer and actress, took part in a music game with an audience member.

March 22, 2013: Ellen DeGeneres visits Taronga Zoo – by way of a ferry from Circular Quay – with Portia de Rossi and her mother, Betty.

The rest of the show was packed with games involving audience members, including an Australian-themed trivia event in which fans had to take a harbour plunge if they came up with a wrong answer.

DeGeneres also showcased Australia's other major football code, with players from AFL team the Sydney Swans throwing signed footballs into the crowd.

After nearly two hours, the show ended with fans taking part in a Q and A with the host.

Some cried as they told the star how much they loved her during the segment.

Asked by one emotional fan if DeGeneres and her wife would adopt her, DeGeneres kept tongue-in-cheek: "We were just saying we should adopt someone. It's so easy for us."

Signing off by dancing her trademark shuffle from the stage, she thanked her audience and professed her new-found fondness for the emerald city.

"Sydney, I love your city," she said.

DeGeneres is expected to take part in a number of events in Sydney over the next few days.

© AAP 2014
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