Oprah is, of course, a flash point for wild, unsubstantiated rumors of every stripe, and we try not to report the truly out-there stuff. But when a rumor reaches the level of a Financial Times of London correspondent, well, we'll give it some respect. Like this one ...
Gideon Rachman, the FT's international affairs reporter, today wrote about some of the speculation regarding who will appointed as ambassador to Britain in a Barack Obama administration. The most common name thrown around is Caroline Kennedy. But there's another name being seriously discussed in those circles: Oprah Winfrey.
Rachman writes: "But there is also a far more interesting name doing the rounds than Caroline Kennedy - Oprah Winfrey. This is a bona fide rumour, put about by 'well-placed sources.' The argument is that Oprah is also a prominent supporter of Obama and that she might be looking for a 'change of direction' -- having got bored with her mega-star status. It sounds ridiculous. It probably is ridiculous. But she would certainly cause a stir."
Uh, yeah. Yeah, she would.
Then again, Oprah renewed her contract with her Chicago-based TV show just two months ago. She's obligated to stick with it at least through May 2011, taking her through 25 full seasons. However, the new contract allows her the option to pull out at the end of 2010.
She's also launching the Oprah Winfrey Network next year, a full-time cable channel, in which she apparently will be involved in "every single element of programming." Sounds like an awful lot of work to just drop for a ceremonial post to the UK. And anyway, isn't Victoria Beckham now our official diplomat for Britain?