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Stayin' alive: Oprah narrates 'Life'

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For some of us, Oprah inspires our lives. Well now she's narrating it.

Oprah's voice provides the narration for an upcoming 11-part nature series, "Life."

"More than four years in the making, filmed over 3,000 days across every continent and habitat, with narration by Oprah Winfrey, 'Life' is an epic BBC/Discovery Channel production that illustrates the extraordinary tactics animals and plants use to stay alive," the network said in a joint statement. "'Life' tells 130 incredible stories from the frontiers of the natural world, 54 of which have never been filmed before."

The series will air across the six Discovery cable channels beginning March 21, wrapping up by April 18. The DVD will hit shelves by June 1.

This new series is an extension of the "Life" programs narrated by David Attenborough from the 1970s to the '90s.

Who wants to be a billionaire? Oprah does

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Forbes magazine's annual list of billionaires is out today, and Oprah is No. 400, clocking in at $2.4 billion.

The annual list ranks individuals by their estimated net worth as of Feb. 12.

Other Illinois residents on the list include philanthropist Lester Crown, hedge fund manger Kenneth Griffin and toy maker Ty Warner.

See the full list here.

Oprah and Gabourey at the Oscars

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Oprah, of course, was at the Oscars on Sunday night. She took to the stage as part of what turned out to be the coolest part of the show -- fellow actors delivering brief testimonials about each of the nominated best actors and best actresses. Oprah described "Precious" star Gabourey Sidibe as a classic Cinderella story and welcomed her to the big time.

Oprah's appearance on stage was a surprise to Sidibe, as the two discuss here outside the Governor's Ball after-party:

Later in the night,Oprah was clearly impressed when "The Hurt Locker" upset "Avatar" to win the Oscar for best picture. She was overheard backstage shouting: "Wowee kazowee!"

Then again, that may just be her superwoman cry.

Best Super Bowl commercial ever

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Oprah had her pal Jay Leno on her show recently to discuss the NBC late-night TV fiasco. During Sunday's Super Bowl, she attempted to settle matters between Leno and his once-again talk-show rival, David Letterman:

Here's how the commercial came together, very cloak-and-dagger.

Ellen wears Oprah: 'Stop staring at my articles!'

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Need one more Halloween costume idea? Try this project from Ellen DeGeneres: She's dressing up as The Oprah Magazine.

On today's "Ellen," DeGeneres emerged wearing a big O cover. DeGeneres will actually grace the cover of O in an upcoming issue; this, however, is not that photo.

Ellen explained:

"I'm dressed as O Magazine. Stop staring at my articles. My issue of O Magazine is coming out in two weeks. The real cover has not been revealed yet so this is just a photo that Oprah and I took over the weekend. This is what we do when we hang out. We just push each other on swings and sometimes we play in her bouncy castle. It's Oprah, it's a real castle. It's not bouncy ...

I was smart when I picked this out because a lot of costumes you need the make-up, the wig and the funny shoes and all I'm wearing under here is slacks and a smile.

I'm promoting Oprah's magazine because I really believe in it and I wanted it to be all about her today. I mean, I have my own show and I don't need to promote myself ..."

And then she turned around to reveal this, the back of her costume:

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Oprah's shaking hands, smiling wide, doing anything she can to help sell Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympics.

She joined Mayor Daley, Michelle Obama and other dignitaries in Copenhagen this week for the last hard-sell opportunity before Friday's vote by the International Olympic Committee, selecting which city will host the games seven years from now. Chicago's competition is Madrid, Tokyo and Rio De Janeiro.

No time for jetlag, Oprah hit the ground running.

Oprah has held court in restaurants and posed for a hundred photos. She's stopped a good amount of traffic. She couldn't even go shopping in the Danish capital without creating a hubub, with Danes shouting, "Oprah! Oprah!"

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She's certainly attracting attention, which is why she was asked to join the team. Hopefully, her own brand will lend glitz and glamor to the city's bid.

And she says she's willing to do her part.

"Whoever's there, I'll talk to them," Winfrey said.

The first lady arrived Wednesday and has spent much of her time meeting one-on-one with IOC members in a private suite at the official hotel. The sit-downs are brief but give her an opportunity to share her story -- she grew up on the city's South Side, near where most of the venues would be -- and assure IOC members that Chicago is sincere about its desire to use the Olympics to inspire children and transform their lives. It's the same message she gave Wednesday night at a dinner with Chicago supporters.

"I was moved," Winfrey said. "And they already had my vote."

She told CBS2 yesterday: ""Well, they just asked that I show up and be friendly, so that's not very hard for me. I think we're going to be meeting with some of the delegates tomorrow and have some conversations and tell them how great we are, and why there really is no other choice. But other than that, it really is about just heralding our city, as we all know how great it is. I'm sort of an ambassador."

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And, on a final note, Conan O'Brien joked last night: "President Obama and Oprah Winfrey are going to Copenhagen together this week to push for Chicago to host the 2016 Olympics. The bad news is while they're gone the country's going to be run by Joe Biden and Jerry Springer."

Pushing 'Precious' at the Toronto Film Fest

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Oprah smiles as she arrives to the red carpet for the gala screening of "Precious" during the Toronto International Film Festival on Sunday. (AP)


Where in the world is Oprah Winfrey? This week she was in Toronto. Because even though producer Lee Daniels has an Oscar-winning movie to his credit, he still needed some big-time help to draw attention to his latest film about a girl who overcomes crushing abuse.

So who do you call? Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry: The two are executive producers of "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire" (really, what's up with that silly, legalese title?), which had a premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival over the weekend.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Winfrey said she was happy to help bring more attention to the film. "Everyone needs someone to help them navigate," the TV talk show host explained. "I had Bill Cosby, Quincy Jones, Sidney Poitier and Maya Angelou who I look to. You can't do that on your own. Someone has to show it to you."

Of course, Oprah seized the opportunity not only to attend and be seen, but to chronicle the event. Her own camera crews were tagging along, getting footage for an upcoming edition of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" about the movie.

You can already watch the trailer for the film on the Oprah site.

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Oprah and Tyler Perry arrive at the screening of the film "Precious" during the Toronto International Film Festival. (AP)

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Oprah Winfrey, former president Bill Clinton and actor Denzel Washington were among the cast of celebrity characters to appear at Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday bash Wednesday in London's Hyde Park.

The dinner, attended by Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Robert DeNiro and Bob Geldof, helped to raise money for Mandela's AIDS charity.

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