Oprah says a fond farewell

AFTER 25 years and 4,561 episodes, Oprah Winfrey, the queen of the chat show who arguably redefined how people around the world talk to each other, has finally relinquished her daytime crown. The final episode aired in the United States on Wednesday, May 25.
The low-key ending was in sharp contrast to the emotional, celebrity-heavy send-off which aired in the US earlier this week, in which Madonna told Winfrey that she was her only living female role model.
“She has balls and a wealth of compassion,” Madonna said.
Both shows, recorded in the United Stadium, Chicago, were peppered with examples of women whose lives Winfrey changed directly or indirectly. There were testimonials – heartfelt, if read from autocues – from Tom Cruise, Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith and Katie Holmes. Aretha Franklin sang Amazing Grace, while Winfrey’s mentor, Maya Angelou, read a poem charting Winfrey’s rise “from poverty in Mississippi” to global icon, intoning “Oprah, Oprah” over and over again.
 Breaking the love-in, Jerry Seinfeld joked that Winfrey had been the “greatest gift to husbands-in-training” for helping to decode how women feel. Beyonce sang a rousing version of her song, Run The World (Girls).
 “You don’t have children of your own, but you have been a mother to millions,” Pinkett Smith told Winfrey.
After this final “final” show Winfrey hugged and “high-fived” her staff, telling them: “This isn’t goodbye. This is until we meet again”.

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