Chat show host Oprah Winfrey got an extra special 50th birthday gift from her fans on Thursday (29JAN04) - they made her special surprise programme one of most watched ever.

Nicole Kidman, Tom Cruise, Jim Carrey and Halle Berry were among those who delivered video messages, while Stevie Wonder and Tina Turner performed.

But the surprises didn't stop there for Oprah - her best pals threw a top secret birthday luncheon for her at Los Angeles' HOTEL BEL AIR on Friday (30JAN04) with guests including Arnold Schwarzenegger's wife Maria Shriver, Salma Hayek and NANCY REAGAN.

Winfrey's birthday weekend continued with a black tie dinner for 200 close pals, including Julia Roberts and HALLE BERRY, at a Santa Barbara, California, neighbour's $12 million (GBP7 million) estate on Saturday night (31JAN03).

Oprah was also set to host a thankyou brunch at the exclusive San Ysidro Ranch later today (01FEB04).

Speaking at her surprise birthday luncheon on Friday, the talk show queen admitted the flurry of activity was making her dizzy.

She said, "It's a little unusual for me to have lost this much control because the show I didn't know anything about and then this party, I didn't have anything to do with this, and then the party tomorrow (31JAN04), I didn't have anything to do with that."

01/02/2004 21:02