Ellen DeGeneres and Aussie wife Portia de Rossi take to Sydney stage for Down Under filming

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Ellen DeGeneres and Aussie wife Portia de Rossi take to Sydney stage for Down Under filming

SYDNEY - Ellen DeGeneres was applauded by a rapturous Aussie audience like a cherished part of the family as she introduced her Australian-born wife, Portia de Rossi, on a Sydney Harbour-side stage on Saturday to begin pre-recording Down Under segments for her popular U.S. TV show.

The Emmy Award-winning talk-show host arrived in Sydney with her mom, Betty DeGeneres, and de Rossi on Friday after a 14-hour flight from Los Angeles for a six-day filming trip to Australia.

"I'm moving here, it's so beautiful," DeGeneres told 3,000 admirers, who were clearly delighted to be in the sun-bathed Royal Botanic Gardens near the Sydney Opera House for the two-hour recording despite the 30-degree Celsius (86-degree Fahrenheit) early afternoon heat.

Guests included Oscar-winning actor and Sydney local Russell Crowe. He presented the 55-year-old host with two kangaroo-hide cattle whips that he said DeGeneres might need to catch "some brumbies" — an Australian term for wild horses — when she visits Australia's southeast. The pair took turns at whip cracking.

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

The show was packed with games involving audience members, including an Australia-themed trivia event in which fans had to take a harbour plunge for a wrong answer.

"The Ellen DeGeneres Show" is in its 10th season. DeGeneres was honoured with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor last year.

Organizations: Sydney Opera House, American Humor

Geographic location: Sydney, Australia, U.S. Los Angeles Royal Botanic Gardens

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