What is it about Oprah Winfrey that each time I catch her on screen she casts an inescapable spell on me. For each issue that is debated, discussed and thrashed are subjects so close to daily lives that every viewer gets drawn into the vortex of the matter.

By Manjula Ramakrishnan

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Published: Wed 4 Feb 2004, 2:52 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 12:34 AM

The most recent one was a problem dear to many hearts especially those of single mothers - their trials and tribulations having to work to keep the home fires burning, doing a fine albeit incredibly tough balancing act between work and home.

Demanding little toddlers on one side and mothers trying their hardest to be sensible disciplinarians in the short evenings available to them with their little ones, striving to be tough but weakening at times in their desire to win over affections... As a single mother, life is one dizzy roller coaster ride with little time for the finer aspects of rearing a child.

Strict bosses on the other side, who cannot comprehend how work at office can be compromised just because a little one in school is running a temperature and cribbing at women employees whose attention get distracted by 'silly' domestic issues.

Two sides - both vital - in the lives of single working mothers and never can the twain meet!

Funny no longer

One fine morning Ashton Kutcher thought it a good idea to announce to the media that he has quit MTV's show Punk'd and that it was firmly curtains down on the celebrity prank show. It got the channel puzzled for they were not aware of this decision. It so happened that a couple of months later Kutcher guffaws saying he had pulled a fast one in order to make the celebrities he has teased mercilessly in his show heave a sigh of relief and let their defences down. And when totally unprepared and complacent, Kutcher would snare them. The producers of the show are not quite convinced Kutcher did right for you don't play pranks on a network and to make matters worse, now the sponsors are not at all sure who is 'punking' who?

A breath of fresh air

If there is one hugely successful TV star that has no airs about him and goes through the motions of life with complete simplicity thus making it sublime, it is Jerry Seinfeld. So he drops in on the Manhattan sets of HBO's Curb your enthusiasm and when casually invited to be a miniscule part of that day's shoot, gladly obliges. But don't blink, says Larry David the creator about the briefest of brief star appearances in his show. While it is customary to book celebrity time months in advance, wait for their arrival on the sets and to tread softly on gigantic egos, actors like Jerry are like a breath of fresh air. Enthusiastic fans of Seinfeld have been waiting with bated breath for the release of the sitcom's DVD, ever since it went off air in1998. Such is the popularity of Elaine, George, Kramer and of course Jerry Seinfeld that anything about them is newsworthy.

Friends still

Enough has been said about the Friends wrap up show, the shoot and the stars moaning and whining about having to go their separate ways. But what has not been discussed is the possible ending of the show - a debate that has been raging like a forest fire. It is widely rumoured that Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) will marry boyfriend Mike (Paul Rudd); Rachel will lose her job at Ralph Lauren but will move to a better position in Paris much to the dismay of Ross. Monica and Chandler could find themselves living next door to his ex wife Janice and with bated breath Monica will watch if Chandler will do something to alleviate the situation. While these are possible endings to a tale that has held the world captive with its various episodes, in real life Joey's future is neatly tied up with Leblanc inking a deal last year with NBC and Warner Bros. Television to star in a spin off show of Friends and this will take him - Joey - all the way out to California where he will pursue his acting career.

Repent in leisure

Mark Hatton, the ex-husband of Anna Nicole Smith, being arrested for threatening Smith is history now. But what is both new and amusing is Hatton telling the court and the severe looking judge, I am not a bad person and am an excellent case for probation. If I am let out of this one I will never bother Nicole Smith ever again. The judge merely smirked and went on to call him a threat not just to Nicole Smith but to the whole community and put him on prison time for nearly seven years. Now between him and his cold cell Hatten can repent in leisure!

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