Oprah Winfrey, whose eponymous talk show recently ended after 25 years in May of this year, is apparently in the running to host the 84th Oscars this February coming, according to Chicago Sunday Times.

Academy honchos are keen to lift the ratings after last year's ratings dropped 10% on the previous years, after being hosted by Anne Hathaway and James Franco, whose performance was widely lambasted by critics. The aim was to target a new and younger demographic with attraction of both Hathaway and Franco, however the plans backfired and lead to what was described as "strained and weird." Hence the apparent keenness to get Oprah on board and her legion of fans and give the Oscars a much needed boost. However, speculation on this matter was quelled by Academy Director, who told Hollywoodreporter that "The camera loves Oprah. Oprah's a genius. But it's not true, and I don't know where that story even came from."

Oprah will travel to South Africa later this year to teach pupils at an all-girls school in Johannesburg which she helped set up in 2007, as part of an effort to help educate and inspire impoverished girls.