US talk show host Oprah Winfrey is branching out to produce a Broadway musical based on Alice Walker's critically acclaimed novel The Color Purple.

Winfrey starred alongside Whoopi Goldberg in the 1985 film version which depicts the struggles of a young black girl who is raped by her father. The plot is of harrowing significance for the talk show star as she also suffered sexual abuse as a child.

And she hopes her fame will help the show reach a wider audience.

She says, "I hope to open the door to the possibilities for a world of people who have never been or even thought of going to a Broadway show."