Oprah Winfrey has a phobia of chewing gum that stems from her childhood - when her grandmother would stick her used gum on her own furniture.

The multi-millionaire chat show host, 50, is so anti-gum, she banned the substance from the building where she records her TV programme in Chicago, Illinois.

Winfrey says, "My grandmother used to save it in little rows in the cabinet. I'd be scared to touch it because it was so gross, so I have a thing about gum.

"One guest in my home sat at the dinner table, took out some gum from her mouth and put it on her plate - after she left, I threw the plate out."

30/08/2004 13:48