Entertainment People Ellen DeGeneres tests positive for COVID-19, stops production of TV show
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Ellen DeGeneres tests positive for COVID-19, stops production of TV show

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Filming of the Ellen DeGeneres Show has come to a sudden stop after the star tested positive for the coronavirus.

In an official statement posted to her Twitter profile on Friday morning (Australian time), the talk show host reassured fans she was “feeling fine right now”.

The 62-year-old said those who had been in close contact with her had been notified and she was following all “proper” guidelines from the US Centres for Disease Control.

“I’ll see you all again after the holidays. Please stay healthy and safe.” the statement read.

DeGeneres did not specify when or how she contracted the virus.

Production of her popular daytime talk show has ground to a halt, at least until the start of 2021.

In a statement to Entertainment Weekly, a spokesperson for studio Telepictures said: “Following Ellen’s announcement this morning, we have paused production on the Ellen DeGeneres Show until January”.

The announcement comes after a tumultuous year for the show. Buzzfeed claimed it had slipped in ratings and lost advertising, as well as celebrity bookings.

An unnamed staff member was quoted as saying the show’s ’12 Days of Giveaways’ segment was plummeting in popularly.

“In a typical year, ‘12 Days of Giveaways’ is huge,” the employee told Buzzfeed.

“We’ve basically claimed Christmas on daytime TV … Everyone wants to be in the audience. Everyone wants the gifts. And so we line up all these crazy sponsors, and people love it.

“But this year, our ‘12 Days’ is more condensed. We don’t have as many sponsors. This feels like our make-it-or-break-it moment.

“This will be our biggest report card …” and “for the first time …  you have an idea for a celeb, even if they’re not A-list or famous, we’ll take anyone who will bring us numbers and eyeballs”.

The show, in its 18th season, has also come under fire in recent months after reports of backstage turmoil, including allegations of a hostile workplace, bullying, sexual misconduct and racism.

In September, DeGeneres said she was “so sorry to the people affected” and vowed to start a “new chapter”.

“I am a work in progress,” she said.

Over the US summer, the controversy ultimately undermined the show’s public message of spreading kindness and happiness, prompting the Nine Network in Australia to pull it.

In a statement on August 24, Nine said the show would be rested amid continuing talks between the network and Warner Bros about the new season.

“We are resting Ellen repeats on Nine and have replaced with Desperate Housewives,” the statement read.