Wichitans to bask in TV's glow in NYC

03/14/2010 12:00 AM

08/08/2014 9:56 AM

The airwaves are so populated with talk shows, reality shows, talent shows and court shows that it stands to reason those shows are sometimes going to be populated with Wichitans.

There are, after all, only so many people in the United States.

It seems like every couple of weeks, I get an e-mail alerting me to another Wichitan getting a televised moment on the spotlight.

A few weeks ago, it was a local woman appearing on a game show I'd never heard of. Not long after, I caught an episode of "Judge Judy" that featured three young Wichitans arguing over the details of an accidental shooting that injured one of them.

Now, two more Wichitans are about to flirt with the big time — sort of.

The first I've written about before. Local QuikTrip employee Austin Clay — a dead ringer for "Twilight" actor Robert Pattinson — has learned that his episode of "Maury" is set to air Thursday.

Clay recently traveled to New York to film the show, hosted by Maury Povich. He and several other celebrity look-alikes were sent out on the streets, cameras in tow, to catch the reactions of people fooled into thinking they were seeing the real thing.

According to the show's producers, Clay was stopped by dozens of "Twilight"-obsessed teenage girls who asked him to pose for pictures.

The episode of "Maury" will also feature people who supposedly look like Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Rihanna, Johnny Depp, Tiger Woods and David Letterman. It's scheduled to air at 2 p.m. Thursday on Fox, cable Channel 4.

Another Wichitan about to have a brush with fame won't actually appear on television but will see one of the most powerful women on television.

Public relations freelancer Ashle Stratton was one of 10 people in the country who discovered a "Golden Ticket" in a recent copy of "O" magazine that earned her an expenses-paid trip to New York to attend an Oprah Winfrey seminar.

The "Live Your Best Life" event is being held in celebration of the magazine's 10th anniversary and will include seminars by Winfrey's favorite talk show experts, including Dr. Oz, Suze Orman and Nate Berkus.

Oprah herself will have a one-woman show at Radio City Music Hall as part of the event, which also includes a fundraising walk/run through Central Park.

Stratton said it took her more than a week to believe that she'd actually won the trip. The ticket was in a magazine her mother had given her, and since she barely has time to read magazines, she's still surprised that she took the time to enter the ticket's code on the Internet to see if she'd won.

But she needs a vacation, she said. Stratton's twin daughter and son were born prematurely two and a half years ago, and she hasn't been on an out-of-town trip since.

She's taking her husband, local wine expert Jamie Stratton, with her.

"When they told me I'd won, I probably asked three or four times if they were serious," Stratton said. "Having the kids and them being premature and being in the hospital has been such an emotional roller-coaster for two and a half years. I love my kids more than anything, but I'm really looking forward to a little time away."

The consummate PR girl, Stratton has devised a plan to get one of her client's products on Winfrey's all-powerful radar. She's having boxes of Beth Tully's Cocoa Dolce chocolates shipped to her hotel room before she goes.

"I'm excited to get Cocoa Dolce chocolate in the hands of the Oprah staff," Stratton said.

About Denise Neil

Denise has been an Eagle reporter since 1997. She writes about pop culture on Sundays, reviews restaurants on Fridays and blogs at Dining with Denise. Previously, she worked for the Chattanooga Times and graduated with a journalism degree from the University of Kansas.

Contact Denise at 316-268-6327 or by e-mailing dneil@wichitaeagle.com

Follow Denise on Twitter: @DeniseNeil

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