Oprah Winfrey is reportedly being considered to replace Dianne Feinstein should the 89-year-old California senator choose to retire.

A list of names, that includes the talk show host, is being considered, according to the Associated Press.

This comes as Ms Feinstein’s office confirmed last week that the longest-serving Democrat in the current US Senate is suffering health complications from a recent case of shingles.

A spokesperson told CNN that Ms Feinstein experienced Ramsay Hunt syndrome and encephalitis as part of the diagnosis.

“While the encephalitis resolved itself shortly after she was released from the hospital in March, she continues to have complications from Ramsay Hunt syndrome,” the spokesperson said on Thursday.

Ms Feinstein returned to the Senate earlier this month after her bout of shingles to cast her vote.

Following her return, she spoke to reporters and denied she was ever absent.

She has faced calls to resign due to questions around her cognitive abilities. Governor Gavin Newsom has the authority to name a successor to fill Ms Feinstein’s seat if a vacancy arises.

He could even pick himself, though that is unlikely. State rules dictate when an election would have to be held.

According to the AP report, the governor could also select a caretaker. Voters would then decide in next year’s election on someone who would hold the seat but is not a Senate candidate.

The report said that is where names like Winfrey’s come up.

Winfrey, a famous celebrity and media proprietor, happens to meet Mr Newsom’s pledge to appoint a Black woman to the seat.

However, the governor might find it challenging to land on someone willing to take a short-term appointment.

Mr Newsom recently said in an interview that he was swamped with recommendations for how to fill the possible Senate vacancy.

He called Ms Feinstein a mentor and one of his closest friends, and said he hoped he never had to make the decision to fill her seat.

“I get it. For those who say, ‘Enough of Newsom making these picks!’ I get it. I’m with you. I understand,” he was quoted as saying to Fox 11 TV in Los Angeles.

Winfrey is one of the world’s most famous media personalities, and has a multi-billion-dollar net worth.

Her talk show – The Oprah Winfrey Show – which ran for 25 years until 2011, was one of the biggest daytime talk shows of all time.

While she said she will never run for president in the wake of Donald Trump’s victory in 2016, she admitted she had considered it briefly.

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