Oprah Winfrey has spoken for the first time about once being nominated by Donald Trump as his preferred running mate.

They may not seem like the best of mates, but Maori Television asked Oprah Winfrey about the time Trump said he wanted the talk show queen to be his vice-president.

When the current affairs show Native Affairs asked Winfrey why the controversial leader tipped her for the role nearly 20 years ago, she says he was joking, and "it's better than saying Kanye."

"Donald being Donald at the time, I think it was just a name," she said.

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Trump made the comments to veteran broadcaster Larry King in 1999 when King asked him who his running mate would be if he ran for president.

"I love Oprah. Oprah would always be my first choice. She is a terrific woman. She is someone who is very special," Trump said.

Trump recently changed his tune after a passionate drive from the public urging Winfrey to run against him in the 2020 US elections – which she has ruled out.

He tweeted. "Hope Oprah runs so she can be exposed and defeated just like all of the others!"

Native Affairs secured a New Zealand television interview with Oprah Winfrey and film director Ava DuVernay, when visiting the South Island last year to shoot parts of the Disney film A Wrinkle in Time.

The interview with Winfrey and DuVernay will launch the new season of Native Affairs on Monday, Māori Television, 8pm.