Boys rescued from Thai cave to appear on Ellen DeGeneres Show with football star Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Out of a Thai cave, and now to a filming studio in Los Angeles.
Worldwide, television viewers earlier this year watched with rapt attention as the drama of how 12 boys and their football coach were trapped and then saved from a flooded cave complex in Thailand unfolded.
Now the "Wild Boars" will once again appear on television, but in a decidedly different setting: as guests of the Ellen DeGeneres Show.
The show's namesake host took to Twitter on Friday (Oct 12) to announce that the team will be appearing on television on Monday.
In her tweet, DeGeneres said: "There was no story more captivating this summer than the Thai football team trapped in a cave."
A picture accompanying the tweet shows her with all 13 from the team beaming at the camera, wearing what appear to be Ellen-brand football jerseys at the show's California studio.
Also seated on the sofa with them is Swedish football star Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the former Manchester United player and now LA Galaxy forward.
This is probably the Thai boys' highest-profile international television appearance since their gripping three-day rescue in early July from Chiang Rai's Tham Luang Cave, after being trapped inside for more than two weeks.
Officials had earlier asked for the boys to be respected after their gruelling ordeal, and the Thai government set up a committee to monitor projects and control media access to them.
But the team seems to have slowly warmed up to the publicity being thrust upon them.
An interactive exhibition by Thailand's Culture Ministry on the rescue mission opened in Bangkok in August.
In the last few months, several documentary makers, Hollywood producers and journalists have also tussled to get various films and book deals off the ground.
Just last Sunday, the boys played a friendly match with the youth team of Argentinian giants River Plate, after attending the opening ceremony of the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires the day before.
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.