Boys rescued from Thai cave to appear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show

A picture accompanying a tweet shows host Ellen DeGeneres with all the members of the football team, as well as Swedish football star Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
A picture accompanying a tweet shows host Ellen DeGeneres with all the members of the football team, as well as Swedish football star Zlatan Ibrahimovic.PHOTO: TWITTER/ELLEN DEGENERES

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 last Friday to announce that the team will be appearing on television today.

In her tweet, DeGeneres said: "There was no story more captivating this summer than the Thai soccer 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 Paris Saint-Germain and 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 seem 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 past few months, several documentary makers, Hollywood producers and journalists have also tussled to get various films and book deals off the ground.

On Oct 7, 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.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 15, 2018, with the headline 'Boys rescued from Thai cave to appear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show'. Print Edition | Subscribe