The appeal, raising funds for various children’s charities in Western Australia, began on TVW7 in 1968 and is now a statewide event through TVW7 and its regional affiliate Golden West Network (GWN).
The first Telethon raised $90,182. Since then over $74 million has been raised by the annual event. Previous telethons have featured international performers such as Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson in the ’80s, both making the trip to Perth solely for Telethon.
This year’s telethon will kick-off with a live coverage of the red carpet arrivals at Perth’s Convention Exhibition Centre which is home to Telethon. A number of Seven Network personalities, representing shows including All Saints, Dancing With The Stars, Sunrise, Home & Away and The Morning Show, have made the trek to Perth to be involved with the event, joining resident TVW7 identities including local Seven News presenters Rick Ardon, Susannah Carr and Jeff Newman (a TVW7 veteran with 40 years’ service at the station) and Today Tonight host Monika Kos.
The telecast of Telethon begins on TVW7 and GWN, tonight (Saturday 13 October) at 7.30pm (WST) and continues until 9.00pm Sunday.
On Sunday morning, Weekend Sunrise will be broadcast nationally from Perth.
The PerthNow website is also conducting a blog of the event at Telethon As It Happens.
Pictured: Johnny O’Keefe (whose nephew Andrew, host of Deal Or No Deal and Weekend Sunrise, will be appearing at Telethon), Graham Kennedy, Bobby Limb and Stuart Wagstaff go shirtless in the name of charity for TVW7’s first telethon in 1968 (source: The West Australian)
UPDATE @ 23.10 (AEST) 14.10.07: Telethon has just signed-off after announcing its final total, a record this year – $6,527,576 including $1 million donated by the WA Government, and $500,000 from Prime Minister John Howard.