Telethon 2021 kicks off with incredible opener from The Wizard of Oz

Charlotte EltonThe West Australian
VideoTelethon 2021 has kicked off with an opening musical number from the cast of The Wizard of Oz.

Telethon has kicked off with a bang as some of WA’s favourite sports, TV and music stars join forces to raise money for WA’s sickest kids.

The annual fundraising spectacular got off to a roaring start at Crown Theatre as the phone lines opened and donations started rolling in.

The cast of The Wizard of Oz opened the 26-hour broadcast with a powerhouse performance.

Producer Marina Del Basso said that the cast was “thrilled” to take part in Telethon.

“It’s wonderful to be part of something for the community,” she said.

“A lot of our cast have grown up here in WA and they watched Telethon growing up... it’s such an important cause.”

The line-up for the rest of the evening is stellar.

Birds of Tokyo front man Ian Kenny and bandmate, keyboardist Glenn Sarangapany, will take to the stage for an intimate acoustic performance — followed by vocalist Amy Manford and Perth band End of Fashion.

Viewers can expect a roll call of WA’s biggest names, including sports stars such as Wildcats legend Jesse Wagstaff, Dockers defender Janelle Cuthbertson and Paralympian — and former little Telethon star — Ben Popham.

The Cast of Wizard of Oz backstage at Crown Theatre.
Camera IconThe Cast of Wizard of Oz backstage at Crown Theatre. Credit: Matt Jelonek/The West Australian

In 2020, COVID-19 restrictions meant that the broadcast the show was split into two halves. But this year, the much-loved 26 hour broadcast is back.

Host and Channel 7 presenter Basil Zempilas promised audiences a Telethon to remember.

“We are back with a 26 hour extravaganza, and it all starts right now,” he said.

“We’ve got a great show, so many surprises, incredible guests.”

Watch the action live on Channel 7 Perth from 6.30pm Saturday and donate at any time via

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