Barry Humphries’ love of WA evident, with Telethon, Kailis Brothers, Regal Theatre among his favourites

The legendary sharp-tongued housewife Dame Edna has been adoring her “precious possums” in WA for decades and has compiled many antics and favourite Perth hangouts from over the years.

From Barry Humphries’ alter ego appearing on Telethon to the comedian settling into a fishy feast at Kailis Brothers’, his favourite seafood restaurant in Australia, the 89-year-old has racked up quite the Perth itinerary.

Dame Edna Everage was part of Telethon’s golden period during the annual fundraiser’s early days when Perth awaited big East Coast stars and international celebrities to bless our shores.

Her visit in 1986 saw the Dame on the panel with Stuart Wagstaff and Barry Crocker calling for donations, in which a total of $3,604,717 was raised.

Dame Edna was just one of the personalities Channel 7 rounded up for Telethon appearances throughout the 80s, including Sammy Davis Jnr, Gene Pitney, Petula Clarke, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Whitney Houston.

Dame Edna in perth for her Eat Pray Laugh Farewell Tour.
Pic Robert Duncan
07 Januaryr 2013
Farfax online out
Camera IconDame Edna in perth for her Eat Pray Laugh Farewell Tour.
Pic Robert Duncan
07 Januaryr 2013
Farfax online out
Credit: Robert Duncan/WA News

The decade started an exponential rise in Telethon totals, too, with the million-dollar mark passed in 1980.

Performing regularly in Perth since the 1960s, Humphries first visited Perth soon after hearing his EPs had become popular here, travelling via boat during the move from his hometown in Melbourne to London.

His family came to say their goodbyes, and he sailed “on and on” until he arrived in Perth and stopped in Fremantle for the night before checking out the city the next day.

Her signature purple hair and glitzy glasses came to Perth again in 2006 for her Back with a Vengeance tour celebrating 50 years on the stage.

The show premiered in Perth’s Regal Theatre and labelled Subiaco as the “gem” of Perth.

“I’ve had a long association with Western Australia,’‘ she told reporters then.

“I’ve had many good friends here — many of them now dead.”

Another major highlight of Dame Edna’s Perth adventures included the time her farewell tour, Eat, Pray, Laugh, wrapped up here in February 2013.

It was the last extensive tour for Dame Edna’s “manager” Edna and Sir Les Patterson; however, six years later, Humphries surprised the nation by coming out of retirement with the tour My Gorgeous Life.

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