At The Couch, our goal has always been to promote the people and talent of the Western Australian community. We provide everything one would expect from a chat show – interesting interviews, music and movie reviews, live cooking, entertainment news, charity promotions and all kinds of live music and dance performances.
It all began in 2002, when former radio presenter Fred Mafrica established Westco Productions as the production arm behind his new community TV show. In a television landscape dominated by Sydney and Melbourne-based productions, Fred wanted to give Perth audiences their own locally-produced talk and variety program. That’s how The Couch was born! For our first few years, the show was broadcast from the cramped studio at Access 31′s original headquarters at Edith Cowan University, in Mount Lawley.
In 2004, Access 31 moved to a new building on Great Eastern Highway in Belmont, which included a much larger studio. However, we have occasionally left the confines of our studio. In 2005 an entire episode of The Couch was broadcast live from the Perth Royal Show. In 2007 we produced our two-hour 200th episode at Channel Nine Perth in front of a big live audience. And in 2010 we hit the streets of Northbridge at night to produce a whole show from Perth’s Pride Parade! For many years, The Couch went to air every single Sunday at 5.30pm on Access 31, Perth’s community TV station. Throughout 2007 and 2008, we also aired on C31 Adelaide, giving us our first taste of a wider audience.
Thanks to The Couch’s popularity, we’ve had the chance to meet some of the best-known and most beloved faces in Australia, including Rove McManus, Andrew Denton, Hamish & Andy, Daryl Somers, Saskia Burmeister, John Wood, Charlotte Dawson, Allison Langdon, Amanda Muggleton, and Kath & Kim!
Fred has built an impressive profile for himself too, with multiple appearances on Channel Seven’s Telethon and on radio. In 2012 we celebrated a huge milestone when the show turned 10 years old! In our first decade we produced nearly 450 episodes, chatted with thousands of guests, and showcased countless live performances.
The show has continued to grow and evolve in a lot of ways over the years, but there is one thing that has never and will never change – we are local people, still doing local television. Oh, and we definitely are the BIGGEST Couch in Perth and Australia.