On paper The Living Room sounds like just another lifestyle show with a bunch of talking heads poking around celebrity houses interspersed with travel, product, renovation and cooking segments.
Yet somehow it has become a Friday night family favourite and one of Ten's rare success stories from last year, with the network upping output from 30 to 40 episodes.
This week, it also received a Logie nomination for most popular lifestyle program, a category also contested by Seven's multi- award-winning Better Homes and Gardens, Nine's Getaway and The LifeStyle Channel's Grand Designs Australia and Selling Houses Australia.
Key to The Living Room's success is effervescent and knowledgeable host Amanda Keller, who has been a fixture on Australian screens and radio airwaves in all manner of shows from science and technology series Beyond 2000 and pop culture show Mondo Thingo to lowbrow comedy Swift and Shift Couriers and more recently as baby boomers team captain on comedy panel show Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation.
So popular is Keller the public voted for her to be immortalised in wax at the new Madame Tussauds in Sydney last year.
"You know of all the things I've done on television I think it has had the biggest response of anything," Keller says of hosting The Living Room. "I get people coming up with their kids … someone said to me, not since Hey, Hey It's Saturday has their whole family sat down to watch a show and I thought isn't that tragic," she laughs. "There's something for everyone and there's a slight perve value obviously for women with the guys, a slight quirk to it, a slight bit of comedy in it, then we get our travel stories and this and that."
Joining Keller each week on the show's couches are chef Miguel Maestre, builder Barry DuBois and Bondi Vet's Chris Brown, who gets to spread his wings in the weekly travel segments, which often involve him being shirtless.
"There's always a chance - he doesn't do too many stories in the snow, put it that way, I don't let him," Keller jokes.
Keller doesn't get to do travel segments because of her breakfast radio commitments, nor does DuBois, whose renovation challenges often take two or three days to record.
"I'd hate to be filmed in a swimming costume jumping off a boat," she says.
"I'd have to put a bag on my head and body before I did any of those stories. And put a bag on the head of every viewer, so that would be exhausting."
That leaves the travelling to Maestre and Brown, who appear to have formed a genuine friendship. The pair banter on and off set and Maestre pushed his luck recently, urging Brown during taping at Ten's Sydney studios to see if the cat participating in the hot or not product road test of a grooming bag had urinated on the couch. He then shoved his nose in it. One suspects that part won't make it to air.
"I love hosting the show, there is some talk of us doing a few live ones, I'd love to do that," says Keller.
"I'd love it to be live every Friday; that's when you get to see Miguel giggling his head off, Barry falling off a bike in hot or not, that's when you'd see Chris laughing his head off … all the stuff we can't put to air because it's a little bit rude. If we were all doing it live I think it would be a hilarious, hilarious show.
"I love doing the hosting bits those guys are such good company and we have an audience in front of us and I love that bit.
"All the friendships are real.
"They are actually sincere friendships, we text each other and all that sort of stuff, so although we met through the show, we have all become very good friends. It's not fake. You can probably tell by watching we all like each other."
Best of all, it's also a show enjoyed by Keller's sons, aged 11 and nine. "Sometimes I chain them to the sofa and say 'look at Mummy's work' - but not always," she laughs.The Living Room airs today at 7.30pm on Ten.
'The West Australian' is a trademark of West Australian Newspapers Limited 2013.
All rights reserved.
Select your state to see news for your area.