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Reality show for Top Billing host search

2012-05-07 20:33
Cape Town – Magazine show Top Billing is once again searching for a brand new presenter which will take the form of a reality TV show with a live TV finale in August.

My Top Billing Dream will replace Top Billing in the show's current timeslot for six weeks from July as Tswelopele Productions and SABC3 plan to bring viewers the Top Billing presenter search as an hour-long reality show.

Contestants from across the country will be put through their paces in similar fashion as the Top Billing Presenter Search in 2010 in which Simba Mhere won.

In 2010 the Top Billing Presenter Search featured only as an insert on the main show, with two separate TV specials.

The elaborate search that ended in a dramatic island final face-off as contestants struggled through challenges, boasted exceptionally high production values and made for gripping viewing.

Hour long spin-off

Viewers liked the inserts featuring tough judges and the show's stars showing a slightly different side to their usually airbrushed personalities, daunting physical and "to camera" challenges, contestant break-downs and tears, and all of it taking place against backdrops ranging from high cooling towers to mansions and exotic locales. The inserts and an eventual Top Billing magazine cover shoot generated high buzz.

Now the search insert becomes its own hour-long spin-off as South Africans will vie in My Top Billing Dream to join the existing group of presenters Janez Vermeiren, Jeannie D, Ursula Chikane, Jo-Anne Strauss, Michael Mol, Dhiveja Sundrum, Aiden Bennetts and Lorna Maseko.

The long-running Top Billing is SABC3's strongest aspirational programming brand since the end of Oprah and is overall the longest running TV show in South Africa. Top Billing remains - despite numerous day and timeslot changes - the number one rated local weekly show on the channel, drawing an average of 2 million viewers per week.

My Top Billing Dream will start on 3 July and finish with a live finale on 7 August at the Expresso studios in Cape Town.

Additional TV specials

In addition, My Top Billing Dream will have three two-hour TV specials on a Saturday afternoon starting on 16 June. Viewers will see how entrants from around the country are whittled down to a top 10 through a gruelling process.

Contestants will be tested on their presenting skills, thinking on their feet, adapting to various production problems and on-set challenges and how they are able to take varied surprises and unexpected events in their stride.

"The final 10 will start with the presenter search challenges in the first My Top Billing Dream replacing the normal show on 3 July," Patience Stevens, Top Billing's executive producer, told Channel24. "The final three contestants will battle it out on 7 August for the overall winner in a live finale."

Auditions for the presenter search are taking place on these dates and places below and contestants have to bring a completed entry form, a copy of their ID, and a photo. Contestants also have to prepare a possible presenter's "link" or "introduction" to a TV segment.

13 - 14 May, 09:00 - 17:00
Bloemfontein: Protea Hotel Willow Lake

18 - 19 May, 09:00 - 17:00
Durban: Protea Hotel Umhlanga Ridge

24 - 25 May, 09:00 - 17:00
Port Elizabeth: Venue still to be confirmed

28 May, 09:00 - 17:00
Polokwane: Venue still to be confirmed

1 - 3 June, 09:00 - 17:00
Cape Town: Protea Hotel Fire & Ice

8 - 11 June, 09:00 - 17:00
Johannesburg: Venue still to be confirmed

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