Johannesburg – E! Entertainment (DStv 124) is finally going red carpet local in South Africa and will now do red carpet coverage at major South African celebrity-laden events, while its Africa E! News Special profile series has also been renewed for a second season.
The channel from NBCUniversal International Networks has been late to the local TV industry party in South Africa since it was added to MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform at the end of 2004 in a carriage agreement.
While other international channels available in South Africa ramped up local production on South African series and content, E! kept with a strict diet of American fare the past 11 years.
Now NBCUniversal International Networks will add more ongoing localised African content for viewers in the form of red carpet coverage and celebrity interviews at big South African events, starting with the 2016 South African Film and Television Awards taking place on 5 March.
In 2016 E! will also produce a second season of its Africa E! News Special local celebrity series it started last year, profiling South African stars similar to Nicky Greenwall's The Close Up on e.tv and My Story on M-Net.
The second Africa E! News Special season, similar to the first 12-episode season that started in September 2015 and produced by Brainstorm for E!, will do more sit-down profile interviews with up and coming South African entertainment talent.
E! Entertainment made the announcement about its increased local South African content on Thursday night at a glitzy rooftop fashion show party packed with celebrities sipping Moët&Chandon, where designer to the stars, Gert-Johan Coetzee unveiled a brand-new red carpet inspired fashion range.
Top Billing and MetroFM presenter Bonang Matheba made the announcement, warning South African celebrities to, from now on, "watch out for the E! microphone" at red carpet events.
@bonang_m wearing Gert-Johan Coetzee #EAfricaPartyA photo posted by Channel24 (@channel24_sa) on Feb 11, 2016 at 11:37am PST
@bonang_m wearing Gert-Johan Coetzee #EAfricaParty
A photo posted by Channel24 (@channel24_sa) on Feb 11, 2016 at 11:37am PST
‘South Africans love seeing local people they know’
"South Africa is making huge strides in recognising and celebrating our own celebrity culture," Bonang Matheba told Channel24 Thursday night.
"Look at the success of local South African reality shows like Date my Family, Our Perfect Wedding; South Africans just love seeing local people they know on the red carpet and television."
Speaking about Gert-Johan Coetzee's new collection, Bonang Matheba just had praise as a celebrity who has showcased his head-turning couture for a number of years as an early adopter from even before he became a sought-after celebrity designer.
"If I have an opportunity I take him with, if he has an opportunity he takes me with. It's a synergy that has worked so well for us, and I'm so grateful that we're there for each other through all the bad days and the good days. And we work wonderfully together."
"E! has always been the home of the red carpet, and continues to connect viewers with the world of celebrities and fashion on and off screen," says Colin McLeod, the NBC Universal International Networks managing director for emerging markets and the United Kingdom.
"As someone who celebrates glamour and loves making women look and feel like stars, it is such a privilege to collaborate with E! because I share the brand's passion for the red carpet," says Gert-Johan Coetzee.
The hostess @bonang_m #EAfricaPartyA photo posted by Channel24 (@channel24_sa) on Feb 11, 2016 at 10:42am PST
The hostess @bonang_m #EAfricaParty
A photo posted by Channel24 (@channel24_sa) on Feb 11, 2016 at 10:42am PST
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