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Ignore those nasty rumours! Top Billing and Janez Vermeiren are not parting ways!

2014-06-18 14:15

Cape Town – SABC3's magazine show Top Billing and presenter Janez Vermeiren are not at loggerheads.

Vermeiren confirmed that he will continue to work and appear on South Africa's premier weekly entertainment magazine show, although he has started his own TV production company.

Vermeiren will continue to appear in inserts on the long running and popular magazine show produced by Tswelopele Productions, but the presenter – often appearing shirtless and once again snagging the title of sexiest male TV presenter in South Africa – has started his own production company.

Vermeiren has started CheekyMedia in which he is a co-owner, following on from his existing Full Circle Model Management company.

"Everyone is free to grow – this is his choice as a growth path – and we as Tswelopele wish him everything of the best with his new venture," Patience Stevens, who started Tswelopele Productions with Basetsana Kumalo and who is also co-executive producer of Top Billing, tells Channel24.

"Janez has started his own production company and is working on his new shows. This does not affect his position as a presenter on Top Billing," says Stevens.

"Janez has worked on Top Billing for many years, and got his big break as a presenter on Top Billing because Basetsana and myself recognised his talent and potential – and motivated for him to become a part of the show".

"We have a very good relationship – and are still booking him as often as we can to work on Top Billing, but he does not have as much time as he had before, because he is focusing on his own business," says Stevens.

'Me, growing as an indivual, I guess'

"I've got huge respect for Patience Stevens as a TV producer," Janez Vermeiren tells Channel24.

"I have started a production company, CheekyMedia, working on shows – I’m not going to say how many because it is a competitive industry," says Vermeiren.

"Shows will be launching from my own production company that I've started in conjunction with Yusuf Stevens, he used to be a production manager on Top Billing, and we've got another business partner from Johannesburg."

Vermeiren says he decided to start his own production company "because I've built up so many connections within the industry and because I'm passionate about the TV industry".

"I've learnt a lot from Patience Stevens. I've learnt a lot from a lot of people".

"Also, I was given a lot of freedom to express myself through Top Billing and Top Travel. I'm a business man, I've started my own modelling agency, built it into a success, and now I want to do the same with this TV production company".

"We've got many shows – all non-compete with Top Billing – so it's got nothing to do with Top Billing".

"It's all fresh, new concepts which have never been seen on South African television, they're creative concepts that we've come up with and we're basically producing them," says Vermeiren.

About the show where he started out appearing in do-it-yourself inserts and quickly flourished to become one of the most-liked faces on South African television and a mainstay on the local celebrity circuit, Vermeiren says "as long as Patience Stevens still wants me on Top Billing, I'm more than willing to do it".

"Obviously I can't do it as much as I would like to do it, because there is only so many hours in a day, but I'd like to continue doing it".

"At the end of the day it’s just me, growing as an individual I guess. I'm just growing myself," says Vermeiren.

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