Janez on his new TV journey: For the first time I’m just myself

2014-08-06 15:26

Cape Town – The Man Cave, a brand-new local magazine show starting tonight on SABC3 at 20:00 marks the TV move of Janez Vermeiren from on-air talent (which he will remain) to a position behind the camera, as the (often shirtless) Top Billing presenter moves to a role behind the lens as TV producer.

The Man Cave is the first TV offering from Janez’ new TV production company, Cheeky Media.

His new TV production venture is however also working on other TV shows in development: Tongue in Cheek, a local type of TV talk show similar to American show The Talk; another comedy type talk show, and he's also developing a travel and adventure TV series.

It's The Man Cave that will debut first however tonight on SABC3 with a 13 episode first season which Janez tells Channel24, he hopes to see become a full TV series with many further future seasons.

The Man Cave will deliver a weekly dose of testosterone-driven content to men seeking a hefty helping of adventure. It will also give women the opportunity to try and understand what makes men tick.

Janez is not just working behind-the-scenes as executive producer on this high-gloss GQ-but-on-television type show, but is also co-presenting with Lunga Shabalala to help find answers to who the modern South African man is, and what he is about.

Janez whose son Matisse is already 9 years old, is waiting with baited breath for the birth of his second son with fiancée Juliana Vasconcelos.

'For the first time I can actually be myself'

"For the first time it's my show, so for the first time I can actually be myself. Be exactly who I am," Janez tells Channel24.

"It's everything that men are interested in, in to, want to know, and what women also want to know of them, and what men want to know about women.

"It's about cars, it's about adventure travel, it's about hanging out with successful women in the country, delving into the female psyche, it's about man food, it's about man fitness. The Man Cave is about everything that men love to do and know about, and also that women like to watch," explains Janez.

Asked how much his shirt will be off, he says "over the years people have asked me so often how do I get into shape, what is my workout routine.

"So yes, there will be quite a bit of shirtless Janez. There will probably be even more shirtless Lunga Shabalala because he is in better shape than what I am to tell you the truth," he chuckles.

"It will be a shirtless Janez but for a reason. We're showcasing exactly how we get into shape, and the workouts we do to achieve it," he says.

'Lunga epitomises what young SA males should aspire to'

About Lunga Shabalala who was chosen as his co-presenter he says: "I know who I am and what I'm all about. And I'm leaning towards the older side these days. I was looking for a young South African guy who epitomises everything that a young South African male should aspire to.

"And the first guy that came to mind was Lunga Shabalala. He's a man's man. He's fit. He's good looking. He's intelligent. He's very witty. He's got a great personality.

"So we were very fortunate. The moment I thought of a co-host, he was the first guy who came to mind, and literally I called him, I told him all about it, and he agreed within minutes," says Janez.

Producing TV 'a fantastic experience'

Asked about how the journey and transition has been so far being and becoming more involved as a TV producer behind the scenes, Janez Vermeiren says that "it's something that I've always wanted to do.

"I've always wanted to do things – I wouldn't say better – but I know after so many years of being on television, what works and what doesn't work. So for the first time I can actually lead a show in a way that I want to without being guided by someone else. So it's been a fantastic experience.

"This move I've made away from Top Billing is probably the best move I've ever done," he says.

About his baby who will be born soon, Janez Vermeiren says he's "so nervous".

"I'm shooting the show and my fiancee's in Cape Town. The moment I get that call I will be back in Cape Town."

'I’ve put my heart and my soul into this show'

"The Man Cave is not just a 13 episode series. We're going to continue this. I'd like it to eventually become an hour long show.

"I'd like it to become the guide book for what men need to know about men, and what women need to know about men. I want The Man Cave to be a reference for all men and all women," says Janez.

"I can guarantee you that I've put my heart and my soul into this soul," he says.

"What excites me the most is that on Top Billing I always had to be this guy that was single and sexy and I was never allowed to showcase my family life and my girlfriend. This time round I am who I am. What you see is what you see.

"I incorporate my son into the story. I'm going to speak about fatherhood.

"So for the first time I'm going to open up my real life and show them this is the real Janez. And the same for Lunga. He's not pretending to be something or someone – what you see is who he really is."

Watch the teaser here:

The Man Cave airs on SABC3 on Wednesdays at 20:00.

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