Sunday World

Derek Watts shows his ‘lite side’ in beer commercial

Carte Blanche host features in SAB spot

- By Lungile Matsuma

For more than three decades we have seen him grace our small screens on M-net, the only payper-view channel of the late 80s, presenting Carte Blanche, fast forward to this day, the popular face of the lanky Derek Watts is still in our living rooms as the host of the longest-running actuality show in the country.

But we are now seeing the other side of Watts – as an actor in a beer commercial.

Born in Zimbabwe, Watts spoke to Sunday World, revealing his concern about the reaction of the public towards the trending advert on Twitter, as M-net isn’t too keen on presenters doing commercial advertisin­g work.

“They need to protect the brand,” he said, adding that Ogilvy Cape Town sent out a brief to three directors, and the concept proposed to Anton Visser of Patriot Films was considered the most original.

He says his daughter helped him with the dance moves.

“My daughter, Kristy, helped me with the moves that were orchestrat­ed by Zoyi and Rata from Kryptonite Dance Studio,” Watts said, adding that “she loved being involved”.

He says growing up in Bulawayo he was not a devoted scholar, however, he cherished the days of riding his triumph 500 speed twin bicycle to Hamilton High School at 15.

“I survived a couple of crashes wearing khaki shorts and no helmet. Crazy days and surviving those spills is a blessing.”

Watts, who has been in journalism as a broadcaste­r for more than 38 years, enjoys motoring journalism as a hobby.

“So, testing the latest models and attending car launches around the country is what I enjoy most.

“I have been a juror for the South African Guild of Motoring Journalist­s for the past few years and write for Premier Magazines.”

The Carte Blanche presenter relates his journey further: “You can’t go on forever. You can easily overstay your welcome but for the moment, I really enjoy working with our truly amazing team, Claire Mawisa, Masa Kekana and Macfarlane Moleli, and our executive producer John Webb,” he says when asked if he has any plans to retire soon.

He acknowledg­es his name has become synonymous with the Carte Blanche brand over the years, adding the producers are making some changes to the format and stories, as well as adding regular podcasts.

“Last night [September 28] at Bridgewate­r in Cape Town we were celebratin­g 20 years of the Porsche Cayenne vehicle brand, and I paired a couple of Castle Lites with a sizzling sirloin and aglio olio pasta,” he says, adding that it all went down well.

Watts says there are no fixed plans now for more campaigns for the beer brand.

“Unless perhaps I add some headstands, which are not for sensitive viewers,” he teasingly says.

And his music taste? The TV host says he listens to everything from oldies like “smooth” with Santana and Rob Thomas to Beyonce’s latest “You won’t break my soul”, he adds that his most interestin­g book he has read is A New World by Eckhart Tolle. He is also a foodie of note. He says he loves Italian sausage risotto at Moda Ristorante opposite the Hyde Park shopping centre. “Actually, a tent in a car park with the best Italian food in town,” he says passionate­ly.

Watts revealed that he and his wife, Belinda, have a Yorkie (Yorkshire terrier) who is the top dog in the house, and that his family and friends describe him as “eccentric”.

“I insist on hanging the Yorkie from my feet or doing headstands first thing in the morning and last thing in the night,” he said, professing that his roommates on the Change A Life Cycle Tour would agree.

Crazy guy, typical of the man we see in the beer advert.

 ?? ?? Derek Watts
Derek Watts

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