Gavin Prins

Your guide to the world of entertainment


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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT. RHCP’s smashing SA concerts

Multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers will perform live for the first time ever in South Africa.  The tour is scheduled for Saturday 2nd February at the Soccer City Complex, FNB Stadium, Johannesburg and then Tuesday 5th February at Cape Town Stadium.

One of the most successful acts in rock history, Red Hot Chili Peppers have sold more than 60 million albums, including five multi-platinum LPs, and won six Grammy Awards, including “Best Rock Album” for Stadiu

Red Hot Chilli Peppers. PICTURE: GOOGLE IMAGES

m Arcadium, “Best Rock Performance By a Duo or Group” for “Dani California, “Best Rock Song” for “Scar Tissue,” and “Best Hard Rock Performance With Vocal” for “Give It Away.” The band holds the record for the most No. 1 singles of all time at Alternative radio, a total of 11, and a combined 81 weeks at No. 1. They have also won 8 MTV Video Music Awards. In April 2012 the band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Their newest release, I’m With You, was produced by Rick Rubin, who has produced the band’s previous five albums, 2006’s Stadium Arcadium, 2002’s By The Way, 1999’s Californication, 1995’s One Hot Minute, and 1991’s Blood Sugar Sex Magik. Both ‘Californication’ and ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magik’ have ranked in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest albums of all time. ‘I’m With You’ was mixed by Andrew Scheps and Greg Fidelman and features the hit single ‘The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie’ and latest release ‘Brendan’s Death Song’.

Red Hot Chili Peppers, which is singer Anthony Kiedis, bassist Flea, drummer Chad Smith, and guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, will perform live for the first time in South Africa. They will be supported by local zef rave group Die Antwoord.

Tickets go on public sale via all Computicket channels for the Johannesburg performance on Wednesday 29th August, followed by Cape Town the following day (Thursday 30th August).

The tour is presented by Big Concerts.

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SA BORN BRITISH DESIGNER ERIC WAY LAUNCHES NEW 7DAY EATING PLAN. Way lost 75kgs in 7 months.

International Fashion Designer and Health and Lifestyle

Eric Way with the latest form of botox called Natox

Guru for Wayslim (www.wayslim.co.za) and Natox (www.natox.com), working in partnership with The Fairlawns Boutique Hotel and Spa is currently in Johannesburg working with the hotel to create the new 7 day eating plan to be launched in December 2012 at the hotels new Hydro Spa.

Eric Way is also launching his semi-autobiography and documentary in January 2013 in which the eating plan and recipes and cooking programme will be shown. Eric Way lost 75kgs in 7 months and has maintained his weight for the last three and a half years through using his own eating methods.

This he now shares worldwide through people wanting to lead a happier and healthier lifestyle. Eric is known internationally as a Celebrity Fashion Designer designeing for the likes of Ivana Trump, Cherie Blair, Dame Shirley Bassey, also well known for designing for Charlotte in the hit US series ‘Sex in the City’.

He also created the worlds most expensive diamond jacket, valued at $1million and creating a fabulous collection of dog accessories for Warner Bros Scooby Doo movie which was sold exclusively in Harrods.
Eric Way is delighted to be working with one of South Africa’s leading 5 star Boutique Hotel and Spa. Glamour is what Eric Way is all about which is exactly why The Fairlawns Boutique Hotel is the perfect synergy.

Eric Way when he was still over weight. PICTURE: THE STAR


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VIRGIN ACTIVE OPENS 100th CLUB. New plans unveiled for the company.

Richard Branson

One hundred clubs and still counting…

Twelve years ago Nelson Mandela phoned Richard Branson and asked him to save thousands of jobs by taking over the liquidated Health and Racquet Club. Branson agreed and set in motion what was to become one of South Africa’s most loved and instantly recognisable brands. As Virgin Active celebrates the opening of the 100th club in Balfour Park Mall, Gauteng, there is no doubt that Branson’s decision was not only a smart business move, based largely on his legendary ‘gut feel’ but one that would have a far reaching impact on how South Africa embraced a new way of getting fit and healthy.

Over the 12 years, Virgin Active has become an aspirational brand. In a series of surveys done every 18 months, Virgin Active consistently has 96% unaided brand recognition, prompted only by the question “Do you know any health clubs in SA”. The most recent survey shows that familiarity with the brand runs at an equally high 96% and more importantly 98% of respondents would consider joining.

Now firmly entrenched as part of a South African lifestyle, Virgin Active South Africa has come a long way in many respects. With MD Ross Faragher-Thomas at the helm, the task of repositioning the brand and bedding down the business took five years at which point the expansion began in earnest. “Globally we are fortunate to have a portfolio of demographics: developing, emerging, mature and start up, allowing various expansion and improvements in each country. Currently we have a presence in the UK, Spain, Italy, Portugal and recently, Australia. Reaching the 100 club mark is a fantastic milestone but that doesn’t mean we can relax,” he says. “We are always looking at new clubs and more importantly, regularly refurbishing existing clubs. We set aside a significant percentage of our turnover for refurbishment only.”

But it is Virgin Active South Africa that has shown such phenomenal growth. As the 100th club opens there are unique selling points to the brand. Faragher-Thomas says the health club has become the significant ‘third space’ – after work and home – in the lives of city dwellers. It is no longer the exclusive domain of sportsmen, students and body builders. The club now attracts a wider audience and has become a social space and experience – rather than just a place to exercise. A space to escape from the stresses and strains of daily life. It appears to be a winning formula – you just have to ask the 130 000 plus people of diverse backgrounds who access health clubs across the country each day.

“We see the diverse markets in South Africa as an opportunity, not a challenge,” says Faragher-Thomas. “We understand that South Africa is unique and have made it our business to understand our members and what works for them and cater to them. Inevitably there is a standard recipe for certain equipment and facilities but like a good chef we add a personal and unique touch. By way of example, you are unlikely to find an African dance class in Bellville or a live DJ in Sandton. Our clubs are differentiated: there’s Classic, Flagship, Club and Fitness and soon we’ll be opening entry level clubs countrywide. This doesn’t mean low cost, but rather geared around what the consumer is prepared to pay. Underpinning all of this is the strong Virgin brand.”
Another example of a customised approach includes a parcel counter facility where market research shows that the majority of the members use public transport; in Soweto, live DJ’s, a hair braider and 20 internet access points. This micro-attention to each club’s unique target market is a powerful selling point for Virgin Active.

A Classic Club will be opening in Sandton next year and the club has targeted corporates in the area. “We will also have a suite of doctors, tailor-made meals and clothes pressing service. It is a niched market and we have embraced it. We make it our mission to really understand our markets and cater for them. We also note requests and complaints and, if they are realistic, we adapt. When an elderly member at one of our clubs couldn’t manage to get out of the pool using the standard three steps – we adapted the ladder to have six rungs.”

Listening to the consumer is a pro-active process and Virgin Active makes 900 calls a day across the country to clients who have used the club in the last 24 hours. They are asked if they would recommend the business on a scale of 1-10 according to the Net Promoter Score (NPS) system of customer satisfaction. A score of 0-6 is considered a detractor. 7 and 8 are considered passive and 9 and 10 are promoters who are likely to recommend you. The score at present is 70%. Apple scores 74% and Amazon 72%. Virgin Active South Africa is up there with the best of them.

Service scores highly along with stringent health and safety measures. The clubs are all equipped with Oxygen AED (defibrillator) machines, medical stretchers, an evacuation chair and basic life support equipment, standards of health and safety global best practice. “We have saved a number of people’s lives with our defibrillators,” says Faragher-Thomas, “and they have been one of our best investments.

“It is not just about bricks and mortar, architectural design and facilities,” he says. “We hire attitude because the experience at the club is overwhelming shaped by contact with staff and it must be as pleasant as possible. Considering a multi-cultural 150 000 people use the clubs every day, all wanting to de-stress and relax, we need to treat them as individuals. Our staff is pivotal in this sense and we’ve all worked hard to shift attitude from having a job to being in a great career and to encourage entrepreneurial style and attract great talent.” It is not surprising that Virgin Active South Africa was voted the 2nd best company to work in in South Africa in 2011 in the Deloittes Best Company to Work for Survey.

Innovation is top of the agenda at Virgin Active and a good idea is shared globally. Faragher-Thomas sites the ‘Colour me Fit’ project which enables clients to look at the detailed programme and identify, by colour, whether they want to do a cardio, strength or core class. “It’s simple and user friendly,” he says. “There’s a reason why a two year old can use an apple – and why it is such a successful brand.”

No business can operate without a CSI division but at Virgin Active there is no ‘cheque book charity.’ “That’s not sustainable,” says Faragher-Thomas. “After a refurbishment all equipment is donated to the community. But in addition to this we recently embarked on a pilot project at the Lavender Hill Senior School in the Western Cape. This included equipping a full gym for students. A space in which learners can exercise, learn skills and be part of a mentoring programme by qualified sports and life skills coaches. In addition we are linked with the Branson School of Entrepreneurs in South Africa and take great pleasure in nurturing young people to reach their full potential.”

Where to now Virgin Active? What of future growth of the company? “We open around six to 10 clubs annually and are well into the development of the entry level clubs – a new and exciting market for us. We believe in the future of Virgin Active South Africa and while there is still a demand we will continue to supply exactly what the consumer wants and needs,” says Faragher-Thomas.


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MRS EASTWOOD & CO’s Eduard talks about being gay, Dina and all the behind-the-scenes drama.

Eduard Leonard. PICTURE: GOOGLE IMAGES

The first episode of Mrs Eastwood and Company, a reality show on E! Entertainment saw drama with Dina Eastwood (Clint Eastwood’s wife) and her boytjies from South Africa, OVERTONE! And cutie Eduard Leonard jumped out of the closet on international TV. We asked him about coming out, reactions from the public and what we can expect in the next few episodes. And Eduard did not hold back.

What has the feedback been like since Mrs Eastwood and Co flighted on South African TV on Sunday?

I personally have had a tremendous positive response, people are in fact truly supportive.

Were you expecting people to be so positive?

Yes, we have always had a great support base of fans and friends in South Africa, not to mention our amazing families.

What are fans saying about the show and your performance?

We are gaining more and more fans internationally as the show is premiering abroad, they love our music especially our new songs Nothing Else Matters and Rush

What were you guys doing when it aired in SA?

We were driving back to our hotel after a show in New Jersey, we knew because Twitter was going berserk .

Did you get a call from family and friends?

No, just many messages of how proud they are and that they support me all the way.

What has the journey been like since the show started in the US?

We moved to Los Angeles and actually missed the last half of the series because we didn’t own a television, other than that not much has changed, we are working harder than ever.

Is Emile (member of OVERTONE) really a pain in the ass as we saw?

Not at all, we are like brothers, we quarrel like brothers do and then its over with, he has been a great help to me.

What can we look forward to in the next episode?

I don’t want to give too much away but Hawaii was crazy, a broken nose, out of control boyfriend, you will just have to wait and see.

When is the next season starting in America?

That all depends on Dina, E! is very keen on starting as soon as possible.

Eduard Leonard of Overtone in the new reality show Mrs Eastwood & Co. PICTURE: GOOGLE

You had quite an emotional time in the first episode coming out of the closet. Do you think you did the right thing and why?

Yes it was so worth it, I have kids talking to me from South Africa, the US, Ireland and Australia, all going through the same thing, I gave permission to release the story because I wanted people out there to see you can be out and live a normal happy life. I had no one to look up to growing up so if I can be that person for only one teenager out there I’m happy.

Do you have stalkers now?

No, lets just call them very-motivated-fans

What is next for Overtone?

We are working on new material and want to do a tour soon, maybe even release an album with some Afrikaans songs in SA.

What is Dina Eastwood like?

She is beautiful, inside and out! She fights for those who can’t fight for themselves and guides people, especially me, to see their full potential.

Give us some behind the scenes info that we dont get to see on TV?

Obviously a lot goes on that doesn’t make the cut for the episodes, what I have found is that filming is like therapy on speed, the fights are intense but over soon, there is no dragging grudges along, there is just no time or energy to do it. It has been a very therapeutic ride.

Are you single? lol

Oh yeah, and loving it!


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THAT’S RACIST!!! Funnyman Trevor Noah in new comedy that is sure to get the tongues wagging.

Trevor Noah in a new comedy act “THATS RACIST!”.

Guess who’s back! Comedian Trevor Noah is going to be rubbing our noses in the many faces of racism in his new one-man show, That’s Racist.

The award-winning comedian returns from a triumphant tour of the US with new energy and a show that promises to bolster his reputation as the one guy who can take South African comedy to the world.

That’s Racist will tour around SA in September and October. “I’m always fascinated by the way we treat race everywhere,” Noah says. “I’ve always seen race from different points of view.”

He experienced the full complexity of apartheid in its final years, giving this “cultural chameleon” as he’s been called, loads of raw material for comedy. His months of travel around the United States have added extra texture. “We have a very common history,” he says. “I very immediately understand a lot of things happening in the States. It’s very similar to back home—there’s still the black club, the white club, the Latino club, the black restaurant.”

Noah took his uniquely South African brand of humour to the United States last year. Touring from coast to coast, he got Americans, including fellow studio guest Glenn Close, hosing themselves during a five-minute set on Jay Leno’s iconic the Tonight Show. The first African comedian to make the cut onto Leno’s show, Noah also filmed a special for Comedy Central.

Earlier this month, he was awarded the Comic’s Choice Comic of the Year Award in absentia; quite a feat considering this award is voted for by other comedians. “To have every single working comedian in SA vote and come out as the Comic of the Year is such an honour,” says Noah.

Tour dates are as follows:

Brooklyn Theatre – Pretoria
Sun 09 Sep 3:00 PM Sun 09 Sep 5:00 PM Mon 10 Sep 8:00 PM   Wed 12 Sep 8:00 PM   Tue 13 Nov 8:00 PM   Wed 14 Nov 8:00 PM   Thu 15 Nov 8:00 PM Fri 16 Nov 8:00 PM Sat 17 Nov 8:00 PM Sun 18 Nov 5:00 PM

Playhouse Opera Theatre, Durban – Kwazulu-Natal
Fri 14 Sep 8:00 PM Sat 15 Sep  8:00 PM

Vodacom Amphitheatre, Port Elizabeth – Eastern Cape
Thu 04 Oct  8:00 PM Fri 05 Oct 8:00 PM Sat 06 Oct  8:00 PM Sun 07 Oct  5:00 PM

The Lyric At Gold Reef City Casino, Johannesburg And Reef – Gauteng
Tue 09 Oct 18:30 PM Wed 10 Oct 8:30 PM Thu 11 Oct 8:30 PM Fri 12 Oct 8:30 PM Sat 13 Oct 5:00 PM Sat 13 Oct 8:30 PM
Sun 14 Oct 5:00 PM Sun 14 Oct 8:00 PM   Tue 20 Nov 8:30 PM Wed 21 Nov 8:30 PM Thu 22 Nov 8:30 PM Fri 23 Nov 8:30 PM Sat 24 Nov 5:00 PM Sat 24 Nov 8:30 PM

Baxter Theatre, Cape Town – Western Cape
Wed 17 Oct 8:00 PM Thu 18 Oct 8:00 PM Fri 19 Oct 8:00 PM Sat 20 Oct  8:00 PM Sun 21 Oct 5:00 PM Wed 24 Oct 8:00 PM Thu 25 Oct 8:00 PM Fri 26 Oct 8:00 PM Sat 27 Oct 8:00 PM


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HIP-HOP MOGUL HEADING TO SA FOR DESTINY EVENT

Russell Simmons will be visting South Africa

Dubbed the “quintessential serial entrepreneur”, Russell Simmons will visit the country in September as a speaker for the next DESTINY Forum event.

Khanyi Dhlomo, CEO of Ndalo Media and Founding Editor of Ndalo’s DESTINY and DESTINY MAN magazines, says her group is honoured to be hosting the prominent international businessperson.

“He’s the ideal sequel to our highly successful DESTINY Forum held in Johannesburg in July this year. That we attracted so large a number of delegates demonstrates South Africans’ thirst for self-enhancement.

“Not only did those who attended the forum enjoy exposure to business strategies, tips on how to deal with work challenges and guidance on work objectives and goals, but the forum also provided a platform for individuals to network with like-minded people.

“South Africa needs more professionals and entrepreneurs. Ndalo Media’s proud of the role it’s playing to help nurture that need.”

Dhlomo is confident that Simmons will attract as much, if not more, interest from aspirational South Africans as the July event did. She considers him an outstanding role model, given his exceptional record of achievement in a broad range of endeavours.

As co-founder of the pioneering record label Def Jam in the 1980s, he helped launch the careers of several artists, including Run-DMC and the Beastie Boys. His empire includes the Phat Farm clothing line and an energy drink, but it’s his social activism that’s caused some to speculate that he’d make an ideal Mayor of New York City.

Simmons authored the New York Times best-selling book, Do You! 12 Laws to Access the Power in You to Achieve Happiness and Success.

He’s often described as the man who made black urban culture a part of the mainstream, but Newsweek’s Johnnie L Roberts noted: “In the view of many, he’s now emerging as potentially the most credible and effective leader of the post-civil rights generation.”

Simmons will be presenting on Friday, 21 September 2012 at Johannesburg’s Hilton Sandton Hotel and is brought to you in association with M-Net and City Press.

Tickets cost R850 (including VAT) per person, which includes cocktail dinner and an after-party with Tumi and The Volume.

(press release)


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Rus in vrede Johan

Die veteraan-akteur Johan van der Merwe is gisteroggend oorlede. FOTO: GOOGLE IMAGES

JOHAN VAN DER MERWE, akteur en regisseur, is gisteroggend in die ouderdom van 62 dood. Hy het onder meer in Nommer Asseblief, Parys Parys en Lipstiek Dipstiek gespeel. Hy laat sy lewensmaat Francois Liebenberg, en dogters Erica en Mart-Marie en seun Adriaan agter. Mart-Marie het gister aan my gese sy is baie geskok oor die heengaan van haar pa. ” Ek mis sy baard wat altyd so steek, en glimlag.” Volgens Beeld was hy ook die stem van die verkleurmannetjie in Nuustak.