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Summary Profile

When Bill Faure dreamed up the idea of Carte Blanche in 1988, no one knew that fourteen years on it would be an institution on the South African scene. The anchors were an Afrikaans newsreader called Ruda Landman and a sports reporter called Derek Watts. Nothing indicated that they would become household names. The programme won awards, the presenters and producers won awards, and they came to realise that they were part of Africa , taking their viewers to the primate hunters in Cameroon, the world-beating distance runners in the highlands of Kenya, the farm grabs and clashes in Zimbabwe and the gorillas in Rwanda. Then on to Mount Everest, an atomic aircraft carrier in the gulf, the NASA bid to get humans on to Mars and, on a more personal level, a young man's life in the balance as he faces a liver transplant using "knife-edge" bloodless surgery techniques. And Carte Blanche connected with ordinary people whose life stories gripped everyone. Serious stuff mixed with light-hearted stories, reflecting the mood and changes in society. Derek talks about the Carte Blanche phenomenon, the program and the people…stories from behind and in front of the lens. It's a saga that goes back to the very first days of TV news at SABC when film cameras ruled to the mini "hidden" video cameras that help to uncover corruption and fraud. It's a journey that has got some sad moments, like when producer Rick Lomba was killed by a tiger in Luanda, but seeks the positive and uplifting with a strong dose of humour thrown in. The talks can be accompanied by video presentations if required.

Derek Watts


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