Cape Town – The popular Top Billing presenter Jonathan Boynton-Lee says that for SABC3's new Presenter Search on 3 looking for new on-air talent for the public broadcaster's shows, he's looking for the "Simba factor".
It's a reference to Simba Mhere, Boynton-Lee's close friend who tragically died in a car accident in 2015. Both Simba and Jonathan were winners of the previous presenter search competitions on SABC3 that is once again looking for 3 new TV presenters to join Top Billing, Expresso and Afternoon Express.
With the nationwide auditions ending with the Johannesburg auditions taking place this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Wanderers Cricket Stadium in Johannesburg, it's the last chance for South Africans older than 18 to pitch up in the queue if they think they've got what it takes to join one of these TV shows as a presenter.
Channel24 asked Jonathan Boynton-Lee what he will be looking for in the Presenter Search on 3 as the ideal candidates to become TV presenters, and what people who go to the auditions should and shouldn't do and be before the judges.
"I'm not looking for the X-factor – I’m looking for the Simba factor," said Jonathan, adding "I don't think that exists!"
"To me, if I think of a good TV presenter, I think of Simba," he said.
"I need someone that's got something that no-one else has – someone who is natural on camera, who is lovable, someone who is just themselves and relatable. Like you're born to do it."
"It doesn't even look as if you're trying hard – something that just comes naturally. I'm looking for that: I'm looking for someone who walks in and is born to do it."
"Remember to not be too over-rehearsed," said Jonathan as a word of advice to people going to the Johannesburg auditions on Friday and this weekend. "Some people just run that link they have to do so much that it becomes so familiar that it's not natural anymore. Don't over-rehearse. Keep it natural."
"Something to remember is to be yourself. Be natural and don't try and mimic another presenter. We're not looking for Jeannie D, we definitely don't need another one of me. We're looking for someone new and someone fresh."
After the Johannesburg auditions the Presenter Search on 3 will start on SABC3 on 10 May at 19:30.