SABC confirms 'end of an era' as final episode of 'Top Billing' airs on Saturday

Top Billing host and producer Basetsana Kumalo (Photo: Supplied)
Top Billing host and producer Basetsana Kumalo (Photo: Supplied)

Cape Town – The SABC has released an official statement on the cancellation of the long-running lifestyle show Top Billing.

This comes after news broke on Thursday morning that the final episode of the legacy show will air on Saturday at 18:30.

READ MORE: SABC cancels 'Top Billing' after 25 years - reports

The iconic show that has adapted over the years since it was started by Patience Stevens, always showing "the best of the good life", has made name stars of multiple walk-and-talk presenters who found fame after being hand-picked to front the glamorous lifestyle magazine show that has been a weekly staple on the SABC schedule for decades.

It became such a permeating force in South African popular culture that people started referring to mega-mansions as "A Top Billing house" or lavish weddings as a "Top Billing wedding" - referencing the weekly mansion and over-the-top wedding day profile inserts.

"Top Billing has been one of SABC 3's flagship programmes for over two decades. It has been a legacy title and from its introduction and within the first decade of its lifespan, set the benchmark for lifestyle magazine programming.

"Through it, the SABC pioneered entertainment television in South Africa in the early stages of our democracy and consciously put a different face and perspective to the South African narrative and perception," said Mr David Makubyane, Acting Group Executive: Television.

Ms Basetsana Kumalo, producer and co-owner of Tswelopele Productions with Ms Patience Stevens said: "This show exemplifies excellence and sophistication in arts, design, décor, fashion and broadcasting, creating countless jobs and building careers in its many years on air.

"It has been quite a ride, and it is fitting that after 25 years we salute this season as our final one. We've enjoyed many accolades with Top Billing - including a SAFTA award in the Best Magazine Show category. We trust the show has served audiences by inspiring them to dream big, embrace their inner creative genius, and dare to live the life they deserve."

Repeats of special episodes will run on SABC 3 until March 2020.

READ MORE: 5 extravagant celebrity weddings on 'Top Billing' we'll never forget

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