Probably for most people the first thing that comes to mind when they hear the name Gareth Cliff (38) is controversy. Not scared to voice his opinion, the radio and TV personality always manages to keep his head above water when attacked for his opinions.
Gareth was recently caught in a crossfire with broadcaster M-Net and fired as an Idols judge after he commented on the Penny Sparrow debacle. However, after a court battle, Gareth and M-Net buried the hatchet and he was reinstated as a judge on the show. Having faced challenges in his life, Gareth says failure is not an option for him. He believes that whatever challenges one faces, one should never give up. “You pick yourself up and keep moving forward,” he says.
HIS TIME ON IDOLS
Eleven seasons later, Gareth seems to be having the time of his life on Idols. "The journey has been an amazing one," he says. He joined the show in season two in 2003, joining former judge, singer and actress Mara Louw and radio personality Randall Abrahams. “Being part of Idols has been great. I love it; it is a great show full of inspiration, talent and fun. I have done 11 seasons, so we have come a long way,” he says.
MOVING FORWARD WITH CLIFFCENTRAL.COM
Besides being an Idols judge, Gareth is also one of South Africa’s most recognised radio personalities best known for his breakfast show on 5FM, which he hosted until 2014. Soon after leaving the station, Gareth launched an online radio station, CliffCentral.com. He explains to Move! that the idea to establish CliffCentral.com was inspired by the digital migration that is taking place in the world.
“After a decade at 5FM and the digital explosion worldwide, it was time to explore new territory. Podcasting and online broadcasting is the way things are going and we wanted to be the first and the biggest,” says the radio jock. CliffCentral.com is doing extremely well, with The Gareth Cliff Show being a favourite, bringing exclusives on Mzansi celebrities and real conversations about current affairs.
GOOD NEWS OF A NEW PARTNERSHIP
Gareth also shares the good news that he has partnered with former Metro FM presenter Tbo Touch to create Touch Central, a new entertainment streaming platform. Touch Central will be a 24-hour online music channel focusing on local music which will be free to subscribers.
HIS ADVICE TO THE YOUTH
Gareth feels that young people should not consider joining the entertainment industry unless they have something different to offer. “We need social workers, teachers, healthcare workers and skilled professionals. We don’t need more dancers. If you really want to be in entertainment, you better be good, because it’s a tough business. Don’t do it because you want to be famous,” he advises.