NEW BEAT: Roxy Burger joins Katlego Maboe as the fresh new hosts of the seventh season of Strictly Come Dancing on SABC3.
NEW BEAT: Roxy Burger joins Katlego Maboe as the fresh new hosts of the seventh season of Strictly Come Dancing on SABC3.
Katlego Maboe
Katlego Maboe

Strictly Come Dancing returns to SABC3 with a scandalously sexy line-up of celebrities and new |co-hosts Katlego Maboe and Roxy Burger. Debashine Thangevelo catches up with Maboe about stepping up to the plate in an untried arena…

LAST year, celebrated comedian Marc Lottering gave presenting a stab when he joined the delightfully engaging Pabi Moloi to host the sixth season of Strictly Come Dancing. Sadly, it wasn’t his most flattering career departure. It was akin to a prank gone horribly wrong.

This year, SABC3 and the production house (Rapid Blue) have taken painstaking measures to ensure that they have the dynamics right, hence, Katlego Maboe and Roxy Burger signed on to co-present season 7.

And they got pop star LeAnne Dlamini, Top Billing presenter Jonathan Boynton-Lee, “it” girl Boity Thulo, controversial socialite Khanyi Mbau, actress-model-presenter Leandi du Randt, professional motorbike racer Janine Davies, celebrated comedians Siv Ngesi and Donovan Goliath, former Isidingo actor Ashish Gangapersad and rugby player John Mametsa to showcase their prowess (or two left-feet blunders) on the dance floor.

Meanwhile, the judging line-up of Michael Wentink, Samantha Peo and Tebogo Kgobokoe remain unchanged.

Recently crowned the most stylish male celebrity in South Africa at this year’s You Spectacular Awards, Maboe says: “I’m so excited. Last season, I followed it (the show) avidly, watching Mark, Pabi and some of the contestants who were friends. It is quite an honour getting this opportunity as I see myself as relatively young in the industry to be trusted with that kind of responsibility. But I am looking forward to the challenge. We are appealing to a new generation.”

On this gig, taking him away from his comfort zone, he nods: “I started out on DEKAT TV, then I moved to 50/50 before moving to Expresso four years ago. I’m working very closely with the production team as this is a different show and has to be presented in a certain way. Although, they have said that they want my personality to come through, too.”

So what will Maboe be bringing to the table?

“Look, it is also a learning process. I will be bringing a lot of energy and my tenacity, and you will be sure to see some of my craziness too,” he laughs.

Interestingly, this is the first time he will be working with Burger on-screen. “We share the same kind of enthusiasm. We realise that we represent a broad spectrum of audiences looking for that oneness and positivity. It can’t really be explained, but when you see us on TV, you will see the magic that we create together.”

Maboe adds: “A few of them (the contestants) are friends. I know how crazy they can get and how competitive each and everyone is. They are all going to come out guns blazing. That much was evident at the launch last week. We are going to see Kanyi flipped like an omelette.

“These guys are going to be putting down everything. We are going to have an amazing season. I can’t wait to see the growth of some of those who don’t have a natural rhythm.”

Zandile Nkonyeni, SABC head of publicity, comments: “We are pretty much excited about this season. Looking at the calibre of contestants – apart from the fact that they are sizzling hot – it is probably going to be one of the most competitive showcases we have had.

“They have come in with that competitive edge and have shown such determination and commitment. And they bring so much character. All of them are out there to win it.”

On selecting the new hosts this season, she explains: “It’s always a collaboration between the production house and the channel. The channel makes the call on who fits in with the brand and structure of the show.

“We were looking for much younger hosts, people who are experienced within the television network and people with crossover appeal. Because of the direction the channel is moving towards after the World Cup, they (Katlego and Roxy) fit the profile. I think their on-screen chemistry is quite amazing – both are going to be two of the most loved hosts. They have ticked all the boxes for the new SABC3.”

Given the gargantuan social media following of the celebrities featuring in this season, viewers will undoubtedly succumb to their curiosity and tune in to watch them mambo their way around the small screen.

• Strictly Come Dancing season 7 debuts on SABC3 on Friday, July 18 at 8pm.