Good Hope loses lovely Jeannie D, their celebrity dancing jock

Published Aug 23, 2006


SABC 2's Strictly Come Dancing has produced more than its share of surprises for viewers in its second season.

The ballroom dancing competition, which teams professional dancers with celebrity amateurs, saw Babalwa Mneno and Thabo Moloto, the first couple to be eliminated, leave somewhat controversially when the former's comments after being eliminated were construed by viewers as being racist (they finished tied second in the judges' scores after the first round).

Then it was Tamara Dey's "knee-jerk reaction" to the rumba and, of course, the biggest surprise of all, the rhythmically challenged Mark Fish and his partner Hayley Bennett still in the running after four weeks (can Captain Fish's dandy sailor outfit endear him to the viewers again and save them this week?).

However, Good Hope listeners had another curveball to deal with this week when Jeannie D, the jock in the 6-10pm slot and Strictly Come Dancing celeb contestant, announced on Monday that she was resigning from the station and would be leaving at the end of next month. Natalie Becker will replace her.

"I didn't want to be unfair on the Good Hope listeners," explained Jeannie D during a break this week while she was practising the paso doble with partner Anthony Krotz.

"The problem is, as a presenter on Top Billing, I travel a lot. After the (Strictly Come Dancing) competition ends I am already scheduled to go to Milan, Paris and Malaysia and it is becoming more and more difficult at Good Hope with all the disruptions. I am 24 years old and the opportunity to travel is too good to turn down."

The husky-voiced jock recalls with fondness her time at Good Hope: "I had the most fantastic time. Coming straight from campus radio, it was the first commercial station I worked for and after a brief graveyard shift I found myself in the prime-time slot.

"Definitely one of the highlights at Good Hope was the weekly educational "SEX" hour segment with Dr Eve. Listening to some of the listeners phone in with their problems was really touching," Jeannie D recalled.

As for the dance competition, Jeannie D says the sportsmanship and spirit amongst the contestants has been surprisingly good-natured.

"At this stage we are not concerned about winning. We just want to do the best we can in each round.

"I think this season's competition is very open, unlike the last one when it was clearly a two-way race between Zuraide Jardine and Michelle Garforth," she said.

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