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CARTE BLANCHE TURNS 15! (article first published : 2003-09-18)

This month M-Net's flagship actuality programme Carte Blanche celebrates 15 years of investigative journalism and actuality reporting. To celebrate this remarkable achievement, M-Net will broadcast a special programme and DStv hosts a once-off commemorative channel for three days leading up to the birthday broadcast.

Launching at 09h00 on September 26, Channel 37 on DStv will flight award-winning stories from the past 15 years. This will be followed by the Carte Blanche Birthday Special to be broadcast on M-Net at 19h00 on September 28.

Broadcast throughout Africa, Carte Blanche has developed a high degree of credibility in television journalism and been awarded many local and international awards. The programme enjoys one of the highest viewership for shows on M-Net with an average of 15AR's (audience ratings) with a 40% share amongst analogue subscribers and 30% share for digital subscribers. The show has also built a base of very loyal viewers, being a consistently strong performer.

"Carte Blanche is one of our shows that consistently topped the ratings since its inception. I'm very proud that the programme has been able to re-invent itself over the years to remain relevant to viewers and subscribers," says Carl Fischer, Director of Local Programmes. "On behalf of M-Net I'd like to congratulate all those involved in its success, including Combined Artists, the anchors, producers and researchers."

It all started with the late Bill Faure who originally produced Carte Blanche in 1988, with anchors Ruda Landman and Derek Watts. As the show grew and evolved Manu Padayachee, Michele Alexander and Les Aupiais were brought in as presenters.

Now under the leadership of executive producer George Mazarakis, the show has grown even stronger, earning hard-won international recognition.

Earlier this year the show saw a revamp when Tim Modise joined Ruda Landman and Derek Watts as an anchor for the South African broadcast, while Zaa Nkweta and Moky Akinsemoyin present the show to the rest of Africa. Durban-based Devi Sankaree Govender, respected journalist and broadcaster, joined the investigative team two years ago.

Carte Blanche will also introduce another innovative communication tool that viewers can use to access more information about the show.

"Viewers on DStv will have access to more information through their remote control. There's a short history of the show, fascinating stats, a list of awards, people interviewed and places visited since 1988," says Graunt Kruger, Carte Blanche Interactive Editor. "Viewers simply need to press OK on their remote control to see all the extra information on the channel."

In its 15-year history, Carte Blanche has notched up more than eighty local and international awards for excellence in television journalism.




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