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RUDA BIDS FAREWELL (article first published : 2007-04-11)

One of the longest and most fruitful partnerships in M-Net’s broadcast history comes to an end later this year.

After almost 19 years as co-anchor of Carte Blanche, Ruda Landman has decided not to renew her contract with M-Net and show producers Combined Artists. She will leave the top-rated actuality programme at the end of June.

Ruda joined the Carte Blanche team along with fellow presenter Derek Watts on August 21 1988, when the late Bill Faurè launched another of the mould-breaking TV ventures he was famous for. Now, almost two decades later, she wants to explore other possibilities.

Carte Blanche has given me opportunities I could not have found in any other job,” Ruda says. “I experienced the dramatic changes in the country from up close; I travelled in Africa and beyond; I talked to people from all walks of life about joy, anger, exhilaration and grief; I worked with colleagues who shared the ideal of making the best product possible in every instance. I will miss the programme and the people intensely, but it is time to leave the comfort zone and see what’s out there.”

Carl Fischer, M-Net’s Head of Original Programmes, says Ruda’s departure will leave a significant gap in the local television industry. “We’re sad to see her go. Ruda has become one of South Africa’s best-known and respected television personalities and her forthright and insightful reportage earned her and Carte Blanche numerous top awards. She will be enormously successful at whatever she decides to do. Who knows, perhaps there may even be future possibilities at M-Net?”

Over the years, Carte Blanche carved a matchless niche in the Sunday evening viewing schedule. It has remained M-Net’s flagship show throughout its existence.

According to George Mazarakis, Carte Blanche’s Executive Producer, Ruda’s presence and unique talents were vital to the success of the programme: “She leaves behind a vibrant legacy of exceptional journalism. She honed the skills of many of the journalists and presenters who will continue to work on the show. With Derek at the helm, we’ll be building on what she invested in Carte Blanche and strive to maintain our position as M-Net’s most-watched programme.”

Ruda will not be replaced with a new anchor. To pay tribute to her incredible contribution to television journalism, Carte Blanche will dedicate a programme to her at the end of June. This special edition will revisit the most dramatic, life-changing and humorous stories she worked on.

“We’ll make a point of celebrating her career, because she has brought us exceptional memories,” says Mazarakis.




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