Monday, February 16, 2015

BREAKING. Noeleen Maholwana-Sangqu on 3Talk ending 20 April: 'After giving it a lot of thought, I had decided to hang up my 3Talk shoes'.

You're reading it here first. 

Noeleen Maholwana-Sangqu of Three Talk with Noeleen on SABC3 stunned her TV audience on Monday afternoon at the top of the hour by telling her viewers that she is ending it after 13 years because she decided to bring the show to a close.

Noeleen Maholwana-Sangqu stressed that she was not fired, but decided to "hang up my 3Talk shoes".

Three Talk with Noeleen has been, and remains, South African television and the public broadcasters only local daily TV talk show, and was in that sense unique.

No other free-to-air TV channel or pay-TV channel in South Africa has a local TV talk show running with new episodes five days a week, and Three Talk with Noeleen saw several morning, afternoon and even late night attempts at weekly talk shows on public and pay-TV come and go during her past 12 years on the air.

Insiders told TV with Thinus earlier on Monday that an announcement would be made on Monday's show.

While tabloids said that Noeleen Maholwana-Sangqu was fired and cancelled, insiders told me earlier on Monday that Noeleen Maholwana-Sangqu - turning 48 this year - was getting tired of the daily grind of the show.

Three Talk with Noeleen has seen it moved to several different timeslots over the past decade, with various set, format changes and hair styles over the years.

In the end it was Noeleen Maholwana-Sangqu's decision to walk away and end it.

"After coming to you live every afternoon live for 12 years, the show will be ending on 20 April," said Noeleen Maholwana-Sangqu on Monday afternoon, making the announcement the moment after the opening title played.

"After giving it a lot of thought, I let SABC know early last year that I had decided to hang up my 3Talk shoes and bring this amazing adventure to an end at the end of this season. The botton line is I was not fired. Do not say it again," said Noeleen Maholwana-Sangqu shaking her head.

There's been no announcement from the SABC or SABC3 regarding Noeleen Maholwana-Sangqu's departure and neither SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago nor SABC TV head publicist Zandile Nkonyeni responded to any media enquiries during the day on Monday seeking confirmation and comment on the talk show host's decision.

Three Talk with Noeleen is produced by Urban Brew in Johannesburg.

At the end of 2013 and in early 2014 Three Talk with Noeleen also unexpectedly went into hiatus and shut down production, with viewers who had to watch repeats for months and wondered what is happening behind the scenes and where Noeleen Maholwana-Sangqu went.

The show restarted on 8 April 2014.

It was before this return - early in 2014 - where there was no explanation about what had happened to the show - that Noeleen Maholwana-Sangqu decided to re-up for one more season to continue to do the daily talk show for one more year but to end it after that.

The announcement regarding the end of Three Talk with Noeleen was supposed to have been made on the talk show by Noeleen Maholwana-Sangqu on 27 February - but didn't happen.

Noeleen Maholwana-Sangqu during her live on-air announcement on Monday at 16:00 acknowledged that the show got the timing wrong.

Just after her announcement on Monday afternoon SABC3 issued a statement at 16:15.

"When we started the show, I could never have imagined that we would have such an enduring relationship with our viewers," said Noeleen Maholwana-Sangqu in the press statement.

"I've had the most fabulous 12 years on 3Talk. It's been an amazing adventure which has brought so much fun and meaning into my life, but after a lot of thought, I think it's time for me to bid farewell".

"We are sincerely grateful to Noeleen for her incessant support, commitment and professionalism over the last 12 years," says Aisha Mohamed, SABC3's channel head.

Noeleen has moved, inspired and empowered our viewers through the many episodes of 3Talk. It is the end of an era."

Three Talk with Noeleen on SABC3 will be replaced by a new lifestyle magazine show from the end of April.

Successful multi-year TV talker usually announce their departure at the beginning of their final season but for some reason the SABC, Urban Brew and Noeleen Maholwana-Sangqu waited far too late, pushed it too late and then, as she said "got the timing wrong".

A timeous announcement when talk shows end helps to boost ratings and gives producers the chance to plan flashback episodes and vintage clips from the vaults, and gives proper time to not only plan a farewell show, but to round up celebrities for showstopping performances, as well as goodbye clips.

It will be interesting to see what Three Talk with Noeleen can put together in the time that is now left.