MARK'S (NOT SO) DAILY BLOG
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So, there was a Doctor and a Virgin...

It's been a really interesting couple of days. On Wednesday I had the crew from SABC3's "Doctors Orders" come to my house and film an insert on heart disease and my experience having the heart attack back in 2008. As part of the filming I diligently prepared a healthy lunch of tuna and rice...


When the camera stopped rolling, I put that meal aside ... and had beans on toast (my gourmet contribution to the culinary world).

That same afternoon we had a journalist from "Your Family" come over and chat to my wife and I about stem cell storage. We've stored both our girls stem cells and, like an insurance policy, we hope we never have to use them, but take comfort in knowing they are available. To date I think stem cells can cure over 50 previously untreatable diseases (check out www.cryosave.co.za for more info).

Speaking of magazines, Living and Loving magazine have asked me to write their monthly "dad" column. If you're a regular reader of my blogs, you'll know countless blog posts have been dedicated to fatherhood, so I'm really chuffed I get to waffle to an even bigger audience. My first contribution will be in the December issue. Also, Nicole and Alyssa (my 1 year old) will be on the November cover. Very cool! Thanks Living and Loving!

Speaking of cool. It's not every day I can say that I sat down and chin wagged with Sir Richard Branson. Yesterday it happened. With the Johannesburg skyline as the backdrop, he made a stop at the new Virgin Active Alice Lane where I was asked to MC the occasion. He was very polite and friendly to the 400+ people that attended. Here we are chatting just before going on stage:


And here's a pic of us chatting to the crowd:


He's a living legend that garners respect from most captains of industry, so it was a real treat being on stage with him. 

Just a heads up for next week, I'm out of the country on business Monday to Wednesday. I'll try and write a blog while away, but have no idea what internet connectivity will be like, so might only be back on this site on Thursday next week.

Thanks as always for popping on and reading my blurbs!
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Who's your celebrity pass?

Who is that celebrity that, theoretically, your partner would allow you some time with?

For my wife, her celeb pass is Enrique (oh, the amount of times I've had to sing "Will you be my hero baby?").

Megan Fox was always my fav, but she got bumped off the top of the list after watching Safe Haven over the weekend with Julianne Hough. She was brilliant in the movie and quite the belter, which is saying something as I've never been into blondes. You have to watch the movie. It's in the iTunes store.

Staying with girls, Nicole was laughing at me this morning, because I was responsible for dressing Tayla-Jean:


Actually, for the record, I simply let her dress herself. And choose her own breakfast... peanut butter on a spoon.

My girls are getting used to TV cameras in the house these days. Yesterday we had a crew shooting a DVD for Cryo-Save. My one year old, Alyssa, walked around as if she was the director. Tayla-Jean, more than a little camera shy, spent 2 hours playing in her bedroom to escape the lens!

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I staged an episode of 24

One of the things I love about my job is that, despite being around SA artists all the time, I still respect and appreciate music talent and my job allows me to be on stage with legends.

Last night I shared the platform with Arno Carstens at a corporate event for FNB.


No, that's not me next to him with hair ... I was behind the band setting up my deejay equipment.

Speaking of being on stage, i'll be doing it again today 12-3pm at Woodmead Retail Park to host their Christmas in July event where we will be collecting warm clothing and blankets for those in need this Winter. If you're in the area, please pop by with your old clothing!

And then, this weekend, it's watching others on stage as it's the annual SA "Oscars, the YOU Magazine Spectacular. I'm not nominated in any category... I'm going for the party.

I'm also deciding this weekend whether to continue watching the TV show 24 (I'm the only guy in the Western world who hasn't watched the show).

I've now watched 2 out of 192 episodes. The problem is, the show started in 2001. That doesn't seem that far back, until you realise how much technology has changed in a decade. They still watch square TV's and their phone's have only started sending text messages on their grey Nokia 1610 screens!

The show hasn't hooked me yet, but I'll give it a few more episodes. Nicole has bailed on me though and doesn't want to to watch it, so it might take me about 3 years now to watch all the episodes!
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Last night was a true MasterChef experience

With the fireplace roaring last night at Hoeveld House, a function venue in the posh suburb of Inanda, MNET invited 19 "friends" to experience a VIP dinner hosted by Masterchef Judge Benny Masekwameng.


It's quite a clever marketing strategy. Put 19 people who enjoy tweeting and blogging around a table, make sure the WiFi signal is strong, and invite them to constantly use their phones at the dinner table as the top 16 finalists for Season 2 of Masterchef South Africa are revealed.


Whilst watching last night's episode of Masterchef on the big screen, we all tucked into a scrumptious meal and good wine. I'm not a great chef by any means, so I always appreciate the art of good food, and the care that goes into dishes behind the scenes. The menu was outstanding:


There was only one problem... I don't eat lamb! It stems from being a kid and my step-dad forcing me to eat sheep heart. I remember vividly how chewy the aorta was. Yeegghhh. So, I opted for the veggie meal.

Without going into detail about ingredients, the chefs in the kitchen were amazing! They mixed a little peanut butter with the creamed spinach and it was unbelievable...who would have thought!!

I also got a tip from Edward, a chef with Springbok colours (no, he doesn't cook FOR the Springboks) on how to perfect a roast potato. Boil baby potatoes until they are almost falling apart, then place them in a cold fridge (so the starch condenses). Heat up oil in a baking tray at 220 C and then put the cold potatoes in the hot oil for about 5 minutes. After they are done, pop them in a frying pan with a blob of butter and marmite to perfect the glaze. Holy whack, that sure sounds more tasty than me plonking a potato in the microwave for 3 minutes.


Nicole and I had a great night out. Thank you MNET and Masterchef SA ... and it worked. We are now hooked onto Season 2 of the show!

Towards the end of the evening though my flu started kicking in again. It's now day 8 and I was getting better, but somehow got a secondary infection yesterday (so said my doctor this morning), and I've been flat on m back in bed...again! The problem as a voice artist is: no voice... no work. Some days though you just have to take a "sickie" and chill.

At least I had a bit of time to write my blog today!
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In SA, Big Brother has not been watching you for a while.


I see that one of the channels on DStv (can't even tell you its name, but I think it's channel 135) has been showing re-runs of Big Brother Africa 1 which I hosted.

I remember doing the show and being bombarded by people in SA telling me how they DIDN'T watch the show. Whilst it wasn't big in South Africa, 32 million people in the rest of Africa were watching. Those viewership figures were bigger than American Idol. And that's why they're now about to do Big Brother Africa 47 (or a season number near that... and the same amount of hosts!).

I'll always look fondly back on those days of hosting the Big Brothers. From a TV presenting point of view, with 9 live cameras that moved all the time, and unpredictable show outcomes where you had to prepare for any eventuality, it simply didn't get bigger than that. Here's a 2003 BB Africa clip I loaded onto YouTube that's been viewed 120 000 times...