MARK'S (NOT SO) DAILY BLOG

Mark Pilgrim Kia

All about the skid pan!

Yesterday was one of those really fun days at work. Being the online salesperson for KIA, I get to test drive all the new vehicles and make videos about them. They are then posted on KIA's website (www.kia.co.za).

It started off as a freezing day at Zwartkops Raceway where we set up the cameras on the skid pan:



After spending an hour or so throwing the cars around, doing hand brake turns and other fun stuff, it was back to being an adult again. We rigged a camera up inside the cars and I delivered lines to camera for about 3 hours:



And then the shoot wrapped up with some "driving shots", where Willie our cameraman sat in the boot of a car in front of me and filmed me driving:


The videos of the new Sorento and Cerato should be online in the next 2 months.

And from a shoot to feeling like I've been shot. I woke up this morning with a terrible cold. It's amazing all the remedies people suggest when you're a little snotty. I think I'll stick to good old vitamin C for now. Here's hoping I feel better by tomorrow as I'm on stage with Sir Richard Branson... and would hate to sneeze all over him.




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Lights, Camera, Action... but no birthday candles.

One of the nicest things about my job is that no two days are ever the same. From being on radio, to a TV shoot, to being on stage, it's the variety that keeps it interesting.

Today I'm on a shoot for KIA. For many years I've been their online salesman. If you pop onto their website and want to know more about a vehicle, I'm your virtual tour guide.


Appealing to a wide audience, it was decided that my tattoos should vanish for the day, and with a bit of makeup they disappeared within 20 minutes...


I can't wait to have them "back" at the end of the day.

In-between filming today, I've been playing around with the new new iOS7 iPhone platform. I am not totally sold on it yet, but will probably get used to it over time... as long as my battery lasts.

Speaking of lasting... tomorrow is my birthday!! I don't get much time to celebrate though as it's an early morning flight to Cape Town. I'm on stage at 10am hosting an event for Good Housekeeping Magazine and the Heart & Stroke Foundation of South Africa. After that, I travel to Hermanus because we're doing the KIA Take40sa live from there on Saturday morning! If you're in the area, pop on by and say hi!

Have a good weekend! I've gotta dash back onto set...

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Vehicle Review: 2013 Kia Sorento

As an ambassador for Kia South Africa I get to drive the new models as they come out, which I have to admit is lots of fun.

Ask anyone 5 years ago about Kia and the first word that came to mind was probably "ugly". How that has all changed in the past few years (they have the ex-Audi designer on board). Kia cars have always had excellent safety features. They've always been great value for money. Now, they are sexy too. Even my wife's kugel friends are asking me about the various models, especially the Sportage ... and now the new 2013 Sorento is asked about too. So that's why I thought I would do a blog about this model.

I drove the previous generation Sorento for about 2 years. It was a practical car, but I wouldn't call it luxurious inside. The new model has undergone a radical transformation, and when they came to SA about a month ago I just simply had to have one.

It's not the more sporty exterior look that wowed me (even though it looks a lot sexier than the previous generation), it's what they've done inside that made me fall in love with the car.

And it starts the moment you open the door. It's now gone remote start with no need to insert a key. Simply keep it in your pocket and push the START button. In fact, with a small button on the exterior door handle that detects the proximity of the key, you don't even need to disarm the alarm as you approach it.

The seat has a programmable 2 driver memory and both front seats can heat up or cool down at the push of a button.

The electronic media display is now touchscreen and the reverse camera comes up on the display when putting the car into reverse:

Another impressive feature is the panoramic sunroof which makes the cabin seem even bigger than it already is:
 And there's plenty of legroom for the kids in the back:

If your brood expands rapidly, there are 2 full sized fold-away seats in the rear floorbed, turning the Sorento into a 7 seater vehicle. With the 2 extra seats down, there's enough boot space for a couple of prams. With the main rear seats folded, you could probably put some canoes in the back (I haven't tried it so don't quote me on that!).

It's got all the other bells and whistles too, including: park distance control, bluetooth, an "eco" setting for reduced fuel consumption and even side mirrors that tilt down slightly when in reverse so you can better see the back end of your car (and they also fold away when the car is parked).

Sure, other cars have these luxurious features, but not at the same price.

To be fair, if I have to find fault: the radio still does not have RDS (radio station and song display) and the the "daytime running lights" are really just Christmas lights in the headlamp display cluster that you have to manually switch on if you want them on in the day. That's ALL I could find wrong with the new model to try and balance the good with the bad in the new Sorento.

The  car retails at about R480 000. Would I recommend it to my family if they were in the market for an SUV? You better believe it.
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One of the music industry's nice guys

This morning Kahn from The Parlotones popped into the studio. He's always a pleasure to chat to.

The band is making strides in the States at the moment. Good luck guys!

I picked up my Kia Sorento yesterday. I can't wait to do a review blog of the car next week. I am blown away by how it's evolved since the last model. It's got all the gadgets and gizmos you could ask for, and so much more comfortable than the previous model. Besides, nothing like that new car smell!

Not that I can drive it around much today as I'm home bound looking after my 2 girls. The domestic worker is away and Nicole is at work, so I'm like Tony Danza from Who's the Boss. I'm gonna avoid the vacuum cleaner at all costs though!

We are not going anywhere this long weekend so I'm looking forward to a few days at home with the family (and extended family ... a few lunches on the cards). We have about 17 people coming over for Easter Sunday.

Have a great long weekend and if you're in JHB, I'll be on your radio tomorrow 6-9am.!
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Tonsils & my new Kia!

So after getting tonsillitis what feels like a million times in the last year, we have the green light for the stalactite removal. Tayla-Jean will have her tonsils out next Thursday... one day after her 3rd birthday.

Nicole and I are relieved that she won't be sick as much after the removal, but at the same time a little nervous our girl is going in for an operation. As luck would have it, I have to drive to Polokwane that day for business so I won't be there when she goes in.

At least I will be driving in my new sponsored Kia Sorento which arrived today! I had one in 2010 and last year swapped it out for the Kia Optima sedan, but I'm very happy to have the space again to lug all the girls prams and other bits around! It's a stunning SUV. Thanks Kia!


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The photo I took of an idiot on 2 wheels

Hi and Happy Monday! This is a quick blog as I'm dashing off to shoot a corporate video in Johannesburg and Pretoria today.

I wanted to share this with you though. I've been a motorcyclist for over 25 years, and most of us ride with respect on the road. But you always get those idiots who give the rest of us a bad name.

This guy rode past me yesterday on Grayston Drive in Sandton:


I'm not the kind of guy that says "I hope you have an accident". In fact, quite the opposite. I hope you DON'T have one, because if you do, your head will be crushed like a glass Christmas ornament smashing to the ground.

I don't get it. It's such a selfish thing to do. Not only do you not have respect for yourself, you have no respect for the people that love you and would hate to see you depart from this world. You sir, are an asshole for giving the rest of us bikers a bad name.
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New car & my vomit comet


Kia South Africa launches the new 2013 edition of the Kia Sorento today.

One of the great things about being an ambassador is that I get to experience the new models. I've been driving the Optima sedan for a year (which is an amazing car), but I'm looking forward to having all the boot space of the Sorento again to lug all my kids' goodies around. The boot space of the Sorento is probably 40% bigger than my wife's Audi Q5.

My black Sorento arrives next week. Maybe if I put my hazards on I can tail the Zuma cavalcade of black sedans that go up and down the M1.

Speaking of boot space and kids, I've had so many people asking how Tayla-Jean is doing. Thanks so much for the many messages. All things considered, she is holding up okay.

My little angel still has severe tonsillitis from which she has also developed scarlet fever. Today is day 6 and she has hardly eaten anything since the beginning, because the back of her throat is so raspy and sore.

Last night the specialist extended her anti-biotic treatment to 10 days (this just 2 weeks after she was on drugs for the same infection) and I have no doubt that when she's better in a week or so, we'll schedule to have her tonsils removed. It's her birthday in 3 weeks time so we'll probably do it straight after that.

Last night she reacted violently to the anti-biotics and just moments after I gave it to her threw up all over me. Nicole is so squeamish that she couldn't come in the room, but did have a good laugh when she looked back at the CCTV footage, watching me get it in the face in slow motion. Nice.

So it was left to me to scrub the floor and couch with a bucket and brush. Getting vomited on is a rite of passage as a parent. You've just gotta grin and bare it! At least this time she missed my watch strap (last time her acidity at away at the watch's leather strap and it cost R3000 for a new one!).

Here's hoping my Angel Pie gets better soon.

Finally, on a lighter note. Here's a photo doing the rounds. It's the new way to queue at Home Affairs.


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