Cliff chases new financial venture

Gareth Cliff resigns from 'Idols' SA after 11 seasons Picture: garethcliff.com.
Gareth Cliff resigns from ‘Idols’ SA Picture: garethcliff.com.

Saying his plate is pretty full at the moment, Gareth Cliff announced his resignation from Idols South Africa yesterday.

After sitting behind an odd desk judging the country’s singing hopefuls since 2005, Cliff is venturing into the financial industry.

“Today [yesterday] I’m in Cape Town launching a new investment product which will ‘uberize’ the stock market,” he said.

“Cliffcentral.com is thriving and TouchCentral.fm is turning three months old. I’ve also got a book coming out on November 28.

“I think you have to make space for new things to come into your life or you’ll end up doing the same things over and over.”

According to Cliff, #Invest will allow anyone to invest in JSE-listed companies from as little as R100.

“It will be managed by Anthea Gardener, of Cartesian Capital, and will allow our audience and community to have some skin in the game when it comes to the markets, the economy and the formerly elite share portfolio,” he said.

The 39-year-old joined Idols in its third season alongside judges Randall Abrahams, Dave Thompson and Marah Louw.

In the latest season, he and Abrahams were joined by Unathi Msengana and Somizi Mhlongo.

But it has not been all plain sailing for Cliff at Idols.

In January, M-Net announced that he had been fired from the show.

This was due to comments he made on Twitter about estate agent Penny Sparrow, saying “people really don’t understand free speech at all”.

But after a gruelling court battle with the channel, where Cliff demanded R25-million for wrongful dismissal, he was reinstated, with MNet ordered to pay costs.

“I don’t hold on to bad things [but] I certainly think January . . . could have been handled better.

“It’s been a great season despite that. I’ve enjoyed the evolution of the show, the chemistry between the judges, and the . . . singers,” Cliff said.

“Arranging for the top four Idols to meet former American Idol judge Harry Connick Jr [on his show Harry in New York] was a great way to end on a high.”

M-Net said: “We are grateful for his contribution to the show over the last 11 seasons and we wish him well with his future endeavours.”

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