This festive season, the M-Net Channels have decorated their schedules with plenty of sparkling entertainment. Among the additions to the line-up are two fresh local music shows, designed to bring joy and a little more magic to homes across South Africa on Christmas and on the first day of the New Year.
On December 25 at 17h30 the tuxedo-ed trio of Swing City – acclaimed musicians Loyiso Bala, Graeme Watkins and Nathan Ro – will celebrate special times with M-Net 101 viewers in the first of a series of shows, called M-Net & Friends, filmed at the State Theatre in Pretoria. While the trio will belt out the biggest holiday hits, plus some of the classics of the swing era, they will also be joined by other well-known musicians they love and admire, including Shoowop Shop (Tamara Dey, Mickhale Jones and Mariechan Luiters), Heinz Winckler, Chiano Sky and the 18-piece Johannesburg Big Band.
The M-Net & Friends Swing City show is packed with laughs, good cheer, trumpets, trombones and saxophones - and of course, music from Swing City’s new album Well Swung! Fans should look out for a moving version of SomerKersfees by Heinz, as well as a cheeky rendition of Santa Baby by the ravishing Chiano Sky. Meanwhile Loyiso Bala’s effortless Thula Thula will touch many hearts.
On January 1, same time same place, the Parlotones will blast off the New Year with the their powerhouse M-Net & Friends special. Featuring guests such as the talented string quartet, The Muses, Vusi Mahlasela and Khuli Chana, backed by Ghanaian heavyweight Sarkodie, the show also sees inimitable Afrikaans rapper Jack Parow swap hats and share the stage with Kahn (cleverly dubbed The Parowtones). In addition, musical genius Dan Patlansky shows just why he’s been named one of the world’s best guitarists, while The Voice SAseason one winner Richard Stirton will join his mentor and coach on stage, too. Along the way, host Kahn’s chit-chats with his guests will also allow fans to get to know the stars a little better.
“M-Net commissioned these music specials as a special gift to our viewers”, says M-Net’s Head of Publicity, Lani Lombard. “At the same time, it allows us to shine the spotlight on incredible South African talent. Furthermore, we’ve really pulled out all the stops this festive season to provide the best entertainment possible.”
Apart from the M-Net & Friends music specials, there’s also the M-Net Inspire pop-up channel (channel 109 on DStv Premium and Compact), featuring movies and programmes that celebrate the triumphs of the human spirit. And, for everyone young at heart, M-Net Movies Smile, channel 105 on DStv Premium) has created Animania- a feast of animated movies for 18 hours per day.
The December 25 line-up for Animania includes the South African film Khumba, Pooh’s Heffalump Movie, Astro Boy, Strange Magic, Big Hero6, Tarzan and Shrek 2. On M-Net Inspire, viewers can watch the inspiring true story Faith Like Potatoes, Summertime Christmas, Rocky and Chef, among others.
With M-Net’s new Super Sunday movie offering, Dstv Premium viewers can now also choose between three different premiere films on Sunday nights. This Christmas, M-Net 101 will screen the hilarious holiday romcom, Love The Coopers, while M-Net Movies Premierechannel 104 will be airing the acclaimed sports drama, Concussion.
For connoisseurs, the world cinema option on M-Net Edge Channel 102 is Saint Laurent, the foreign-language film exploring the life of designer, Yves Saint Laurent.