"Top Billing" magazine is a magazine version of the popular South African lifestyle show of the same name. It features articles on fashion, celebrities, interior design, food and travel. The magazine also features local and international entertainment news. A diverse range of topics and choice of articles ensure that "Top Billing" Magazine caters for a vast reader audience.
The origins of "Top Billing"
The editor Daniel Ford, who was previously launch editor of South Afican GQ, describes "Top Billing" magazine as, "tak[ing] inspiration from the show, celebrating our country's unique place in the world, enjoying everything the world has to offer – at all times through the eyes of South Africans." The magazine is based on the popular lifestyle television show, and features similar content to that of the programme. The show is the longest running of its kind, first broadcast in 1996. Its popularity led to the launch of the "Top Billing" magazine in 2004.
"Top Billing" Magazine includes features on beauty, fashion, décor, celebrity and exotic travel. Articles such as "Furry boot warmers in a flash" and "Natasha Barnard, the new face of Wonderbra, talks trends!" cater for the fashionistas and glamour gurus of South Africa. Alternatively, interviews with top film and music stars such as Keira Knightly and Jennifer Lopez also line the pages of "Top Billing." Additionally, the magazine features car, hotel and holiday destination reviews for keen travellers and consumers.
Presenters, writers and editors
The presenters of the television show, Bassie, Michael and Ursula, are also contributors to its magazine. Other talent working on the magazine include art director Ian Martin (former art director at Hunt Lascaris), assistant editor Kerry Rogers (Marie Claire), décor editor Natalie Thiart, (former assistant editor of House & Garden), fashion editor Cally Palmer, (freelance stylist GQ, Maxim and FHM). The contributing editors include trends editor Stefania Johnson and features editor Bianca Resnekov.
Like the television show, "Top Billing" magazine has experienced mixed reviews. Before its launch there were a number of differing opinions. On Bizcommunity.com, reader Victoria commented that "the life and times of Michael, Ursula and Bassie are simply not interesting enough to warrant a magazine." On the other hand, Mokganyetsi Kgokolo felt that "the magazine will be an excellent replacement for the TV shows missed [by viewers]." Overall, "Top Billing" magazine has received positive feedback and continues to supply readers with up-to-date, informative and interesting lifestyle news and ideas.