Nico Panagio (previously known as Nico Panagiotopoulos) is a South African actor and television presenter best known for his role as George Kyriakis on the SABC2 soapie 7de Laan (2001-2006), and as a presenter for the SABC3 magazine show Top Billing.
He was also a co-presenter of the travel series Top Travel, a sister show to Top Billing, both of which are made by Tswelopele Productions.
Nico was born and raised in Pretoria. After matriculation at Pretoria Boys High School, Nico went on to complete his military service in the South African Navy. He was appointed the Captain of his Division and was ranked Able Seaman.
Following five years in the corporate industry as manager of a chemical manufacturing business, Nico decided to return to his chilhood love of drama. He joined the Method Actor’s Training Centre and soon after graduating, started his drama career.
Brief stints on Egoli and Generations preceded what would be the start of a long term contract with the soapie 7de Laan, in which he played businessman George Kyriakis.
He has also performed in various theatre productions around the country.
He soon realised that he had a talent for presenting and started honing his skills as a master of ceremonies. He comperes and guest-speaks for various events ranging from fashion shows and golf days to special occasions and corporate functions.
His corporate clients have included, amongst others: Landrover, ABSA, Volvo, MTN, SAB, Seeff, SABC and many more. He was the Master of Cereomonies for the Miss South Africa pageant in 2006 and performs as MC on a weekly basis.
After five years on "the Laan" he decided to say farewell to George and join the Top Billing team as presenter. Apart from the interesting content and the exotic travel, Top Billing also allows him the freedom to pursue other acting ventures, such as the role of Bruno in SABC3's Erfsondes.
He also played the role of the druglord Mr. Big, in the SABC1 series Zone 14.
In 2008 he played the role of Gabriel 'Bok' Bockelman in the M-Net mini-series Ella Blue, from March to April.
Other than his coroporate education and his training as actor, Nico completed various courses including paramedics, bodyguarding and anti-terrorism, and advanced scuba diving.
He has a brown belt in Karate and has trained as a kick boxer as well as Thai boxer (Muay Thai).
To keep in shape he likes to get outside, so apart from martial arts he likes swimming, mountain biking, horse-riding and playing golf.
He has had the experience of delivering a newborn baby, plays the digeridoo and guitar (for his wife and good friends only) and is very happily married to actress Christi Panagio.
Nico took over from Mark Bayly as host of the M-Net reality competition Survivor South Africa: Santa Carolina, in 2010, beginning with the third season.