Ian von Memerty is a Zimbabwean-born South African entertainer, actor, singer, musician, writer, director and television presenter best known for co-hosting (with Sandy Ngema) the SABC2 reality dance competition Strictly Come Dancing (2006-2008) and as a judge on SA's Got Talent, from 2009-2012.
He is also known for conceptualising and performing in the two-man piano show A Handful of Keys, which celebrates its 1000th performance in August 2009, having played to over 300,000 people.
Born in Harare, Zimbabwe his performance career began in the '80s and included directing titles such as The Rocky Horror Show, Umoja, Fiela's Child and Grease.
He has received 15 national theatre awards, been nominated a further 17 times, (and has no degree).
As a stage performer he has won numerous nominations and awards for his work in A Handful of Keys, Six of the Best, Crazy for You, Captain Entertainment, Big Band Blast, Femme Fatale and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
He has showcased his talents as pianist, singer, dancer, comic and actor starring in Celebration, Camelot, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Return to the Forbidden Planet, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Viva Sun City, among others.
As a stage director he has directed Grease, The Rocky Horror Show and Buddy for The Barnyard Theatre Group. He also wrote and directed Umoja – the Spirit of Togetherness for its original successful international tour.
As a compiler/writer/director he created the award-winning Cadenza series for Rory Roootenberg, Rock-a-Tutu for SA Ballet Theatre, Big Band Blast, Two Thin Men Sing and numerous shows for the Barnyard including Broadway Rocks, Hollywood Rocks, Rock Me Amadeus, Roll Over Beethoven and Glory Days.
He has written score and script for three original stage musicals Fiela's Child, Jump for Joy and The Heart is Round.
He has directed numerous corporate theatre pieces for every size of production from two-hander industrial theatre to large productions such as No Talent Unwasted for the 2008 Fancourt Ball, The People of the Dew for the Enthronement of the Bafokeng king, and Madiba's 85th Birthday Celebration.
Despite not working regularly on television he has hosted two long-running, successful shows: Muzik a la Carte and five seasons of Strictly Come Dancing.
He has been married to Vivienne Lawrence since 21 February, 2000. They have two children, Oscar and Kasvia. He and his family live in a small cottage in a forest outside Port Elizabeth.
Ian is one of the judges of the SABC2 reality competition SA's Got Talent, based on the British "Got Talent" format, since October 2009.
The TVSA Interview: Ian von Memerty