Following recent press speculation that Michelle Botes
is going to be leaving Isidingo
for a role on Binnelanders
, TVSA can now confirm beyond doubt that this is indeed the case.
TVSA spoke to Genevieve Cutts, who handles Isidingo's publicity, on Monday 6 November, and was told that up until late that afternoon SABC3 was still in negotiations with Botes to try get her to stay.
Late in the day it became official that Botes was leaving.
She will stay with the show for the rest of the year and as from next year will take on an Afrikaans-speaking role in the M-Net medical drama Binnelanders.
Botes is leaving because she needs to "broaden her horizons", according to Cutts. She has played the role of the villainous Cherel de Villiers for years now and felt she had learned all she could from the character.
When asked if Michelle's SAFTA Awards
snub (she controversially lost out on the Best Actress in a Soapie award to fellow cast member Ashley Callie
) had anything to do with her decision to leave Isidingo, Cutts pointed out that a speculative report in the Rapport newspaper on the Monday after the awards made mention that Botes was leaving and that the decision must have been made before that.
There is no replacement character for Cherel yet, but the show's writers have reportedly already found a way to write her out of the series.
After that they will concentrate on writing in a new villain.
According to Botes she isn't tired of playing Cherel - she just needs to stretch herself further.
"I'm not tired of her - not at all," she told the kykNET website. "I've learned more from her as a character than any other.
"It was just time for another direction, and I really want to act in Afrikaans again."
The last time Botes acted in Afrikaans was eight years ago, when she played the role of Santie in Konings.