Top Billing presenter and international model, Janez Vermeiren, has scooped the 2007 Alcohol Killer Mamba Sexiest Man of the Year title. The results of this year’s survey, which saw television personalities dominate, were announced at a glitzy celebrity-studded bash in Sandton on Friday 2 November.
Hosted by Mambaonline.com, South Africa’s largest and most popular gay lifestyle website, the survey – now in its fourth annual edition – saw South Africa’s gay community voting via SMS and online for its favourite local male celebrity.
“I can’t believe I won. I don’t know what I did to deserve this. I really appreciate the support,” said a surprised Vermeiren to the 700-strong crowd at Taboo nightclub after being announced the winner. Vermeiren has appeared in innumerable TV and print ads as well as gracing the Woolworths men’s underwear packaging with his athletically chiselled body. But he’s perhaps best known as one of Top Billing’s sexy DIY handymen.
Egoli actor, Izak Davel, who was recently voted SA’s hottest celebrity by Heat magazine’s readers, was the runner up in the poll. “This is to the fans,” said a grinning Davel, who also attended the Alcohol Killer Mamba Sexiest Man of the Year Party hosted by Swanky, when he took to the stage.
Model, actor and Kyknet presenter Izak Strauss came in third place, followed by SABC 3 continuity presenter Jason Greer in fourth place.
In an exclusive interview with Mambaonline.com, Vermeiren revealed that he is flattered by the attention from his gay fans: “I’m very comfortable with my sexuality; with who I am. I’ve also got a lot of gay friends. I work with a lot of gay people in the modelling industry.”
“Occasionally I’ll have one of my ‘rugga-bugga’ friends rip me off saying ‘oh was that your boyfriend.’ But, you know, I’ve got a diverse group of friends, from conservative people to gay people. It just opens your mind. I think the more people, the more different cultures and ideas and ways of thinking you interact with… it just broadens your mind,” said the green-eyed Belgian-born hunk.
Vermeiren single-handedly garnered almost a fourth of the over 2 500 votes received for the 12 finalists in the month-long survey. In the interview with Mambaonline, he talks about how his jet-setting career has affected his relationships, how he feels about being perceived as a sex symbol, and who he thinks is the sexiest international male celebrity.
To read the full interview click here. A gallery of pictures from the Sexiest Man party can be viewed here.
Previous winners of the poll have included TV presenter and actor Rowan Cloete (2003), SA born supermodel Damien Van Zyl (2004) and soap star and singer Stefan Ludik (2006).