JOHANNESBURG – Gareth Cliff has been trending on Twitter for the wrong reasons once again.
The Sunday Times reported that the media personality admitted in his autobiography that he ‘spiked’ former Idols Judge and colleague Mara Louw’s drink with vodka in 2010, prior to an incident where she was slurring, swearing and appeared confused on air.
At the time Louw was on heavy pain medication which prohibits alcohol.
The incident cost Louw her job and reportedly her reputation as well.
Cliff has neither confirmed nor denied the story at this time.
Cliff has been at the centre of controversy for expressing what some called regressive views with regard to South Africa’s turbulent socio-political climate.
The Cliff Central founder has made several career changes, some more stable than others.
In the same year that Cliff took up a position at M-Net as an Idols judge, he joined SABC’s radio station 5FM and embarked on a journey that was marked by much controversy.
A year into his career as a talk show host with 5FM, Cliff was suspended for 2 days after the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa’s (BCCSA) found that he contravened its code of protecting religious freedom with regard to an interview he conducted with ‘Jesus’ on his show.
He was given his own show on M-Net, the Gareth Cliff Show, which premiered September 2009, but the show only lasted 13 episodes and was not renewed for a second season.
Cliff who was both loved and loathed for his weekday breakfast radio talk show for just over 10 years, was axed from the station along with his entire team.
The media personality said that it was his own decision to leave stating thus “After two suspensions and several close-shaves, dozens of BCCSA complaints and almost as many management changes at the SABC, it’s time to get unhinged.”
He then created his own live streaming website and started his own internet radio show called Cliff Central.
Comedy Central later contracted him, deciding to film the radio show and broadcast the in-studio live sessions on television on a show called the Gareth Cliff Show– the same name as his failed M-net show.
Comedy Central canned the show a month and a half after it was launched, allegedly because the show failed to attract enough viewers.
In early January, M-net
Gareth Cliff and his entire team was fired in 2014 which led him to open Cliff central so I don’t know guys idols was his longest job
— AfroMiaki (@Real_Afromiaki) January 9, 2016 ” target=”_blank”> fired Cliff from his job as Idols judge after he whipped out the “freedom of speech” card while South Africans were frothing at the mouth over former estate agent Penny Sparrow’s racist hate-speech remarks in which she referred to black people monkeys.
Later that month, High Court Judge Caroline Nicholls ordered that M-net reinstate Cliff as Idols judge and to pay the cost of his court application.
Cliff continued in his post for most of 2016 and on 14 November he handed in his resignation.
The former Idols judge is set to release his book later this week.