Veteran Carte Blanche anchor Derek Watts dead at 74 after losing his battle against cancer.

by Thinus Ferreira

The veteran anchor of Carte Blanche on M-Net (DStv 101), Derek Watts died Tuesday morning surrounded by his family after losing his battle against cancer. He was 74.

Derek Watts who was born on 24 November 1948 died on Tuesday morning after he was diagnosed with skin cancer last year which had since spread to his lungs. He is survived by his wife Belinda and his children Tyrone and Kirsty.

Derek Watts was part of the Combined Artistic Productions show since its inception in 1988 on M-Net and over decades became one of the country’s most respected interviewers and investigative journalists. 

I’m told Sunday night’s episode of Carte Blanche will be dedicated to Derek Watts.

His daughter Kirsty said “we are devastated, he was the most wonderful person we knew”.

“He always thought of other people and yesterday evening he said he would like to thank all the viewers. He appreciated him and loved his work.”

After privately battling cancer since 2022, with the support of his family and specialists, Derek Watts was able to continue presenting Carte Blanche.

In March however, he got a sepsis infection which complicated his cancer treatment. The sepsis led him to collapse and he ended up in hospital having to learn to walk again.

In June, Derek Watts made a taped recording from his Netcare hospital bed in which he revealed his cancer battle to Carte Blanche viewers for the first time and noted that he definitely planned to return to the show when he’s better.

In a statement, Combined Artistic Productions says “It is with profound sadness that we confirm the passing of Carte Blanche anchor and icon, Derek Watts. He passed away peacefully on Tuesday morning surrounded by loved ones”.

“Our heartfelt condolences go out to his wife and children in this time of loss. He will forever hold a special place in the hearts and minds of his Carte Blanche family.”

In a statement, Nomsa Philiso, MultiChoice CEO for general entertainment, says “MultiChoice extends its heartfelt condolences and deepest
sympathies to the family, friends, and loved ones of the late, Derek Watts”.

remember him as a dedicated investigative journalist and a longstanding
presenter of Carte Blanche. His unwavering commitment to his work and his
determination in the face of challenges were truly remarkable.”

“Our thoughts and
prayers are with his family during this difficult time. May they find solace in
the cherished memories they shared and may Derek’s legacy continue to inspire us all.”

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