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What Year Was Derek Watts Born?


The South African media landscape recently lost one of its most iconic figures, Derek Watts, who passed away on August 22, 2023. Known for his long-standing role as the anchor of Carte Blanche, a popular investigative television show, Watts left an indelible mark on journalism in South Africa. One question that many are asking is, “What year was Derek Watts born?” This blog post aims to answer that question and provide a glimpse into the life and career of this remarkable journalist.

Derek Watts’ Age at the Time of His Passing

Derek Watts passed away on his 75th birthday, which allows us to calculate the year of his birth. Given that he died in 2023 at the age of 75, Derek Watts was born in the year 1948.

Early Life and Upbringing

Born in Hillbrow, Johannesburg, Derek Watts moved to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, when he was just five years old. He spent his formative years in Zimbabwe before returning to South Africa to carve out a career in journalism. Despite facing challenges in his schooling, Watts was determined to make a name for himself in the media industry.

A Storied Career

Watts began his journalism career at a young age. According to his Instagram account, he started co-anchoring Carte Blanche at the age of 16. The show first aired on August 21, 1988, and Watts had been a part of it for 33 years until his passing. His work on Carte Blanche earned him numerous awards and recognitions, both locally and internationally.

Personal Life

Derek Watts was a family man, married to his wife, Belinda, for over 25 years. The couple has two children, Tyrone and Kirsty. Outside of his professional life, Watts was an avid social media user, sharing updates about his work and personal life on platforms like Twitter and Instagram.

Health and Final Days

In 2022, Watts was diagnosed with skin cancer that later metastasized to his lungs. He also contracted severe sepsis. Despite these health challenges, Watts remained active in his career until June 2023, when he stepped away from the camera to focus on his health. He passed away at Milpark Hospital on his 75th birthday.


Derek Watts was born in 1948 and lived a life full of accomplishments and contributions to South African journalism. His passing at the age of 75 marks the end of an era, but his legacy will undoubtedly continue to inspire future generations of journalists.


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