Actor Neels van Jaarsveld is famous for 3 things: “that” Op My Eish brandy advert, playing Ben van Wyk in law drama series Fynskrif, and having a cheeky-but-adorable grin. The normally quiet 41-year-old is on a new TV quest, this time swapping acting for the real-life adventure of searching for romance, with his own reality series, Op My Eish!, which airs Thursdays on kykNET (DStv channel 144) at 20:00.
Don’t expect the typical reality dating show, says Neels. “I'm not going to give away roses like in The Bachelor SA and The Bachelorette SA. I’m not going to be wearing a tailored suit, either. I’m going to be me. What you see is what you get.
Laughs & love
Entries for the reality show took place on social media and some of the comments left Neels laughing. Several women added, “If only I was younger and could enter,” like one user who posted, “Neels… you are a gorgeous old bull, but I'm ready for grandchildren, so I’d rather just watch and support your search from the couch.” And a couple of 20-year-olds were keen to enter too despite the 20-year age gap. “How do they say it, that you're not old, just experienced?” says Neels with a laugh. “I don’t know what to expect, I don’t know who I’ll meet, but I am looking forward to going on interesting adventures with the ladies and romantic dates and seeing where we end up.”
The show’s name is also a laughing matter for Neels, who went viral for his advert with a well-known alcohol brand in which he said “Met eish” (a play on the Afrikaans “Met ys” – “with ice”). “I didn’t want the title to be quirky or cheesy, so I made the proposal with its double meaning and then the production house liked it.”