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An Icon of SA Motorcycling Journalism – Mat Durrans; 1966 – 2024

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

It is with great sadness that we have to announce the passing of renowned South African motorcycling journalist Mat Durrans, who lost a long battle with cancer, while living in, travelling around and working from Europe with his wife Jacqueline.

I worked with Mat for many years, on The Bike Show, and very quickly came to appreciate his deep understanding of motorcycling in all its many forms, not to mention his innate skill behind a keyboard or in front of the camera, both of which he worked hard at; effort that hid a natural ability in both cases.

Image Source: The Bike Show

He was the perfect mentor for someone relatively new to motorcycle journalism – and completely new to TV presenting – and, while he would never shy away from telling you if something you had done was utter rubbish – with justification, it has to be admitted – he was never anything but completely encouraging and willing to let you get on with it once you had proved you could do the job. He was also never above giving praise where it was earned.

Without exception, the seven years I spent working with Mat on The Bike Show were years of huge satisfaction; laughter was never in short supply and everyone who worked on the show had fun, regardless of long hours of seemingly everything going wrong in the pursuit of perfection.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

We had many amazing adventures, none of which would have been possible without the huge body of goodwill and trust Mat had built up in the SA motorcycling industry through sheer hard work. Whether it was in the boom years of that industry when money was in abundance or, later, when the industry was going through a slump and finances were stretched, he never lost an ounce of his professionalism or his deep love of the subject.

Throughout it all, he was unflinchingly supported by Jacqueline, who became an invaluable member of the production team, displaying equal talent to Mat, albeit out of the public eye, working behind the camera and in the editing suite.

Image Source: Jacqueline’s FaceBook

The body of work Mat leaves behind, whether in print or in the medium of television, is a fitting tribute to one who can justifiably be named as one of the giants of SA motorcycling journalism. He will be missed and we send our deepest condolences to Jacqueline and Mat’s family.

Harry Fisher
Harry Fisher
From an early age, Harry was obsessed with anything that moved under its own steam, particularly cars and motorcycles. For reasons of a financial nature, his stable of fine automobiles failed to materialise, at which point he realised that motorcycles were far more affordable and so he started his two wheel career, owning, riding, building and fixing many classic bikes. Then came the day when he converted his love of bikes into a living, writing, filming and talking about them endlessly. The passion for four wheels never left him, however, and he has now converted his writing skills into singing the praises of cars in all their infinite variety. Bikes are still his favourite means of getting around but the car in its modern form is reaching a level of perfection that is hard to resist. And they're warmer in winter....
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