The Mr with a Vista
Megan Owen, April 28, 2017

I visited Jonathan Boynton-Lees apartment on a hazy Saturday morning to find out why the hunky Top Billing Presenter is such a fan of Northcliff, what he’s up to professionally and why his balcony is the perfect date spot:

Where did you grow up and how did you come to discover Northcliff? 

I grew up in Northcliff so it’s always been home. In fact, my late gran owned the second house ever built in Northcliff before it was developed. So she and my mom watched the suburb grow from just veld into to what it is today.

Why do you love it? 

Apart from the fact that’s it’s home and I’m very close to my parents, my sister and her kids, I have the most incredible view. On a clear day you can see out to Magaliesburg. I love that it’s close to everything, but once you’re on top of Northcliff hill it feels like you’re in another world.

Tell me about your apartment (what is your favourite feature)?

My apartment is my little sanctuary on the mountain. My favourite feature is definitely the nice big balcony where I can enjoy the view.

How do you like to entertain?

I’m not really home enough to entertain and when I am home I prefer ‘chilling out’. But sundowners or dinner on the balcony is really special.

Favourite thing to do in Joburg on a weekend? 

Spend time with my family

One thing you can’t live without?

To be honest I’m not focused on material ‘things’ so I can’t think of any ‘thing’ I can’t live without.

What did you do before you got into TV? (If you weren’t in TV and presenting, what would you be doing?)

I’ve never done anything else. From as young as I can remember I’ve always wanted to be a performer and tell stories – whether it be in front of or behind the camera.

Jon also enjoys photography and is an ambassador for ‘iPhoneography’. He shared with me this incredible time-lapse picture taken from his bedroom during a Joburg Thunderstorm and another pic taken from his roof – where my vertigo prevented me from going.

Favourite part about your job?

The fact that it’s not a job. It’s basically waking up every day and living my dream.

Worst part of your job?


Coolest person you’ve interviewed?

That’s impossible to say. I’ve travelled the world and shared the screen with the likes of Richard Branson, Michael Bublé, Channing Tatum, Harry Styles, Bruce Willis, Cameron Diaz, Peter Jackson, Emily Blunt, Idris Elba, Kate Upton and Ana Wintour, to name a few.

What are your hobbies?

I have many. I love writing and making movies. I’m busy writing and developing a movie and a series now. Then family, adrenaline sports, charity and conservation work take up most of my time. When I’m not free diving with sharks to create awareness for their conservation ( or chasing the highest bungee jump and other adrenaline fueled adventures, I spend time with the children at Princess Alice Adoption Home and the Reach for a Dream Foundation trying to raise funds.

If you’re leaving Northcliff in an Uber, where are you headed?

The airport.

Favourite Northcliff foodie spot? 

That’s the one thing Northcliff lacks. All the cool foodie spots border Northcliff in Parkhurst and Greenside, etc.

Favourite date spot?

My balcony.

And what girl could resist with that view? 😉 

Jon plans to buy a piece of land nearby where he can build his Northcliff cabin sanctuary and add dogs to his life. Now this is a man who has his priorities in order!

Megan Owen
Megan grew up in Bryanston and left for New York after completing a BA in Law and Politics at Wits. In the States she started working as a Head Hunter and spent her free time traveling extensively and immersing herself in her passions - all things cultural. Megan returned to Bryanston five years ago and has never looked back. She continues to place senior executives around the world, while also running a celebrity booking agency, Actorvate, with her sister, actress Hayley Owen. Megan and Hayley live next door to each other in Bryanston and enjoy soaking up everything the neighborhood and its surrounds have to offer, from food, to fitness, to entertainment, to spa treatments, to nightlife. This blog is designed to share some of the highlights and experiences that this part of Joburg has to offer.

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