Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Preparations for the TVB Anniversary Extravaganza

[Reports from Sing Pao, Ta Kung Pao, Oriental Daily and The Sun and additional pictures from Ming Pao]

The TVB Anniversary takes place tomorrow and the special gala celebration special will be airing at 8pm live from TKO TVB City. The show will be hosted by Masters of Ceremonies Lydia Shum, Liza Wang, Carol Cheng, Priscilla Koo, Eric Tsang, Natalis Chan, Tang Chi Fung and Shek Sau and together with some of the other stars, they took part in a special blessing ceremony to ensure that the show runs smoothly. Among those present were Roger Kwok, Flora Chan, Steven Ma, Charmaine Sheh, Moses Chan, Jessica Hsuan, Bernice Liu and Bowie Lam.

The top five nominees for the 'My Favourite Male Lead' and My Favourite Female Lead' awards were announced as follows:

Male: Roger Kwok, Francis Ng, Kwong Wa, Bobby Au-Yeung and Chilam Cheung
Female: Jessica Hsuan, Charmaine Sheh, Kenix Kwok, Maggie Cheung and Flora Chan

Hot favourite to take the men's award, Roger Kwok was put into a rather embarrassing situation as he was dragged over to the display of golden awards by Flora who will be presenting the award on the night. In a mock presentation, she picked up one of the awards and placed it into his hands saying "Let me present you with this in advance!". To this, Roger replied: "No, wait until tomorrow! Otherwise I'll look really dumb if I don't get it." This caught the attention of MC's Lydia and Nat who ran over to join in the commotion and Lydia called out: "You will get the award!" Flora adds that even if he doesn't win the award, she will still have to read his name out. Lydia later said that she was just joking, but she did watch Roger's performance in 'Square Pegs' and felt that he was very funny and deserves the award. As for the females, she says that they are very evenly matched.

Has Roger prepared an acceptance speech? He laughs: "I will thank Flora! It would be no use if I write an acceptance speech because I would probably forget it all if I went onto the stage." However, he admits that he has become very nervous after seeing the awards and he blames Flora, saying: "At first I was putting my attentions to filming for 'Gak Sai Jui Hung' and not thinking about the awards, but with Flora's insistence on presenting me with the award earlier, she has put some pressure on me now. (If you don't win, what would you do?) I will swallow it hard, but I think the winner would have even more pressure than me!"

Roger's romance with girlfriend Cindy Au has been quite low profile, but they openly put their arms around each other yesterday and seemed very loving. With suggestions that Cindy is good luck for Roger, she admits it saying: "Yes, I bring good fortune to my partner and children! (So when will you be marrying into the Kwok family?) This is up to the man, but I am concetrating on my career at the moment." When Roger was asked if his girlfriend brought him good luck, he laughs: "Of course she is lucky, even the name is 'Ah Wong' (translates as Fortune) so there must be something. (When will you marry Cindy?) We'll think about it in another two or three years, I am still young and getting married needs compromise. My career is just starting to take off and I am sure she wants me to work harder and put more time on improving myself. As for being a father, the best thing is to wait until all my friends have had kids, then we will have plenty of babysitters!"

As well as Roger and Cindy as a couple, there were two other couples there in the form of Gregory Lee and Shirley Yeung and Hawick Lau and Bernice Liu. However the former were more open than the latter, when Hawick was asked for a photo with Bernice, it was down to Bernice to ask him herself and then afterwards she had to thank him. As for Shirley and Gregory, they are just going with the flow and with Shirley up for the 'Most Improved Female' award, she is quite relaxed about it, saying she is happy that there are people who have voted for her.

At each year's celebration, the female stars will be showing off their beauty with sparkling jewellery and this year, Lydia Shum has been sponsored with nine necklaces with a total value of $30 million, including a 30-carat pink square diamond that is worth 15 million on its own. Lydia reveals that she has two outfits to go with the jewels and this is a new experience for her as she has generally worn jade in the past. As for whether she will buy them after the performance, she laughs: "If you see me wearing them next time, you will know if I have bought them!"

When the nominees for the female awards were asked to pose for a photo, they daren't touch the awards to avoid any gossip. Charmaine says: "I didn't touch the awards, but I hope I will get a chance later. I would pick Jessica to win and as for the 'Best Ensemble' award, I would choose Damian Lau and Angie Chiu because they are a really good partnership on the screen. (Aren't you and Chilam good partners?) We took the award in past years."

Jessica also says she did not touch the awards, saying: "I feel no pressure about awards, the biggest pressure on me is actually dancing because I have taken part in many different events in the show, even with the grand draw. I hope I can win the car, because every year the cars that are given out are very lucky. As for awards, they cannot be controlled, so I don't have to worry."

Kenix says the same thing as usual in that she feels that every nominee has done good work and they all stand a chance of winning: "Every year there is a chance and I am still young, there is still next year and the year after that."

It was Deric Wan's birthday today (18th Nov) but girlfriend Sonija Kwok has to work and rehearse before appearing in a stage show in the evening and does not have time to celebrate with him or prepare a present. She smiles: "He will understand, it doesn't matter! The whole station's artistes will be celebrating with him tomorrow. I won't even have time to make it up to him because he will be heading back to Taiwan after the anniversary."

With her recent rise in popularity, Maggie Cheung has been sponsored a set of five pieces of diamond jewellery worth a total of $10 million. The 7-carat diamond ring alone is worth $2.9 million, so it is little wonder that Maggie will have two bodyguards with her to watch over the precious jewels. Maggie is quite relaxed as she says: "I don't need to be afraid with the security officers around, I do admire the beautiful diamonds usually, but I have never bought any."

Maggie has prepared two sexy evening gowns to go with her jewels that have been sponsored by Celine. Among them is a black backless dress worth about $40 - £50,000 and after her successful slimming campaign, she says she has reached the 'ultimate sexiness': "This dress has a diving back that falls as far as my bottom and it will still show my knickers. I am currently asking my model friends how to overcome this problem, but they say they have never worn a dress like that." Maggie points out that there will be precious jewellery and sexy women in the show so you have to tune in and watch out.

Bernice Liu and Bosco Wong will be opening the proceedings for the celebrations by flying in amidst a backdrop of fireworks. As the crew were concerned about the weather affecting this event, they decided to film the first part in advance.

As this was the first time that Bernice had been on wires, she overcame her fear of heights for TVB's special occasion and even though she was very afraid, she stil had to act confident. Bernice said that the time of being hoisted up was not scary, but being suspended in mid-air was very frightening. When it was mentioned that Myolie immediately received the 'Most Improved Artiste' award last year after doing the flying act, does Bernice want to win the award? She says that if there was a 'Most Improved Cantonese' award, then she will definitely win it. She says she doesn't mind whether she gets an award or not because the happiest thing for her is that her mother will be watching her and also the sponsorships that she has received for her outfit and jewellery, so that she can make herself look beautiful.

Bosco Wong was very pleased to have been chosen to do the opening and feels that being suspended by wires is great fun. He has also been nominated for an award, but he says he is not confident, saying that Sammul Chan and Ron Ng have better chances of winning.

As well as being one of the MC's, Eric Tsang will be appearing in a spaceman sketch with Ronald Cheng where he will be suspended in 'zero-gravity' to drink milk and eat noodles. He says that he has been rehearsing today and laughs: "It is hard work and I am just afraid of not being able to hold out and having the blood rush to my brain. Ronald and I aren't working together on the script or communicating and will just be improvising on the night." However, producer Lam Ka Wing has pointed out that Eric and Ronald have been warned about the bottom line to their humour and especially not to undermine the status of National Hero Yang Liwei. As long as everyone is happy, then that is the most important.


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