Wednesday, November 19, 2003

TVB Anniversary Celebrations Coverage

[Summary of reports from Sing Pao, Ta Kung Pao & Ming Pao with journalistic licence from Em]

TVB's 36th Anniversary Gala Extravaganza took place yesterday evening at the newly opened TVB City in Tseung Kwan O and despite the drizzles throughout the day, the heavens took pity and stopped raining just for the outdoor opening ceremony as luck was on TVB's side. Chairman Sir Run Run Shaw led the lighting up ceremony with some artistes and opened a song and dance spectacular to start the celebrations to cheers of TVB's motto for this year: "The city unites in focus to do our very best!"

The MC's for the evening: Lydia Shum, Liza Wang, Carol Cheng, Priscilla Koo, Eric Tsang, Natalis Chan, Tang Chi Fung and Shek Sau led the show in dazzling the audience with their richly adorned outfits. The ladies with their display of beautiful and elegant jewellery and the men continuing the feeling of exuberance with their designer coats.

With the most anticipated awards ceremonies of recent years, the big winners on the night were Roger Kwok and Maggie Cheung who emerged as hot favourites to take the Favourite Male and Female Lead Role awards. As the award was announced for Roger, he jumped up in shock in his seat and after receiving his award, he said as his eyes welled up with tears: "Thank you to my family, if they had not given me a happy childhood, I would not have been able to convey Ah Wong so well. After 17 years in showbiz I thank everyone who has ever supported me, I must thank the ever careful Jan Jer (Catherine Tsang) and for always giving me opportunities, even when people didn't believe I could do it, but he would still give me the chance: Leung Ka Shu (Tommy Leung)." Afterwards, Flora Chan who had presented the award hugged him hard as they both burst into tears. Having forgotten to thank his girlfriend, Roger later explained that he had prepared an long acceptance speech to thank many many people, but his mind went blank when he heard the result. He will definitely thank his girlfriend later.

When Maggie Cheung was announced as the winner of the female award, she called out: "Yes!" and didn't notice Jessica who was beside her and ready to congratulate her. Maggie was very tearful and was so emotional that she was unable to talk, but she continued: "Don't cut me! I want to carry on talking. As a female actor and to be able to achieve an award, it makes me very proud. I will tell myself not to cry, I have wanted this award for so long. Thank you, Sam! (Sam Chan)" Later, Maggie said that when she first left TVB management, it was Sam who became her manager and helped her to find her new direction and work harder. Although the two are no longer lovers, Maggie reveals that he has reached a much greater status now. She also adds that she did not see Jessica because she was so excited that everything just became a blur.

During the presentation of the top awards, the top five nominees had to undergo a test from the MC's where they had to do a short act with Carol Cheng. Francis Ng caused some laughs when he was asked to show 'arrogance' in his demonstration, but he said to Carol Cheng: "As a man by your side, I daren't be arrogant!" The female nominees had to talk about what they had sacrificed for their art and Maggie said that she had sacrificed her dating time as she gave up her relationship for her career. Jessica, Flora and Charmaine all mentioned that they had sacrificed their sleep and time with their families and homes.

Jessica Hsuan lost out to her close rival Maggie for the female lead award, but was happy in being awarded the "Best Partnership" together with Roger for their co-operation in "Square Pegs". The awards for the Most Improved artistes went unexpectedly to Raymond Lam and Tavia Yeung and not the heavily tipped Bosco Wong and Bernice Liu. Raymond lost out on the award last year to Moses Chan, but finally made it this year. The new awards for Favourite Character actors were given to Paul Chun and Sheren Teng and the ultimate award for TVB recognition "Million Stars award for Artistic Achievement" was presented to Woo Fung for his many years of artistic contribution.

As for the awards for My Favourite TV Characters, the original ten awards were increased to twelve. With suggestions that the two were added especially for Francis Ng and Julian Cheung, producer Lam Ka Wing explained: "There were 12 awards in the past! TVB is not about 'Top 10' but recognising the achievements of the artistes." This was the first television award that Francis Ng has received and had special meaning as well as coming as a great surprise for him, especially as his series has only been airing for a few weeks. Steven Ma was rather clumsy as he accepted his award with reports he was so excited at winning that he couldn't hold his bladder, but with the live show he had to carry on. This led to some mistakes in his acceptance speech confusing 'Better Halves' with 'Perish in the Name of Love', but he didn't mind as he went away with something. As for Julian Cheung, he is currently filming in Yinchuan but returned especially to join the celebrations, but was shocked to find he had won an award, especially as 'Take My Word For It' was a production from last year.

Although she lost out to Tavia on the 'Most Improved' award, Bernice Liu did not go away empty handed as she won the Lucky Anniversary Competition and took away a seven-seater car worth $236,800 and Poon Fong Fong won an apartment in China worth $600,000. Carrie Lee from this year's Miss Hong Kong pageant won the $100,000 cash prize.

The seven grand variety performances laid on by various teams throughout the evening were judged by veteran actors Chung King Fai, Paul Chun, Suet Nei, Leung Shun Yin and Lau Dan. Eric Tsang and Ronald Cheng's performance as spacemen raised many laughs, but even Eric praising Sir Run Run for being handsome wasn't enough to win him the award as it was won by Nancy Sit and her team who displayed an act entitled "The Longevity of the 'Blue' Mountains."


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