Thursday, December 18, 2003

[Sing Pao]

After a thirteen year marathon of love, Nick Cheung and Esther Kwan have finally tied the knot on 8th December in Australia and arrived back in Hong Kong on Wednesday evening. As they walked out from the gates at the airport, they were smiling all the way and the envy of everyone around as they brought back some happiness to the rather troubled year that the entertainment industry has suffered this year in Hong Kong.

As the newlyweds returned to Hong Kong, they held hands tightly as they walked out from customs and happily showed off their wedding rings worn on chains at the request of the press. Although they only had two pieces of luggage, they stayed over there for over ten days and Nick indicated that everything was done very simply. They had a basic wedding ceremony that pronounced them husband and wife. When asked how many tables they had at the banquet, the two laughed "Four tables!" [Play on words - in Cantonese this sounds the same as 'Rushing around'.] They just had a small celebration for their close family and friends as they wanted to keep a low profile, thus their holiday wedding and then saving the announcement until they returned to Hong Kong.

Nick explained: "This was because some media can do it and some can't (international coverage), so even in Australia we went somewhere where there are few Chinese people." He says that in a place away from Chinese people, they feel more comfortable and free without having to worry all the time and he laughs that they were a bit like the Iraqi president, having to hide away. Nick says that they will not be having a wedding banquet in Hong Kong and jokes: "We'll wait until the children get older first."

When Nick was asked whether the trip also counted as his honeymoon, he says that they both love travelling, so when they have time, they will go away again. Bride Esther says that when she signed the papers, she was very emotional and teary whereas Nick says of himself as 'The one who has given the most feelings into it, so he wasn't as excitable.' Also the groom did not propose properly because the decision to get married just developed over time.

When asked whether they would be 'making babies' soon, Nick says that although they both love kids, they still need to plan first. Also with earlier reports that the couple will be moving into a new love nest after returning to Hong Kong, Nick says: "Everyone says we've bought a new home, but we are still living in the old place. (Are you getting married because you are expecting a baby?) If that was the case, I would tell the truth, because this is a normal path of life and doesn't need to be hidden because you would know after a few months anyway. (How will you be looking after your wife?) Ha, I don't really need to look after her, she doesn't spend too much money!"


[Sing Pao]

Busy with his second Mandarin album, Steven Ma spent nine days touring and resting in Beijing. This trip has been packed with events as he visited many famous hotpot restaurants and tried a lot of tasty foods. With his love of jade, he has also visited many jade and stone stores and bought some jades that he fell in love with.

As well as eating and leisure, Steven also had the chance to meet with his childhood idols - the five times Chinese champions volleyball team. It turns out that Steven was a sports enthusiast when he was at school and was a member of his school volleyball team, so when his friends offered to introduce him to these Chinese modest champions, Steven was very excited and touched. As they visited the National Training Stadium, Chen Yaqiong also offered him some tips on the game herself as Steven felt honoured to be able to play inside the stadium reserved for only the best of China's athletes.

Talking of the Gymnastics Prince Li Ning, Steven has nothing but admiration as he has always been Steven's idol. Although Li has retired for many years and is busy with his business, he has still opened a sports training school to develop and nurture future sports stars of China. As for the determination that Li has put into both his business ventures and his sport, Steven feels that he has much to learn from him.


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