Monday, December 22, 2003

[Sing Pao]

"Virtues of Harmony" was originally TVB's steady ratings winner, but with the overall drop in ratings last week, the show's results fell by four points. Maybe it is for this reason, that the show has added some explosive scenes to attract the viewers again, so the slow moving romance between the show's Chris and Joey will have a more exciting scene as the two kiss goodbye at the airport.

On Sunday night, Frankie Lam and Bernice Liu were filming this airport kiss scene for "Virtues of Harmony". The story tells that Joey and Chris have a misunderstanding and she has to return to England to continue her studies, but Chris rushes to the airport and gives Joey a goodbye kiss. The scene needed two takes for completion. Frankie indicates that he had already told fiancee Kenix Kwok but it wasn't to notify her in advance really. Has he done his hygiene preparations before the kiss scene? He says he doesn't smoke and it was just a light kiss, so he didn't really need to prepare. However when the reporters told Frankie that this was Bernice's first screen kiss, he responded quite nervously and said: "Oh? Does that mean we will get a surprise inspection from Hawick Lau?"

Bernice reveals that of course she has kissed for real before, but this was her first kiss in front of the camera. As Frankie had a bit of a cough at the time, she pretended to be scared that Frankie might have an infection. She had chewed gum beforehand and also gave some to Frankie and she had also asked Hawick for advice about kiss scenes. She also laughed that if she was filming a kissing scene with Tom Cruise, then ten takes would be no problem for her!

After the first and second takes, there was supposed to be a long shot where they could just position the camera angle and didn't have to kiss for real, but when the director asked them to do it again, Bernice called out: "You must be joking!" so loudly that even the furthest cameraman could hear and caused a lot of laughs from everyone.


[Sing Pao & Ta Kung Pao]


Flora Chan was pleased with the final weeks ratings of "Triumph in the Skies" finishing on an average of 34 points and peaking at 36. She indicates that both she and Joe Ma were expecting this result, but Francis Ng guessed incorrectly and he has to pay for dinner. The last episode of "Triumph" aired on Saturday and with the announcement of the ratings for last week, the finale gained 34 points, peaking at 36 points. This means that 2.3 million viewers tuned in to watch the happy ending between Francis and Myolie Wu. Comparing this with the usual ratings for a Saturday night, it is very good because it is a rise of 11 points, but the average for Monday to Friday only averaged at 32 points, peaking at 34 points, one down on last week.

As well as a fall for "Triumph". the three prime time slots' ratings also fell last week. The hardest hit was "Bronze Teeth II" that fell by 7 points to 27, peaking at 31. Maybe this was down to it following the success of "Point of No Return", but it also let to a fall in the ratings for "Virtues of Harmony" by four points to average 29, peak 31.

Flora was taking part in the final grand prize draw for the "Triumph" promotion as she pulled out the name of a lucky winner of four business class return tickets from Hong Kong to London, worth over $200,000. When Flora was asked if she was pleased with the ratings of 34, she said: "I am pleased with it, it is about right and Joe Ma and I guessed correctly, because we have a steady group of viewers. However, those who guessed wrongly have to pay for dinner, like Francis and the producer. In truth, we have all gained in friendship through making this show and we often get together for dinner, like the night of the finale, we all joined together to have dinner and watch it as we did our own version of it."

Recently Flora has received emails from her fans, saying they are unhappy to see reports linking her with Tang Tak Hei and her manager. Although the fans know that this is not tru, she says: "The fans feel angry for me and I will comfort them, telling them not to be unhappy." However, Flora hopes that these writers can be more professional and not slander people.

Flora will be appearing on stage on the East Coast of America at Chinese New Year and her family will be there to support her especially.


[The Sun]

Lydia Shum's daughter Joyce Cheng returned to Hong Kong to spend the holidays with her mother and as she wore a hugging t-shirt and beamed with confidence after her successful slimming regime, Lydia called out: "My precious!" when she saw her daughter's new pointy chinned look as many passers-by praised her slimmed beauty.

Joyce was sponsored for her slimming by a slimming company and when she last left for Vancouver, she had already lost 60 lbs and when she returned together with her personal nutritionist, slimming company boss Shirley Cheung had sent a representative and a photographer to catch her as she confidently strolled out in a pink t-shirt revealing her youthful curves. As well as a noticibly pointy chin, she has also reduced in clothes size by two sizes.

Having lost a total of 70 lbs, Joyce was light footed as she walked out into the airport terminal and she happily faced the pres as they praised her as slim and pretty. She smiled and replied: "Thanks! (Has your mum come to pick you up?) I don't know! (Will you be continuing your slimming regime?) I should be."

As for whether she has prepared a present for her mother, Joyce sneakily gestured "Shhh!" and said: "I can't say yet, you will know nearer the time!" After this she had to take a call on her phone and then hurried towards the car park. It turned out that Lydia was waiting in the car and when she saw her daughter, she called out to her as they gave each other a huge hug and kiss. A happy Lydia led her daughter away and many people passing praised Joyce, saying: "Wow! Is that really Yan Yee? She has lost a lot of weight!" Others even said: "Wow, so much prettier. Completely different from before!"


[Ta Kung Pao]

Winnie Yeung, John Chiang, Rain Li, Sammul Chan, Angela Tong and Cerina De Graca were among the cast members at the blessing ceremony for new series "My Master is Wong Fei Hung" and later the filming will be moving to location in Wuxi. After having been married this year, Winnie Yeung will be spending their first Chinese New Year away from her husband, but she says that her husband will be visiting her at the time, but she feels bad at not being able to spend the time with her father and mother-in-law, but she is lucky that they understand. When Winnie was asked whether she has warned her husband not to play around whilst she is away, she says that she has already made arrangements for him with their friends, so he will not be lonely. It turns out that her husband likes to watch Wong Fei Hung shows, so not only has he given his approval to her to make this series, he has even been helping her with her lines. She also praises her husband's acting talent, saying he is a waste for not being in showbiz.

When asked about having kids, Winnie says that she will decide after filming this series. When asked if she has been using protection, she says that they have not planned yet, so she will be on the safe side. As she has been filming, Winnie believes that their honeymoon will have to be made up for after the Chinese New Year. As this is the first year she will be giving out lucky packets, she says that she has already prepared different types of lucky packets, each containing a different amount.

Rain Li says that she will not be able to bring in the New Year with her family because of the filming. As the weather there will be quite cold and she has to film in the night, Rain is a little worried about her health. As she will be in Hong Kong over Christmas, Rain has prepared some presents to give to her friends. When asked if they will be quite expensive, she says that precious gifts will be saved for her lover, but she has not yet found him. The gift that Rain would like to receive the most from a man is a scarf, because she feels that for a girl to make a scarf for a guy is too common, but for a guy to make a scarf for a girl is rare and if a man can make her a scarf, she will be very touched.

Also, rapidly rising in popularity, Sammul Chan's contract with TVB will end in January, but the company is yet to discuss renewal with him, making him rather worried that he might have done something wrong. Luckily, his manager has told him that TVB have since contacted him to renew his contract and the salary and contract length have both increased, so he is pleased about this. He hopes that as well as making series next year, he can fulfil his wish to release a record.


[Ta Kung Pao]

This year's Miss Chinese International pageant will be taking place in Hong Kong on January 17th and including Hong Kong, there will be a total of 21 cities who have representatives, with Frankfurt among them taking part for the first time. The contestants will be arriving in Hong Kong on 27th of this year and will be appearing in Macau for some New Year's Eve events before heading to Dalian for location filming.

TVB held a press conference yesterday for the pageant and Hong Kong representative Mandy Cho had some support from her fellow Miss Hong Kong winners as Rabee'a Yeung presented her with a set of rose petals and scented candles for her to use in the spa to relax whilst she is away filming. Priscilla Chik offered nectar and tea for refreshment and 'Miss Photogenic' Selena Li gave her a hot water bottle for warmth. The organisers also gave her a huge greetings card in the hope she will being glory to Hong Kong.

Mandy is now actively preparing for the talent section, where she will be demonstrating Taijiquan that she is learning from Li Hui. When it was mentioned that last year's Hong Kong representative gained second place, she was asked if she had confidence in winning this year. She admits she is confident, but it will all depend on her performance on the night and the tastes of the judges. Although the other contestants will not be arriving until the end of the month, she has already seen their pictures on the internet and feels that the Toronto representative is outstanding. She says: "I feel that the pressure this time is greater than with Miss Hong Kong, because at that contest, I was just representing me. This time I am representing Hong Kong, but I am still quite relaxed at the moment. Will I have a local advantage? I believe that TVB will be fair to all the contestants, otherwise even if I won, I wouldn't be happy."

Also, pageant producer Lam Ka Wing indicates that this year's stage design and the contestant's costumes will be based around flowers and to tie in with the "Sporting City" title of Dalian, they will be holding a sporting training camp, including cycling, soccer, swimming and golf. The guests for location filming will be Miriam Yeung and Leo Ku and the guests on the night of the show will be Cecilia Cheung, Jordan Chan and Andy Hui, but the format is yet to be decided. There will be a refreshing surprise in terms of the MC's.


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