Thursday, December 18, 2003

[Ta Kung Pao]

TVB's new series 'Life Begins at Forty' will be airing as of next Monday and cast members including Alex Fong, Chin Ka Lok, Cheung Chi Kwong, Anne Heung, Shirley Yeung and Claire Yiu all joined in the promotional events in Tsimshatsui yesterday. The three male stars all plied for votes from the audience for the 'Youthful Stylish Men' awards, but in the end the votes were even and it was shared between them all.

Not liking a bustling atmosphere in the past, Alex still took part in the event for the sake of ratings and said: "Actually this slot isn't so good because it is just over the Christmas period, so if the first week breaks 30 points, I will take the producer, director and stars on a trip to Thailand, but just pay for their flights and accommodation. As for food, they will have to pay for a meal each. I provide the soy sauce and they provide the chicken - all very fair!" He also revealed that Chin Ka Lok has just bought an apartment and is rich, so he doesn't need anyone to pay for it.

At the moment, Alex is filming for the film 'Jee Yau Yan' (Free Man) and has three days holiday over Christmas, but as he does not have time to go diving, he will be heading out to Thailand for some sunbathing. Afterwards he will be filming for a Japanese action movie working with Sonny Chiba and Simon Yam. When asked if he can still cope with action films, he laughs: "I am not as good as the old days, because I have reached my youthful middle age." Next March he will be back at TVB repaying his TV series debt.

Anne Heung plays a movie star in the series and she had to learn to smoke for the series, but in the end, the director said she was not realistic enough and deleted the smoking scenes, wasting her efforts. She says that this is the first time that she has smoked and she finds the smell disgusting and it lingers on your hands and mouth for a long time. When asked if her boyfriend smokes, she evaded the question just saying that she does not mind other people smoking and will not use her power to force other people not to smoked. Later she admitted that her boyfriend does smoke, but has cut down now. Is this because of her? She smiles sweetly and says: "Of course! This will make me happier."


[Ta Kung Pao]

Known for his love of joking, Chin Ka Lok demonstrated his humorous side once again at a promotional event yesterday. When the three stars were all presented with 'Youthful Stylish Men' awards, he picked up the award and imitating Roger Kwok at the TVB anniversary and wept: "I have waited seventeen years, thanks to Chun Jer, thanks to Tommy (Leung)." Then he pretended to be Maggie: "I have something to say, don't cut me!" causing fits of laughter from the audience. Afterwards, Ka Lok said that he meant no malice, it was just for a bit of fun. He has had awards in the past, so he knows how they felt.

Talking of Alex Fong revealing his recent acquisition of a new home, he continues to joke: "It is benign. [Play on words - 'lau' in Cantonese means 'apartment' or 'tumour'] Am I planning to get married? Of course not, I tell you when I start dating, so if I was getting married I will tell you as well. The most important factor was that I felt that property prices at the moment are acceptable." Ka Lok adds that in the past he put all his money into racing, but after buying a car for over $600,000 and then selling it for only $100,000 he felt that this was a big waste and it is better to put money into property because it is more cost-effective than renting.

This is Ka Lok's first time as a property owner and his new apartment is about 700 square foot and is near Ekin Cheng's home. He laughs: "I want to go to Ekin's to have dinner and keep an eye on his actions with Gigi." His home is currently being decorated and he has not yet moved in. As for whether he will be living with his family, he says: "It is only 700 sq ft, so I will be living alone. However my ambition is to live with my family, but I have to take things a step at a time."


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