Thursday, February 05, 2004
[Ta Kung Pao, Oriental Daily & The Sun]
After 'Bronze Teeth 2", TVB will be airing "Lady Fan" and on the occasion of Festival of the fifteenth day of the new year (Chinese Lover's Festival), the cast of the show including Jessica Hsuan, Joe Ma, Cindy Au and Suet Nei took part in a joyful promotional event. Even before the event, Shek Sau had lost his beard and then later sticking it to Cindy's face, causing much laughter. After plying the games, the artistes headed off the stage to hand out sweets for a sweetly romantic festival. Jessica also received lucky packets from fans, making her very happy.
Jessica's new home that she bought earlier is currently undergoing decoration work, but last week a man and a woman claimed to be her colleagues and entered the house. Although nothing was stolen, she was very shocked and reported the case to the police. She says: "Although they had registered with security, I didn't know them. (Were they from the press?) I did suspect that, but I haven't seen anything in the magazines, so I don't think they were journalists."
This incident makes Jessica feel that there is a security problem with her new home and although she has mentioned this to the wardens, she will be paying more to ensure that her home is well secured. She says: "I feel that this could have been a planned break in because they want to check the location first before they come back to steal." She indicates that she does not know when she will be moving in and although she will be with her boyfriend, he will not be living there and it is inconvenient. However, she will have her six dogs to keep her company.
Also, Joe Ma does not feel pressure with the airing of his leading role in an ancient drama so soon after "Triumph in the Skies" and says: "With the pull of Jessica, I will relax, but I was a little worried about taking an ancient drama because in the past I have always played a Mongolian character in ancient dramas, but luckily it was okay after watching the clips and I will be appearing in another ancient drama soon where I have to play a top fighter." As well as filming series, Joe will soon be flying out to Holland to guest star in the International Chinese New Talent singing contest and he says: "Singing for me is just a hobby, I have no intentions to move into the music industry, but another route to riches is always better!"
With her birthday on Valentines Day, Michelle Ye took part in the TVB February birthday party yesterday and she hopes the she can spend her birthday party with someone she loves and also revealed that she is currently being pursued by a man whom she likes and they are just starting to get to know each other. When asked if this man has invited her to dinner on Valentines Day, she says with a little hesitation: "He did invite me out, but I have to work on that day, so I don't know if I can go or not and I haven't replied to him yet. Also I am afraid that I will be followed by the press and it wouldn't be good if they spoiled it. He is not from the industry, so maybe we will go out later."
As we enter a new year, there is more bad news in the industry as TVB character actor Yeung Ka Lok has been diagnosed with terminal cancer of the lungs, lymph glands and brain. After three courses of chemotherapy, the tumour is starting to reduce and his illness is under control and with his optimistic character, he is the one comforting his friends.
After finding out about his condition in November last year, Yeung has continued filming and only turned down "Golden Egg of Ap Liu" due to his chemotherapy course. He is currently filming for "Destinies of the Western Chamber". He says that if his body can handle it, he would like to continue working. From the outside, Yeung does not look like he has a terminal condition, so many of his colleagues are unaware of this. When he revealed his story to others, many of his friends could not believe it and became speechless, needing Yeung to comfort them in return. Faced with the demons of illness, Yeung is very optimistic and has not let himself become depressed. He says: "I will treat it like an experience and a challenge, no matter how hard it is, I will face it happily because life and death is not something to worry about, being miserable will not help my condition." Yeung's strength and his attitude to life is an inspiration to the many young people who threaten to take their own lives over minor incidents.
Despite the New Year just having started, news of staff cuts are reported in TVB's productions department as cutbacks mean that the infotainment and drama sections will have redundancies that mean even artistes are facing unemployment as TVB decides not to renew their contracts. Even some long-serving artistes are being axed, including Leung Si Ho and Yu Man Si who will not have contract renewals.
As budgets become tight, the artistes who are not pulling their weight will naturally be cut, but even those who are receiving maximum airtime face the risk of losing their jobs. However, Yu Man Si denies that TVB are not renewing her contract, saying in a telephone interview that she just feels after twenty-two years anchoring TVB's "Good Morning Hong Kong" and "Pleasure and Leisure", it is time for her to retire and spend more time with her husband. She laughs: "My age is no contest for the digital cameras and you can see my wrinkles on the screen now, I think it is time to retire now."
After February, the factual showtime will be axed two nights per week as these are replaced with bought in shows such as "Feel 100%" and "Secrets of the Qing Palace". As a result the cutbacks in this department will lead to redundancies for a number of staff. However, the External Affairs Assistant Managing Director Tsang Sing Ming indicates that he has not had this notice yet and he will decline to comment.
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