Wednesday, February 18, 2004

[Ta Kung Pao & The Sun]

Roger Kwok and Jessica Hsuan were invited as guests to a promotion at a certain photographic equipment brand's showroom with the bosses hoping that they will bring a spirit of 'Wong' (fortune) into the store.

Jessica and Gallen Lo are good friends and recent reports suggest that Gallen's forthcoming series "Star Chef" has seen Jessica being recommended as the female lead role. Yesterday, when Jessica was asked to confirm this, she says she has never even heard about this rumour and in fact, she will be with Roger filming in Wuxi in March for new Taiwanese series "Number One in the World". Other co-stars will include Damian Lau and Li Yapeng and filming will last until at least July, so the schedules would clash.

As Jessica's contract with TVB will be expiring in April, she currently still owes TVB one series. As she will soon be filming in the mainland, the contract has been extended to September when she will return to TVB to complete her contractual shows. As for the renewal of her contract, she says she is not worried, because she has been with TVB for over ten years now.

Also, Roger has been filming on the mainland for a few months now and was unable to return to Hong Kong for Christmas and the New Year. However, he made it back for Valentines Day even though he could not have a romantic date with his girlfriend, spending it out with his family instead. When asked if he had bought her a present, Roger says that he has not had time because of his filming, but he will make it up to her. Talking of his external earnings recently, is he saving up to get married? Roger admits his earnings have increased recently, but the first thing he has learned is not to spend it aimlessley and to save for an apartment first. It turns out that he loves the homes in the Mid-levels, but the prices are over $10 million and he has not saved enough yet.


[Ta Kung Pao, The Sun & Oriental Daily]

Frankie Lam, Kenix Kwok and Cutie Mui were among the guests at a charity event yesterday and talking of TVB's 'One Show per Year' contracts, affecting many long serving artistes, Cutie revealed that her contract with TVB will expire at the end of February, but fortunately, the company has offered her a renewal already at the beginning of the month and accepted her requests, making her feel very comfortable. Her request was to be able to do more variety shows in the future. Responding to the story of Leung Si Ho not receiving a renewal, Cutie says she does not know Si Ho very well, but she knows he is a very hardworking artiste and maybe the talks fell through because their respective needs were different. However, as an artiste, you need to be able to take the rough with the smooth.

Soon to be married on 10th March, Frankie indicated that he hopes to be married on a grassy field, however as he is not baptised, he does not want the priest to break tradition in marrying him, so they have decided to hold the wedding in a hotel with the wish for a warming and elegant ceremony that Kenix can re-live in he memories. In response to Frankie's care in arranging this, Kenix can feel it all and she says: "He is truly good to me, this has built up over our nine years together." Actually, Kenix would also like to be married in a field, but with so many guests it would be very difficult to organise.


[Ta Kung Pao]

TVB's subscription channels were officially launched yesterday and exTV directors Mona Fong and Louis Page, together with shareholder representative Lo Chung Ping and Patrick Mayworm led the first broadcast ceremony. TVB's Executive Chairman, Mr Norman Leung and Director and Group General Manager Ho Ding Kwan were also present at the ceremony.

After the event, Ms Fong was asked about the recent wave of redundancies at TVB and indicated that this was a minor event, adding: "exTV has employed a large number of people, but I don't see you mentioning or reporting any of that news."

TVB staff have started a 'Wear Black' campaign in protest of the job cuts and many people are worried that there will be comebacks later on. Mr Ho indicated that there will be no such thing and the company will not stop staff from taking protest action because this is their right under the confirmation of the union. On the 23rd of this month, TVB will be sending three senior executives - Assistant General Manager Chan Wan Chi, Administrative Chief Director Wong Yu Cheung and External Affairs Assistant Chief Director Tsang Sing Ming to hold talks with the staff.

As for Leung Si Ho's earlier fines for not returning his parking permit, Mr Ho indicates that this is company policy and not simply being heartless. In truth every staff member who loses their documentation will be fined because these permits and ID's have related material and administration costs. He hopes that staff members will look after their permits to avoid them being subject to misuse.


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