Tuesday, April 20, 2004

[Sing Pao, The Sun, Oriental Daily & Ta Kung Pao]

TVB sent invitations to attend their "New Mission, New Outlook Press Conference" yesterday and Company Director and General Manager Ho Ding Kwan, General Manager Chan Chi Wan and General Manager Cheng Sin Keung led a group of around forty artistes at the event. However, Liza Wang's name was left off the press call and this raised suspicions as to whether this was caused by her earlier criticisms of the company.

Liza later appeared at the press conference for a forthcoming Ming Oi charity show with Anne Heung and Sammul Chan and she indicated she knew of TVB's 'big event', but she had not received notice to attend, so she does not know what the event was for. When asked if TVB was holding this to try and counteract the fall in morale arising from recent changes in policy, Liza says: "I don't know, don't ask me about these things." As for the explanation from TVB, the artistes present at this event are all contracted artistes or are currently filming new series for TVB. From the event, it could be seen that as well as this year's Miss Hong Kong winners, the artistes being promoted include Frankie Lam, Joe Ma, Moses Chan, Raymond Lam, Marco Ngai, Joyce Tang, Ada Choi, Kenix Kwok, Steven Ma, Nancy Sit, Anne Heung, Sonija Kwok, Jessica Hsuan, Charmaine Sheh and Myolie Wu. Liza and Lydia Shum were not on the list.

In her show, Liza will be performing a Cantonese Opera piece with Hacken Lee. Originally, Liza had prepared some time to rehearse with Hacken, but he says there is no need. For this show, Joey Yung has been to a children's home to visit the children. She says she loves children and she feels that around them, it makes her confidence return. Although she likes kids, Joey says that she will wait until she is at least 35 before she has babies and she is not afraid about being an older mother because of the current scientific breakthroughs.

Sir Run Run Shaw headed back to TVB yesterday for a board meeting and the newly promoted Chan Chi Wan and his wife Fong Yat Wah. As Sir Run Run was spotted in a wheelchair on holiday in Thailand and also that Ms Fong was on her own at the LV 150th Anniversary party, it was rumoured that Sir Run Run was unwell, but he looked well yesterday and chatted to Chan about the recently renovated company facilities. When he was asked by the press if he enjoyed his holidays, Ms Fong replied on his behalf: "It was fun!"

Having been at TVB for seven years, Anne Heung has recently renewed her contract smoothly and has not been affected by the recent staff cuts. Anne says that she is pleased with her offer and when asked if she has had a payrise, she just laughed and did not reply, telling everyone to guess. Although TVB has been cutting the work for its artistes, she has not been affected and she can still enjoy the benefits of her original contract.

As for rumours that Anne has signed with her boyfriend's management company M8, she denies this, saying they are just rumours and she has not thought about this. Although she has been at TVB for many years, she feels that there is still room to progress. She does not feel that with the help of her boyfriend, she will improve her career. She says she keeps her personal life away from her professional life and will not muddle the two; at the moment, she would like to work on MC skills and this gives her a great sense of satisfaction.


[Ta Kung Pao & The Sun]

TVB's new series "Dreams of Colour" will begin airing next week and a group of stars including Myolie Wu, Rain Li, Melissa Ng, Sharon Chan, Lai Lok Yi and Sim Lap Man appeared at a promotion in a shopping centre yesterday and played some fashion related games with the audience to tie in with the series.

Myolie appeared in a new hairstyle and laughed that she is not filming at the moment, so she is taking the time to have a change of image. She feels happy that "Dreams" will soon be aired and she is very surprised to see her own picture in the middle of the promotional posters. Talking of the rather mediocre ratings of TVB series of late, Myolie says that there are many factors that affect the ratings such as the type of show and the holidays, so she doesn't just look at the ratings because the viewers can't just watch one type of show. As for TVB's new policies, she says of the need for a doctor's note for a day off: "I have not heard about this requirement, I think it is just a rumour. Have I taken time off? I remember that I had a very big spot on my chin a long time ago and it couldn't even be covered with make up so I didn't go to work, but in the last few shows I haven't missed any days because I am an ox."

She feels that taking time off will affect other people, but if an artiste is too tired, it will affect their performance. She says: "In the past, I often heard that artistes see the studios as their home, sleeping there and not at home, so this kind of filming schedule is like training for artistes. Take Chow Yun Fat, he has only achieved his current success after the gruelling training of the past."

Myolie also appeared at TVB's executive press conference yesterday and talking of the recent chaos at TVB and whether this is a morale boosting exercise, she says: "I only know that two of the senior managers have been promoted, so we were there to celebrate this, I don't know about anything else."

Rain Li has permed hair in "Dreams of Colour" and had to wear high heeled shoes for the filming. This resulted in her falling in love with her heels and now has a collection of twenty or thirty pairs because wearing heels makes her legs look longer and sexier. However, she has not kept her curly hair because she is superstitious about straight hair bringing her good luck.

Rain has filmed three series so far for TVB: "Lofty Water Verdant Bow", "Dreams of Colour" and "My Master is Wong Fei Hung" and with the first two shows airing not long after completion, she feels she is very fortunate. This is the first time she is singing the theme song and she feels happy that the fans can hear her song every day. After not releasing an album for a while, Rain is currently working hard on recording and needs four more songs. She says: "The plug song will be in Mandarin this time and I will be encoring some Cantonese songs, as well as one or two new ones."

Sharon Chan and Rain were both models to start with and they were often mistaken for each other when they worked as models. It was only when they worked together on this show that people once again realised that they do look very alike. To this, Sharon says it is a good thing because their fans will support both of them. As the producer of "Dreams" felt that they looked alike too, a different image was designed for each of the girls, with Rain looking more fiery and Sharon's look a bit more simple. However Sharon plays a crafty girl and gives her first screen kiss to Kenneth Ma.

Sharon is currently filming for "Wandering Hero Medics" and will be heading out to Africa in June to film on location. After that, she will be filming an ancient drama, so she will not be in Hong Kong for most of the next six months and laughs she will have a chance to save some money: "Working at TVB has meant I have little chance to spend money, the most is on transport, so it is particularly easy to save money."


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