Tuesday, April 13, 2004

[The Sun]

Fiona Yuen was spotted shopping on her own in Times Square over the Easter break, picking up a few items at CitySuper. Her boyfriend was nowhere to be scene and Fiona who is a great cook just bought a few vegetables before hurrying away. When she was approached by a reporter, she seemed a little shocked and when asked why her boyfriend was not with her, she still smiled and said: "He is with some friends somewhere else playing golf. (Why didn't you go with him?) I had to work! I couldn't go with him and even my sister has gone to Shanghai on a trip, so I am particularly lonely!" When asked if she was worried about the job cuts at TVB, she says: "I have read the papers, but the only thing I can do is make sure my own job gets done."


[The Sun]

When Jerry Lamb found out that his work may be frozen by TVB, he seemed rather flippant to start with and even joking about the matter in his radio show, but after being called in to see the bosses at TVB, he immediately softened his approach. A two hour meeting was held behind closed doors with artiste department chief Lok Yik Ling and Jerry emerged appearing to be a lot more obedient as he described himself as the 'naughty student who has seen the disciplinary master' and admitting he had misunderstood the company's policies: "The company explained how they calculate show fees and I explained why I said what I did. I now understand that the company wants to take away the extremes in pay between its staff. (Will you be frozen?) They didn't say how I would be disciplined, but there will be suitable action taken that I don't know what it is yet."

Jerry continued his patching up saying: "The company did not have to discuss it with me, they could have just sacked me, but now I understand that the company is respecting and looking out for me. (Why did you react so strongly in the beginning?) I renewed my contract at the end of March and I was not aware of the new policies taking place in April. I have to support my wife and children, so I have to protect myself. Talking so openly about the '0.1' was wrong, everyone who appears gets at least 0.5 of a show." When Jerry's wife Lily Hong was asked for her reaction, she said: "After reducing the shows, his income has reduced drastically and no matter what I will support my husband. (Are you afraid that his actions will affect you?) If it does, then you will know what the company is like."

Afterwards, Ms Lok was asked how they will be dealing with Jerry's case and she says: "The discussions this time were very contstructive and it was a misunderstanding on his part that he has admitted. However, the company finds his public criticisms rather unsuitable an we have issued him with a verbal warning. (Will you be freezing his work?) It is not as serious as freezing him, but we will be reconsidering his work in the future. (Will he still be hosting Jade Solid Gold?) Yes, he has already received notice for this."


[The Sun]

Priscilla Ku has recently returned from Jinsu where she went with her husband Chan Si Wai and her son on a charity visit. Talking on a radio show yesterday, she told of how much she had gained from the visit and how her husband and son had broken new limits in life! She says: "Our visit exposed us to a completely different way of life for the people there and my husband broke three boundaries in his life: firstly not washing his hair, secondly not brushing his teeth and thirdly going to the toilet in the open. My son did the same as well, but nearly fell over, but he says that he has never tried this in Hong Kong."

Of the family of three, Priscilla believes that her son gained the most because he has been used to the easy life since he was young and this trip to the mainland has not only given him the chance to climb a mountain, but also brought him together with a local lady. Priscilla says: "He usually does little exercise, but this time he managed to cross a mountain and also met a girl there who he is writing to."


[Ta Kung Pao & Oriental Daily]

A joint Hong Kong and Japanese movie production starring Timmy Hung and Carlo Ng premiered earlier and as well as the two male leads, other friends from the industry including Bernice Liu, Michael Tong, Frankie Lam, Kenix Kwok and Wang Yong appeared to support them. The movie will be released in Japan at the end of the month and Japanese TV company NHK have sent a camera crew to cover the promotional activities, hiring an open top bus for an event in Causeway bay where sumo wrestlers arm wrestled with the public, winning cash prizes.

Timmy reveals that there is currently another Japanese film company that wishes to recruit him as screenwriter and actor, but this time it is not a comedy, instead it is a film about Japanese culture. Talking of why his father Samo Hung is not present at the premiere to support him, Timmy says with an air of disappointment: "He is currently in Shanghai and couldn't make it back in time, but he apologised to me. Although my dad had a guest cameo in the show, we have never worked together before and I long for this chance." Also, Timmy had invited Cathy Tsui to the screening, but she replied earlier saying she was unable to attend due to work commitments.


[Ta Kung Pao]

Sammul Chan crossed the waters to Macau where he took part in a launch promotion for a skincare product. This was also his first autograph session over there where he handed out signed photos to his fans. As Sammul's pilot role in "Triumph in the Skies" was popular, he has gained quite a following in Macau and over a hundred fans congregated to see him, including some very pretty Portuguese girls! Of course Sammul catered to their wishes and signed autographs and posed for photos with them, making his fans very happy indeed. Sammul reveals that as well as filming series this year, he is working hard towards releasing his first album and the launch has been confirmed as July. He is also planning to release his book on gift wrapping at the Hong Kong Book Fair this summer.


L: Kwong Yip Sang R: Tommy Leung Choi Yuen

[Oriental Daily]

With the streamlining of operations at TVB's production department, the chiefs have had to "lose the chariot to protect the generals" as top producers such as "Armed Reaction" Kwong Yip Sang and "Witness to a Prosecution" Siu Hin Fai are forced to hand in their notices.

Kwong Yip Sang appeared for work as usual yesterday as the ratings for last week were released. In response to "Armed Reaction IV" being the only show last week to show a rise, Kwong indicated that this is just due to the "Ending Effect". With regards to the open end to the show giving way to another instalment, Kwong says: "There is no detailed plan to do this and the decision as to whether a sequel will be made is down to the company after considering reviews and ratings. (Will you film it when you are outside?) I will have to see if there are any bosses who will fund it, I don't discount the possibility, after all police shows tend to have a long shelf life." After returning to TVB yesterday, many directors treated him to dinner as a mark of support for him and he laughed that this was like a funeral wake. Many TVB heads believe that the reason for Kwong's departure is down to him not joining the gang culture and to this he says: "Decisions made by commercial enterprises are not as simple as the reports make out. My principles are to ignore other things and I will not change this as a result. If TVB are to be like this, then I do not have the ability to continue here. (Do you feel that there is this culture here?) I am still a TVB person and so am not in a position to say, everyone has their own way of making a living."

Production Dept Manager Tommy Leung Choi Yuen is rumoured to have been 'saved' as a result of this exercise, but was relaxed as he faced the press and emphasised that there is no fear in the production teams: "There is no chaos in the production department and everyone has their own intentions and even their own better plans for the future. Everything is operating as normal and the ratings are rising." In response to the suggestions he is 'in favour', Leung did not seem to evade the subject and replied honestly: "I have always been favoured by the bosses, but I am just working in the same way I have always worked and the most important thing is to produce the goods, maintain quality and do my own job well."


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