Monday, April 12, 2004

[The Sun]

TV's new young king Ron Ng held a fan gathering with fifty of his fans at a buffet restaurant, but Ron was left hungry as he played games with his fans but he received numerous gifts in return. Treating his fans with care as usual, Ron also handed out a lot of signed posters to them.

The fans were very grateful and in return, they presented him with a large heart shaped card and a hand made Astroboy cushion that made him very happy. Eight fans formed four groups to take part in a singing competition that Ron judged as he listened to them patiently with an absorbed look on his face. In the final part where Ron was available for photos and autographs, he was quickly surrrounded by a crowd that brough the event to a climax. Afterwards, Ron said happily: "I am very happy to see so many fans supporting me. (Which is your favourite present?) The Astroboy cushion, it is very thoughtful. (Are the fans warm enough?) They know that I am not that accustomed to it, so they will stay calm. (When will the next meeting be?) I think it will at my birthday."


[The Sun]

Recent economising measures from TVB have left its staff morale rather low and incurring criticism against the company from its own staff. Jerry Lamb was one of the artistes who openly aired his views to the press and radio station. TVB has always been rather generous to Jerry, offering him hosting jobs in top music show "Jade Solid Gold" and MC roles in the "Super Trio Show" and the Miss Hong Kong pageants, however Jerry's continual criticisms have incurred the wrath of his bosses and reports indicate that they will be reprimanding him severely for bringing down the company's reputation and image, possibly even freezing his work.

When TVB's Artiste Department Chief Miss Lok was asked regarding this, she did not respond directly, just indicating that this matter is currently being dealt with by the appropriate teams and their decision will be announced later. However, Miss Lok says that Jerry's criticism of the company time and time again is unfounded. She says: "From what I know, Jerry requested the 'One Show per year' contract to allow him greater freedom to take outside jobs. In fact he has had much more than just one show per year, take Jade Solid Gold for example and all his MC jobs. TVB has given him a lot of opportunities all along and I don't understand why he is so unhappy with the company. I hope that he can air any views to the relevant department so that they can be addressed and not to external sources. In any case, the issue of the '0.1 show' does not even exist. I will arrange a meeting to gain an understanding as to whether he is very unhappy with the company or if there is another reason."


[Ta Kung Pao]

Evergreen Mak and Joyce Chan took part in a cookery event in a shopping centre and to spend more time with his daughter, Evergreen took her along with him to the show. He says: "My youngest daughter is just one and a half and maybe because I don't have much time to spend with her, so she doesn't take much notice of me. I will soon be heading into the Mainland to film three series and be away for about nine months, so I am making the most of any time I have now wiht my kids."

Talking of TVB's recent staff cuts, is Evergreen worried that he will not have a job when he returns? He says: "One of the shows I am filming on the Mainland is for TVB anyway. As for the job cuts, I have never felt that the company will employ you forever, so whether you live on is down to your value to the company. I will only depend on myself and I am ready to leave whenever the time comes." As for the producers whom he has worked with being dismissed, he feels it is a shame, but he will not worry too much about his position because he is prepared and will accept whatever comes his way. As for depending on himself, Evergreen feels that it is wrong to start protesting over every little thing, he says: "I feel that some people in Hong Kong depend on the government for everything and to be honest, in life even a father will cut the supply to his children if they do not behave. The government has already been very accommodating to the people and Hong Kong people are very fortunate, try thinking of the Iraqis who have nothing! We should not depend on anyone, but work together to make the economy better."

Joyce has been following the news of England soccer star David Beckham, but she says she will not look at an incident from one side and so this news will not affect her impression of Beckham. She says: "Just like Clinton last time, I feel that this is his private life and what is more important is that he is being responsible to his work." Joyce also adds that although she does not really know how to watch soccer, she still admires Beckham and finds him rather dashing. As for whether this story will affect her outlook on men, she says: "I don't think it is related, no matter if a man is good looking or not, he can still be unfaithful and the question is how you deal with it."

Joyce loves to eat desserts, especially birds nest. She says: "Although birds nest is very warming, the herbalist says I have a cool base and should not eat too much, eat it for a month and then skip for a month is just right."


[Oriental Daily]

TVB has been restructuring its internal processes and as well as staff reductions, it is also tightening the disciplinary measures within its artistes, forcing them to arrive at work punctually and controlling break and meal times. If artistes miss even just a day of filming, they need to produce a doctor's note or have the time counted as AwOL.

As many artistes become absorbed in filming, often having to endure many "06 to 28" (6am to 4am) days without sleep in a month, there have been occasions where they have had to take time off to recover, after all they are just human. In the past, as long as the director or assistant director approved it, they were able to spend a day sleeping and be back to work the next day.

However, there have also been instances where artistes have been away for several days and unable to produce a doctor's certificate. Calling off filming with just one call has caused a lot of trouble for the directors and so the new policy has been introduced where a doctors cert is required for even one day off. Those who break the rule will receive warning letters and persistent offenders will have their contracts terminated.

Confirmation was requested from TVB artiste dept chief Ms Lok and she says that TVB has no written rule that you must produced a doctors certificate for one day off sick, because the company recognises that the artistes work hard and she often goes to visit them at work. However, when one person is absent, this can affect the progress of the filming overall and she believes that this request has been made by directors who have to explain this to their superiors.

In response to this new policy, Nancy Sit says she does not mind because she has taken time off twice since filming for "Virtues of Harmony", but she had to go to hospital on both occasions and she would definitely have a doctor's certificate. She says: "For me to miss work it has to be a serious problem, because if I have a cold or a cough, I will still drag myself back to work because missing work has a big effect on everyone else."

Despite having a weak immune system, Shirley Yeung also agrees with the policy as she says: "Usually if I take time off I will go and see the doctor, so it will not be a problem to produce a doctors note, because I am genuinely unwell."


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