Wednesday, April 21, 2004

[Ta Kung Pao - additional pics from Ming Pao]

Among the forty TVB artistes present at yesterday's press conference to support the newly promoted executives were Nancy Sit, Adam Cheng, Ada Choi, Jessica Hsuan, Charmaine Sheh, Sonija Kwok, Anne Heung, Shirley Yeung, Myolie wu, Bernice Liu, Bobby Au-Yeung, Sunny Chan, Nat Chan, Raymond Lam, Steven Ma, Woo Fung, Bosco Wong and Joe Ma.

In a section that signified a joint unity towards their common goals, a gesture of placing a pearl into the TVB logo was made by each artiste and Nancy Sit who likes to make some atmosphere called out the company motto to a round of applause. When it was mentioned that she was stealing the limelight from the absent Liza Wang and Lydia Shum, she smiled and said: "As long as we unite, the most important is working together." She indicates that the company told her she had to attend the event, so she finished her filming early to be there. As for the absence of Liza and Lydia, she says that maybe she was asked due to the popularity of "Virtues of Harmony" attracting more sponsors.

Ada Choi indicated that she has always had confidence in the company and even without yesterday's press conference, she has no worries about the company. She says she would very much like a part in a joint production because she can meet artistes from other places and as well as learning from them, she can make her own breakthroughs. She will later be heading into the mainland and return to TVB to film in July. With the good results at the box office for her film "The Miracle Box", Ada thanks God and says she has not thought about whether she will win any awards for the film.

Sonija Kwok turned up in the sexiest dress of them all and smiled that she was just respecting the event. Even Chan Chi Wan mentioned her outfit on the stage and this made her very happy. Charmaine felt that yesterday's press conference has aided in raising morale and injected some confidence. She says: "My contract is up this year and negotiations are underway. Demands? Of course I would like a pay rise!" Mandy Cho feels that yesterday has boosted morale, but she still has to work hard. She will be signing to TVB management in August and hopes for some success in the future. As for the earlier reports of a Miss HK candidate smoking at the bus station, Mandy says: "She will not get through because she has a bad image."

New head of the artiste department Lok Yik Ling has been the focus of the staffing moves and magazine reports have suggested that she favours Moses Chan and Kevin Cheng and is trying to topple the power of Louis Koo and Jessica Hsuan. To this, Ms Lok reponds: "Louis could not attend because he has work commitments. He has wanted to make a series all along and at the moment we are looking into this." As for suggestions of promoting Kevin, Ms Lok says that the company wants to promote all of the people it signs, especially the male stars because they are more difficult to find. She gives the example of TVB's most recently promoted male stars as they are all very good. She goes on to praise Bosco Wong who has become entangled in some negative press recently, saying he is a good man and has recently signed his life away to the company. After saying this, she dragged Bosco over and said to him: "Be good now! Don't create so much news." Bosco replied a little embarrassed: "I know, I should work hard to repay the company. Thank you Ms Lok." He reveals that he has signed to TVB for eight years.

Also Ms Lok was asked about how she reached the decision on who to invite and she replied that she had to invite some who are being managed by TVB and others who are not filming. As this is not the anniversary, she did not want to invite too many people and therefore Liza and Lydia were left out. She adds that others who weren't invited still turned up, such as Nat Chan and Steven Ma.

Although she is out of favour, Jessica Hsuan was arranged to stand next to the executives in the photocall and it could be seen that she is still important to the company. However, she smiles and replies modestly: "I have been in the industry for eleven years and I am getting old now, so they should respect the elders." She insists that no matter what happens, she will continue working. Earlier she was on vacation so she didn't know what was happening. Now that the company has explained the situation, then everyone is clearer about the company's future and this will definitely help with morale.

As for Kevin's reaction to the suggestions he is being promoted, he says that it was Ms Lok who signed him, but she is not just promoting him and everyone has their opportunities and it is down to the individual to grasp it. Having been in the industry for 11 years, he understands that opportunities don't come around very often, so he will make the most of it.


[Ta Kung Pao & The Sun]

Myolie Wu appeared at a promotion for a credit card yesterday and as well as receiving her fee, was also given a credit card without a limit on it. She was very happy, but she says she has voluntarily placed a five figure limit on the card because she does not like to be out of control with her spending. Myolie says that the interest rate on credit cards is very high and she is afraid of spending more than she has, so she is still using the three credit cards that she has from her student days because she likes the low credit limit on them. However, when she was filming once on location, she went on a spending spree and had to contact her bank for the first and only time to temporarily raise her limit. Her fee for this job was very generous and she has many things she would like to buy, but she would most like to buy a property and improve her living environment, so she will be saving her money in the hope that she can reach her target more quickly.

Also, at the rare occasion of a TVB executive press conference, Myolie was invited to be among the artistes and in response to the suggestion that this was a morale boosting exercise, Myolie says that this was a rare opportunity for the company to communicate with its staff and explain the forthcoming plans, including more development opportunities for the staff. Also some reports are making the situation worse and worse and more and more false, making many people unhappy, so for the executives to step out and put things straight is a good thing. She has a long contract still with TVB and laughs she has signed her life away, but the company is treating her well. Myolie hopes to take part in the forthcoming joint production with China.


[Ta Kung Pao]

Steven Ma was invited earlier to attend an event as a guest of Guangdong Television and was given the title of "2004 Green Community Ambassador". In the past, these events have only had local guests, but they broke tradition this year, inviting Steven to take part and helping him with all the preparations. Two weeks before his performance, the radio station had already been playing all his songs and he was arranged to perform the title song "Blanket" for the show, creating quite an atmosphere as his fans joined in and sang along with him.

Steven said: "This is a new song and I have been filming hard in the mainland, so even though I know all the words, I was still afraid of making a mistake. Luckily, they had arranged a music stand for me, so even if I forgot the words, I could still perform. I would never have thought that the audience would know it better than me, if I had known they would be singing along, then I would not have used the stand." As he has not appeared on the mainland for a while, the audience were eager to catch him and ignored the police barriers as they tried to rush onto the stage and get close to him. Steven became the highlight of the show that almost turned into a Steven Ma mini-concert.

Afterwards, a press interview was arranged and among them was a group of young school reporters. During the questions, one of the children said to Steven seriously: "You have to rest more and look after your revolutionary body." He was shocked and then touched by the words.


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