Thursday, April 22, 2004

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

TVB held a presentation party yesterday to showcase its preparations for the coverage of the four-yearly Olympic Games that will be held in Athens and begin on 13th August. 130 specially invited guests assembled to hear Sales and Marketing Director Leung Kin Wah explain that the games should bring the company an estimated $400 million in advertising revenue, but due to the sky high costs of broadcasting the event and the additional equipment required, they estimate that they will only just break even.

Coverage of the games will be hosted by Joe Ma, Myolie Wu, Vincent Kuk, Hon Yuk Man and Alex Fong (Lik San). Together with 'Olympic Stars' Raymond Lam, Sammul Chan, Kenneth Ma, Lai Lok Yi and Bosco Wong and the 'Miss Hong Kong' winners Mandy Cho and Rabee'a Priscilla Chik, they all made an appearance at the presentation. Mr Leung indicates that they started selling the event to the advertising sponsors in December and 60% of clients have now struck a deal with the remaining 40% becoming more active as the event draws near and will confirm in July or August. Although ATV will also be broadcasting from the Olympics, Mr Leung says that their target sponsorship is primarily from the mainland and so there is little conflict between the stations. He also indicates that during the Olympic broadcasts, they will not make the same mistakes as the HK Film Awards this year and cut the events to make way for the advertisements. This is because the events run to strict timing and are not as likely to overrun.

Myolie Wu and Mandy Cho appeared at yesterday's event dressed as Grecian ladies and Myolie laughs that she will firstly be sent over to Athens to report on the opening ceremony before returning to Hong Kong to help host the coverage. She feels a little disappointed that she will not be able to interview the athletes. Her favourite Chinese sportsman is the diving prince Tian Liang, as she feels he is very handsome and when she was younger, she was a big fan of Gymnastics champion Li Ning. Myolie has started to study the details of the Olympics because she feels she has to be totally prepared, otherwise she will not be able to answer questions during the commentary and she can't cover this with smiles. When asked if she was afraid of being branded as a 'dumb Miss Hong Kong', she says that she should be professional about it.

Alex Fong has been sent to Athens to be the local host for ten days and he says that four years ago, he attended as a competitor, but now he is a host, it is very different. He is very happy to be allowed to live in the athlete's village as this is a rare opportunity and he can share the feelings and ups and downs with the athletes as well as meet people from many different races and nations. He hopes that he can meet Yao Ming, but he will primarily be interviewing the Hong Kong representatives. He feels that as he knows them well already it will be more relaxed and easier to communicate. He will not be receiving a fee for his work, but he feels it is an honour to be part of such a special event.

Also, Sammul Chan revealed that he fell over some steps whilst he was shopping in a mall earlier and injured his knee. He says that there were a lot of people at the time and he was very embarrassed. He picked himself up and went to see a Chinese acupuncturist for treatment. As he will be MC for the Ming Oi charity event on Sunday, he hopes the injury will not affect his work on that evening.


[Ta Kung Pao, Oriental Daily & The Sun]

Nick Cheung and Sonija Kwok were filming a wedding scene yesterday in Kowloon City for "Wandering Hero Medics" and Raymond Lam, Bosco Wong, Leila Tong, Sharon Chan and Selena Li were all present as witnesses for the event. As well as a group of extras, there was also a crowd of onlookers and some schoolchildren praised Sonija on her beauty in the wedding dress and asked to be photographed with her. Sonija complied and was very friendly to them.

As well as filming, Sonija has also donned a wedding dress for some advertisements, so she has forgotten how many times she has worn a wedding gown now. She laughs that she feels very hot in it! When will she be wearing her own dress for real? She says she has no plans just yet and has not even thought about children. In response to the praises from the children, she smiles: "I am very happy, when young girls see people wearing wedding dresses, they will find it very beautiful and even dream about getting married, I was like that when I was young. (What did you dream your wedding would be like?) Of course it would be in a church, because that makes it more serious, but I am not a Christian."

Later, Sonija will be filming on location in Guangxi and Africa for the show and the trip to Guangxi will include singer Candy Lo. Sonija says: "I have filmed for a few days with Candy already and she is quite comical. Working with her and Lo Hoi Pang means that you are laughing all through the night." She is also happy that this show has a lot of classy guest stars such as Gigi Leung and Chung King Fai, but she does not have any scenes with Gigi.

Nick earlier complained that the filming schedules for the show were too tight and the cast did not have adequate time to rest. Yesterday, he clarified that he was not complaining, but just airing his views. When asked if the situation had changed after he made himself known, he says: "It has become more comfortable, because two of the directors have gone to Africa to check the location, so I have been relaxing lately. (During these sensitive times, has someone prompted you to explain yourself?) No-one wanted to see me, they understand anyway. If we are all flexible with each other then it will be okay. The most important thing is not to go and do other jobs whilst you are taking time off, otherwise that would have an element of deception in there. After some rest I am full of life and even my bowel movements are more regular!"

As for how he felt about yesterday's wedding scene, he responded that the question was silly: "I decided to get married myself abroad in a quiet ceremony and this was the correct decision. There will bound to be a lot of people copying me, as keeping it quiet was the best thing to do."


[Ta Kung Pao & Oriental Daily]

Raymond Lam and Sharon Chan were both injured whilst filming a riding scene for "Wandering Hero Medics". Catching himself on a barrier, Raymond injured his arm and his back and Sharon was hit by reins that left bruises on her legs and arms.

In the past, Raymond has filmed many ancient dramas, so riding is no obstacle for him, but on the day, the horse was upset and after a couple of circles, leapt up and tried to shake him off its back. Luckily Raymond kept his calm and jumped off the horse, but caught a barrier on his way down and hurting his arm and back, he tells that at the time, the crew were stunned, but a horse is always a horse and no matter how good your skill, they can still be difficult to control. He says: "On the other side of my back, I have scars from filming another series, now with the new injury, there is a balance!" He also says that he seems to get an injury with every show he films because earlier when he was filming "Twin of Brothers" he slipped up on a wet floor and stabbed himself in the thigh with a dagger. However as the weather was too hot at the time, he could not feel it and later went to have it stitched up.

Although Sharon Chan has had many experiences of filming drama, that day was the first time she had ridden a horse and she says: "My horse had no problems, but I think I am too soft like tofu and as soon as I am hit, I bruise. As a result, my arms and legs were bruised by the stirrups and reins." Sharon says she watched as Raymond was thrown against the barriers and praises him for being tough, because if it was her, she would not be able to work the following day. As for whether this has left her with a shadow over horse-riding, she says: "Not at all, because I will have to do some riding when I film for the upcoming ancient drama and I am quite sporty."

Sharon will soon be heading out to Africa to film for "Wandering Hero Medics" and also into the Mainland for another series, so she will be away for around six months. When asked whether Matt Yeung would be visiting her, she says: "We have split up a long time ago, but we are still friends." She adds that she would like to date a mixed race guy because they tend to be good looking. She adds: "Even if he is Japanese or Korean, then I don't mind because then I can learn a new language."


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