Friday, May 28, 2004

In the next step of TVB's road to the Olympics, the launch party for June 12th's "Number 1 Celebrity Land Games" and July 17th's "Number 1 Celebrity Water Games" was held yesterday at the Miramar Hotel in a swearing in ceremony entitled "Athens Olympics - Creating a New Path Together" attended by over two hundred artistes representing over twenty different shows who all received their battle orders from General Manager Chan Chi Wan. The competitions are open for any teams grouped in series and shows to take part with guest team members from the singers and other people being placed into Nat Chan's team. The company has put up prizes worth $2 million to encourage the artistes to take part.

The atmosphere was electric, but
the enthusiasm for the water games was not as great as the land games. As a result, Mr Chan picked out top swimmers and former Hong Kong team representatives Alex Fong (Lik San), Tang Ho Kwong, Lee Kai Gam and Szeto Shui Kei to take part, but Alex and Tang Ho Kwong have refused, not giving in to TVB's wish for a showdown. Variety and sporting shows Section Manager Wong Ka Leung responded to the result that the water games were less popular, saying that they want to get the land games sorted first and if this goes well then more people will volunteer for the water games. The games aim to promote the Olympic spirit and team work and Mr Chan also hopes that the contest will help the artistes to relax, have some fun and take a break from their pressurised jobs.

Mr Chan also went on to clarify the rumours about TVB's most recent spate of redundancies, insisting that there is no such operation in place and people left after the studio relocation projects were completed. Some people were offered alternative positions and others were terminated due to poor performance. Once the company restructure is in place, they will be taking on more staff, including more artistes and singers.

Cutie Mui represented her show "Friday Variety" and their team wore a totally red outfit, chanting their slogan, displaying great unity and were the most outstanding team on the day. Mr Chan joked when he saw them and asked: "Is your underwear all red as well?"

Among the artistes present at the event were Alex Fong, Flora Chan, Gigi Lai, Christine Ng, Jade Kwan, Shirley Yeung, Ron Ng, Raymond Lam, Fiona Yuen and this year's Miss Hong Kong contestants. The interest in the water games was especially low among the female artistes as Shirley Yeung says: "I can run, but I'd have to think about swimming." Wong Yeuk Tung is not a strong swimmer, so she does not want to take part and come last. Even Ron Ng has said he will only take part in the land games, with only Bosco Wong putting himself forward for the water games.

Mr Chan also revealed that the budget for the broadcast of this year's Olympics will total $50 million and they have secured exclusive rights to co-operate with China's Central Television Company.


Christine Ng and Gigi Lai wore hot pants and a mini skirt to the event and Christine indicates that she was originally going to wear sports gear, but she did not actually have any sports wear at home. Recently she has taken up high temperature yoga and she says that she has done yoga in the past, but this is her first try of it 'hot'. She also hopes to take a test to become an instructor, but she doesn't want to invest and make it big business. With a licence, she can be a personal instructor and find another road out for herself.

Gigi's mini skirt was also very eyecatching and she says that she has two pairs of shorts underneath, just in case. She will soon start filming for "Healing Hands III" where she will play a forensic pathologist and must do autopsies. She says she has once been to see the body at a funeral and she was so scared that she couldn't sleep for a week, so with this phobia of bodies, she is sure that she will be very afraid when she films this show. For preparation, she will be arranged to go and watch a pathologist in action and it turns out that there are only two female forensic pathologists in Hong Kong, so this arrangement for Gigi is really a mixture of emotions.


[The Sun & Oriental Daily]

The 18 Miss Hong Kong contestants were also at the Olympic event, but as there were so many people present, they just became background boards. TVB boss Mr Chan also hinted that the girls were not paying attention in training as he laughed: "They really are ungrateful, only a few days ago, I gave them a lecture lasting three hours, but I heard someone say today that I looked familiar!"

Fiona Yuen's 19 year old sister Lina is currently on summer break visiting from Germany and she followed her sister to the event. She has a perfect figure and a sweet face, so she immediately caught the attention of the media with calls that she could easily beat any of this year's contestants. Hailing from the Miss Hong Kong pageant herself, Fiona was asked why she hadn't nominated her sister to take part and she laughs: "She really does have potential. My mother must have given her all the vitamins, so she has a great figure and a pretty face, but it's up to her and it's not too late to take part next year."


[Oriental Daily]

After giving an interview in Cantonese to Cable and breaking her contract with TVB, Jade Kwan has finally been unfrozen after three months and took part in her first TVB promotion yesterday. In order to show her sincerity, Jade arrived 30 minutes early and said: "Originally I had to go to the mainland to do some promotion, but I have postponed that because of this event."

Jade describes her current relationship with TVB as 'the sunshine after the rain' and she reveals that her record company has been in discussions with TVB and she will soon have appearances on "Jade Solid Gold" again. Jade says: "I will be promoting my new song because these three months have had a big effect on my work and I am very happy to take part." Jade indicates that everything is over now and she will be more careful with what she does in the future. "I will keep to the spirit of the contract."


[Oriental Daily]

Candy Lo was interviewed on a radio show and she spoke of her experiences after returning from filming for TVB series "Wandering Hero Medics" in Guangxi. Filming in a TV series for the first time, Candy found the ten day shoot very hard work as the hygiene and water quality was very poor and she daren't even use the water in the hotel. There was no hot water so she had to take cold showers and with the rain and fog, it affected her mood and she was glad when it was all over.

Talking of all the counterfeit food products available in China, Candy says she was afraid of this, so she had prepared a lot of supplies such as cup noodles, drinks and cans. The happiest thing was a crew member who had brought some bean curd cheese as an extra dish!

Candy also told that she is quite a wakeboard fanatic and when it was mentioned about a photographer's camera being broken when he went to watch fellow enthusiast Cecilia Cheung wakeboarding, Candy says that she often goes to Tai Tam Duk, but she has never seen Cecilia there. She often bumps into Josie Ho, but since her hip injury, Josie has cut down on her visits. When asked whether she minds being photographed wakeboarding by the press, Candy says: "I don't mind, it's nothing really, it's only sport."


[Oriental Daily]

Flora Chan will be heading out to Singapore next month to film the local series "Like My Own". When asked whether she regrets turning down "Healing Hands III" as a result of the schedule clash, she says: "It is hard to say whether it is a regret or not, if I could have made 'Healing Hands III' then I would have been happy, but to be able to film in a Singapore show, I am also happy. I did some work in Hengdian earlier for 'Wong Fei Hung and Sap Sam Yee' and I have had the part extended because of the great reception. I hope that I can fit that in with the Singapore schedules."

As for the forthcoming launch of Flora's show "To Get Unstuck in Time", she will not be able to take part in the promotional events so she has filmed some clips in advance. Talking of the dissatisfactory ratings for "Hard Fate", Flora says that she has always felt that doing her best in her capacity as an artiste is already enough.


[Oriental Daily]

Josephine Shum has been photographed earlier on a date with her boyfriend and at yesterday's event she was twenty minutes late, frowning as soon as she saw the press. When asked why she was unhappy, she said impatiently: "I am not unhappy. (Are you mad at being photographed?) In this job, I don't mind. (Do you usually go dating in the city?) We're just a normal couple." When asked if she was expecting to be photographed on her date, she says: "If you think I expected it then I expected it, I will not avoid you because of this and my boyfriend and I will not change our feelings because of this."


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