Saturday, May 22, 2004

[Oriental Daily]

Ron Ng, Sammul Chan, Edmond Leung, Leo Ku and a group of this year's Miss Hong Kong contestants were rehearsing for tonight's Olympic special in TKO TVB City yesterday. With magazine reports that whilst filming for new series "Police Cadet Brave Hearts", Ron has been avoiding newcomer Fiona Sit for fear of rumours brewing between them and even if they met, he would walk right past and ignore her. Ron denies this, saying: "They just didn't photograph when we were talking. We aren't avoiding each other, in fact, everyone is very happy working together." Do you feel that Fiona is wanting rumours to happen? He laughs: "No, she just admires Issac from 'Triumph in the Skies', I don't think she is after promotion or attention, maybe it is me who is using her for promotion."

Earlier, Edmond was caught appearing in a drunken state at an event, leaving TVB rather unhappy. Yesterday, the press asked whether his form was better and he immediately made clear: "Very fresh, and I will be from now on."

Also, contestant 11 Devily Leung has had some photos published of her modelling days wearing a bikini and saying that she only decided to lose weight after her boyfriend dumped her. When Devily was asked whether she had been questioned by the organisers, she says: "No, the company has not asked for an explanation. The photos aren't sexy and I did not crouch down or stroke my legs. Also, my slimming was not because of a boy, it is for myself."


[Oriental Daily & Sing Pao]

TVB's "Angels of Mission" will begin airing next Monday and yesterday the cast members including Charmaine Sheh, Shirley Yeung, Shek Sau, Stephen Au, So Man Tak and Wong Tak Ban went to sponsors "3D Gold" for a promotional event, where they all put on fighting poses. The third angel Sonija Kwok was absent due to illness.

Although the cast worked hard at the event, but with the recent discovery of a free download of the series on the internet, the producer Leung Wing Yin says that this will be dealt with accordingly by the company. He says that many series are copied by these criminals, allowing the hard work of all the production crew to be obtained in just an hour or two. This is a serious crime and he hopes that the government will address this.

Charmaine also feels helpless about this, but she feels that this has happened already and there is nothing they can do. Although it is not healthy, she says that they should look at it from another angle and see that it proves people are anticipating the series very much and she hopes that the viewers will still support the show when it airs. She says: "Actually, it is really diffcult to prevent, but luckily it is only a small number of people who download from the net and as long as people watch when it is aired, then it is okay."

Charmaine will soon be heading out to Malaysia and the UK to promote the overseas rental markets and will not need to do any filming for a while. She laughs that it is like a holiday. It will be her birthday soon and she plans to celebrate with a group of family and friends as she feels this will be safer. The press took the chance to ask her about whether her rumoured boyfriend Benny Chan will be here to celebrate with her, but she says: "I don't know if he will be back, why don't you ask him? What does my birthday have to do with him?" Charmaine's birthday wish is to make more great series and for good health and happiness for herself and the people around her. When Charmaine mentioned that she is getting old now with another birthday, the reporters also asked her if she has ever thought about retiring after filming for so many years. She says: "It will be a while until I retire! What do I want to retire for? I have thought about getting married and having kids, but the sacrifice is too high. (Do you have a suitable marriage partner?) Not yet, it is difficult to find as it involves the right person in the right place at the right time."

Although Shirley found it hard filming this series, she hopes that this has opened the door to more action series for her. As for the matter of illegal downloading, Shirley says that these things are unavoidable, but she hopes that the users will regulate themselves. She hopes that the new show will have good results and they are all preparing for a celebratory party. With the absence of Sonija, it appeared that the 'Two against One' situation was overcome and Shirley seemed a lot more spritely as she stole the show with the support of her fan presence.

During the event, the cast run a mock-up operation at the venue as Shek Sau and Wong Tak Ban played terrorists in the scene. As Shirley raised her kick to attack Wong, she accidentally kicked him in the ear. Although he was not hurt, she was still very apologetic.

With the stars at the jewellers, many of the workers were very supportive and kept asking the boss to allow them to be photographed with the stars. With a group of Shirley's fans also present, the store became exceedingly crowded.


[Ta Kung Pao Special Report]

Steven Ma - Seeking a Dream

A thought of Heaven; A thought of hell. Working in the dying pot of the showbiz industry, you can choose to live the life of a dream or you can choose to live an awkwardly normal life. Recently, with many reports of artistes showing abnormal behaviour, such as drunken rowdiness, speeding or using soft drugs to try and numb onesself, it has to be remembered that nothing is forced upon you and it is up to you to choose the normal life that you wish to lead. An prime example is Steven Ma - he has tried alcohol and late night partying, but in the past year, he has undergone some radical changes. Quitting alcohol, quitting late parties, Steven can now be found doing sports or reading and studying in a life that has totally calmed down as he asks the reporter whether these topics will be a little boring. In fact, his life is full of fun and interest as he proves that artistes do no thave to live in the life of drinking and partying to catch the attention of others, many readers still like to take some positive aspects from the lifes of the performers.

Steven says: "When I see my friends like that, I will try to persuade them to give up the alcohol and late nights. Now I will go to sleep at 11pm when I can and wake up at 8am. Then I will do some training with my trainer and recently I have been learning to play table tennis. I have quit eating oily and fried foods, eating three bananas a day instead and also been studying Chinese History as an extra-curricular activity in a way similar to distance learning, but just without the certificates. I am becoming more and more interested in Chinese History and I have bought many books on the great leaders such as Mao Tse-Tung and Deng Xiaopeng to try and understand their stories."

After Steven's transformation, he has also had a Dream of China. He says: "Later, I will be going on a holiday to Hainan Island as my father once worked there and I would like to go and seek some stories of my father. After that, I would like to go to Harbin to see the ice carvings. There are many places in the Mainland that are worth a visit and I am not afraid of it being hard work as I am particularly interested in the developing countries, so I would really like to visit India too. In contrast, the developed countries such as Japan and France stir no interest in me. Living in Hong Kong has made me realise what fortune is. We have whatever we want and this is a land of fortune, with no earthquakes or other natural disasters or wars, no living each day in fear and not wanting for food every day. Developed countries do not allow me to experience life, the poor and undeveloped places give me a better lesson in appreciating life and learning to treasure it."

Steven has been filming in the Mainland a lot recently and every time he works there, he has stayed a little while to understand the situation there, learning about life through his work.

"Once, when I was filming in Meizhou and it was very rural there with very few facilities, but the people work hard to farm and live off what they grow. Because of this, their standard of living was not very high and was very simple, with a bowl of wantan noodles costing just a few cents. I wonder why we live under the same great sky, but have such a great difference in how we live. We must not live in fortune and not know it and we should learn not to take things for granted." Steven says.

Filming in the mainland means that Steven spends no more than $2000 a month and in Hong Kong there is no way this would happen. He says: "Sometimes, one meal will exceed this! However, I understand that life can be so simple, in the mainland, I can wear simple clothes. The artistes have very simple and comfortable appearances, but they are not simple at all and they all have very disciplined and structured training in singing and acting as they encompass many years of study and hard work. Working with them, it makes me realise the point that there are many people greater than you and artistes who talk about designer labels and high class cars, should also be upgrading themselves and their skills."

From his experiences in the Mainland, Steven has started his journey to seek his Dream of China and as a Chinese person, he dream has just started. As for romance, he is yet to start, but he believes that this is not for him to seek as his outlook on love is to go with destiny. He says: "In the past I am looking for 'love at first sight' and set a lot of criteria for myself, such as long hair and so on. As I have grown up, I feel that these are just on the surface, the most important thing is that we can communicate, such as discussing history and talking about life, then even if she has no hair, we can still be together." As Steven changes his outlook on life, his outlook on love has changed with it too.

Reporter: Wai Fong


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