Monday, May 24, 2004

[Oriental Daily, The Sun & Ta Kung Pao]

TVB aired another Olympic Special yesterday with a lighting up ceremony of the flame signifying the official start to TVB Olympic coverage and to celebrate the event, singers including Leon Lai, Edmond Leung, Hacken Lee, Miriam Yeung and Ekin Cheng joined with the 18 Miss Hong Kong contestants and the six Olympic stars to put on a spectacular song and dance event.

The line-up was led by Leon, who later indicated that when he heard the news of good friend Maggie Cheung (Man Yuk) taking an award at Cannes wanted to call her to congratulate her immediately, but he decided against it because he was afraid she would not have her phone on as she would be so busy. When asked whether he is interested in entering the film festival, Leon says that if he finds the right film, then of course he would, but he has no such plans at the moment and nor does he want to work with Maggie again for now as he is currently working on recording a new album, but there is no release date as yet. As for "2046" not picking up any awards, he says he will not pass comment as he has not seen the film yet.

Hacken Lee will have some tenpin bowling scenes in his new movie "Luk Jong Si" (Six Braves) and eh tells of his achievements in bowling. He says that when he was hosting a show many years ago, he played a game against the Hong Kong Olympic representative Che Kuk Hung and he beat her in one round, Hacken laughs: "From that day on I retired because how many people can say they beat an Olympic athlete!" For his performance, he asked for assistance from bowling fanatic Andy Lau who gave him three hours training to concentrate on improving his style.

Miriam Yeung and Nancy Sit met in the dressing room and when Nancy saw Miriam, she immediately said: "I only saw Ronald today and now I see you, I am afraid you wouldn't say hello to me!" When she said this, Miriam was rather speechless and just laughed as she posed for a photo with Nancy. Later Nancy was asked why she had said this and she replied: "In 'Virtues of Harmony' Ronald tries to date me and we do have some dating scenes, so I asked Miriam if she wanted those photos back!" Miriam responded when she heard this and laughed: "Nancy really is a master, I really have to learn from her to improve my wit, she can silence me with just one sentence!" She adds she does not mind these jokes from Nancy as she finds it a lot of fun!

When Edmond Leung sung his song "Footy Friends", the lyrics were found to have been altered slightly, with 'smashing drinks' being changed to 'shaking hands' and 'drinking beer' changed to 'go for a run' and raising suggestions that the song had been cleaned up after his previous incident involving too much drink. When asked about this, Edmond insisted that it was not related and said: "Don't try to link everything to that incident, there is nothing left to follow up on with that!" He says that the changes to the lyrics were to accommodate the boundaries of television and he had already passed the new lyrics to TVB, but they didn't change the subtitles and this was beyond his control.

TVB tried a new format for the show as they invited three thousand members of the public to join the audience, but only gave them standing space. However, maybe the performances weren't to the taste of the audience or the lack of seating left them all a little tired, so even before the end, half the audience had left and piles of litter could be seen for the cleaning team to tidy up. Faced with such a big audience in their first public performance, the Miss Hong Kong contestants were seemed rather stage struck, but did not make too many mistakes, despite being rather wooden.


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

After finding a rush to fame as Issac in "Triumph in the Skies", Ron Ng has been heavily promoted by TVB, becoming one of the six Olympic stars as well as landing the lead role in new series "Police Cade Brave Hearts". His popularity has also brought him sponsorships and advertising deals and with his work running non-stop, Ron has no complaints as the enthusiastic worker thanks the company for giving him so many opportunities.

Recently Ron has taken on the spokesperson role for an Italian cosmetic company and the ad has had good results since its launch. In order to increase the power of the ad, the sponsors have created a special photo collection for Ron entitled "Bronze - Ron Ng" that can be redeemed through buying the products, with numbers strictly limited to 1000.

Ron is very excited about this book and in order to promote Ron's 'bronze' image, they have flown him to Thailand for the shoot. Under the 37 degree heat, Ron has no complaints and is very professional. Although it was hard work, Ron says it is well worth it and with the professional photographers capturing his youthful good looks, the results are very satisfying.

Ron says that the launch of his own photo collection is very exciting and he is extremely nervous. He hopes that the photos will bring him out in the best light so he personally chose the best pictures and took part in the production process, so that it can be the best souvenir for his fans. Ron is actually very interested in photography and he hopes that one day he can produce a collection of his own works. He had originally hoped to take some of his own photos on this shoot but later he found that the photographer had erased his memory card containing his shots, so the chance was lost to enjoy some of Ron's work. Hwoever, he will not give up and keep trying in the future.


[Ta Kung Pao, The Sun & Oriental Daily]

Shirley Yeung was originally to take part in a radio interview together with "Angels of Mission" co-stars Charmaine Sheh and Patrick Tam, but as Charmaine had been struck with a tummy bug and Patrick had been working into the early hours, she was left to handle the interview on her own. As well as being busy promoting "Angels", Shirley has recently been filming for new series "Treasure in the Family" and today she will be filming a beach scene with Belinda Hamnett. Belinda will be wearing a swimsuit, but as Shirley only plays her assistant, she will not need to wear a swimsuit. Shirley indicates she is becoming more and more scared of going swimming at the beach because of the deep water, sharks and the beating sun, so after winning Miss Hong Kong, she has rarely worn a swimsuit. In the show she has a romantic affair with Alex Fong (Lik San) and when asked whether she was afraid of rumours, she smiles: "Not at all, don't worry! (Who are you telling not to worry?) I'm telling Alex and Gregory [Lee] not to worry!"

With the airing of the first episode of "Angels" being on a day when Shirley had no filming, she was able to enjoy the show at home. In the series, Shirley plays a great aim with a gun and it turns out that Shirley had been in contact with firearms at at young age as her father was a soldier so whenever there was an open day, she was able to go and look around the armoury. Talking of Charmaine's tummy trouble, has Shirley called her to wish her well? She replies that she hasn't saying only: "I hope she will get some rest, the weather at the moment is up and down and it is easy to get unwell."

Although Charmaine was unable to attend, she still hoped that the show will do well and with the skincare company she represents receiving complaints, Charmaine felt she ought to explain the situation, even though the complaint was later retracted. She says: "Before I became the spokesperson for this product, I had looked at the analysis report carefully and I know that the product undergoes rigorous testing and will not cause allergic reactions to the skin, so not only do I use the product myself, I recommend it to my friends."

The Hong Kong Brodcasting Association has issued a strong recommendation to TVB after upholding complaints about an earlier Miss Hong Kong promotional clip showing Shirley portraying a boring and unmotivated teacher whose life was changed after entering Miss Hong Kong. The commission felt that this was a bad reflection on the teaching profession and could cause a bad influence to young people. There was also a complaint upheld about the deletion of acceptance speeches at this years Hong Kong Film Awards and a total of 431 complaints were filed against TVB for these two incidents and the company was instructed to follow the broadcasting regulations more closely.

Shirley denies degrading the teaching profession and hopes that people will understand her position. As for TVB's external affairs assistant director Tsang Sing Ming, he says that the clip was withdrawn when the complaints were received and that they will learn from this lesson. He also goes on to deny reports that TVB will be axing another two hundred jobs, saying that the restructuring of the engineering teams means that there will be ten or so redundancies, but these have been dealt with in accordance with all the employment rules and procedures.


[The Sun]

Stephanie Wang appeared at a movie premiere of "The Day After Tomorrow" earlier together with a host of other stars wearing a close fitting top and a short dress. It seemed that there were some deep creases in her eyelids and suspicions arose as to whether she had had some surgery. She says: "No, it is make up and I have some tape on my eyes. I have already been asked about this when I was in the Miss Hong Kong contest. (Will you have the eyelid surgery later?) No, I'd like to keep it natural, but a little make up makes me feel more confident. This is enough."


Girls L-R: Monie Tung, Koey Wong & Jenny Cheung
Guys L-R: Chan Siu Pong, Szeto Shui Kee, Choi Kee Chun, Woo Chun Ting

[Oriental Daily, Ta Kung Pao & The Sun]

Some of the castings for the follow up to TVB's "Hearts of Fencing" (currently simply referred to as "Four Leaf Clover II") were revealed officially yesterday in a handover ceremony from the original team as TVB creates another opportunity for some young actors to make it big. There are over ten selections so far, including sister of Steven from Boyz - Jenny Cheung, EEG's newcomer Koey Wang, members of Sky, Monie Tung, Chan Yuen Kei who once duetted with Hacken Lee and Lok Lok. They are all newcomers with the majority having signed with record companies. The show's producer Chin Kwok Wai indicates that there are a number of people for whom they are awaiting confirmation and so they cannot be revealed just yet. He also says that as well as training in acting, the cast will also receive volleyball training as this is the theme of this year's show.

Twenty-one year old Jenny is a model and she is very happy to have been chosen from so many people. As for her little brother Steven giving her tips, she says: "He told me to relax and just treat it as a bit of fun and to be honest I am just seeing it as a chance for a newcomer to take away some experiences, so I have no pressure. (What do you think set you apart from the others?) Maybe I am always smiling and I have a happy personality. (Do you think your brother had anything to do with it?) No, because we are very independent agents."

Koey says her manager has suggested she chooses another Chinese name, but she is yet to find one suitable. As for her being signed at the same time as Isabella Leung at EEG, but her own progress not as fast as that of Isabella's, she says: "We know each other very well and are good friends, often going shopping together but we will not discuss our work."

Monie will be releasing an album in June and she will be shooting some photographs for the album today. When asked if she can handle both acting and singing, she says this is no problem because she will record her songs onto MP3 and listen to them all the time to keep herself in line with her singing.


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