Sunday, May 02, 2004

[Sing Pao, The Sun & Oriental Daily]

Frankie Lam and three Miss Hong Kong's were taking part in a charity Taijiquan event yesterday where over a thousand participants, including many sufferers of Parkinson's Disease took part to raise a total of $200,000 for the charity. Frankie had always been a sickly child, so his mother had arranged for him and his sister to learn Taiji to help with his health. Although he has not practised for a while, he was still able to demonstrate a few moves without any problems.

Frankie's father also suffers from Parkinson's and usually it takes a while for the symptoms to develop. However his father's condition is deteriorating very rapidly with spasms in half of his body that required constant massage from two maids. After an operation, the spasms stoppped, but he still cannot move around unaided. Yesterday, Frankie spoke to the president of the Parkinson's Disease charity about the matter of his father swallowing saliva into his lungs and he found out that there is a machine that can be used to examine the swallowing mechanism and hopefully this will prevent him from choking or building up fluid in his lungs.

Will Frankie be holding a party for his father's seventieth birthday? He says: "He couldn't even go to my wedding. He knew I was getting married and kept asking when it was, but he has many tubes attached to his body, so he couldn't attend. When they showed the ceremony on the TV, the nurses were kind enough to show him the footage on the television set and he was so moved that he cried. However, his condition now is quite stable."

Mandy Cho, Rabee'a Yeung and Priscilla Chik were in Shangping earlier to open a set of properties, but as it was a holiday, the transport was slow and the trip took them over ten hours. Mandy laughs that flying to San Francisco doesn't even take that long. When asked if she has received the apartment she was awarded for Miss Hong Kong yet, she says that she has not yet received the keys and will have to wait for the formalities to be completed. When she was asked about her thoughts on this year's contestants, Mandy says that the quality is quite good and there are a few who have left a lasting impression on her.


[The Sun]

The male auditions for the sequel to "Hearts of Fencing" were held yesterday at TVB City and many descendents and family members of artistes were present, such as Fung Bobo's son Chiu Kai Chung, Leung Ka Yan's son Leung Ho Yi, Catherine Hung's boyfriend Kwok Lik Hang, members of pop group 'Sky' Yim Ka Chun and Poon Cheuk Nam, Dicky Cheung's cousin Lo Chi Ho and Cheung Wing Hong from Andy Lau's talent management company. When they discussed their experience and qualifications, Chiu Kai Chung mentioned he has been a PA at a TV company so he knows the ins and outs of life before and behind the camera. He adds that although he has a famous mother, he does not feel this will affect the result of the screentest.

Leung Ho Yi is 20 years old and graduated from high school in Vancouver and then returned to Hong Kong to work in a production house creating 3D animation. He says that he is worried about causing jealousy in others because of his father being an artiste, so he does not feel he is at an advantage. As for Kwok Lik Hang, he has not mentioned his audition to his girlfriend and adds that now is the time for working hard so he doesn't want to talk about other things. Sky's Yim Ka Chun and Poon Cheuk Nam say that this is an opportunity given to them by the producer: "Usually the five of us are always together, so we are not used to it being just the two of us. I don't think other people will be jealous, it is just work."


[Oriental Daily]

Formerly Anita Mui's manager, Marianne Wong has split with her ex-boyfriend Brian a long time ago and Brian then moved on to date Fiona Yuen and they have been together for three years already. Last Friday, the three were spotted in Tsimshatsui sharing an evening meal and they seemed very friendly as Fiona often laughed openly during the conversations. With old and new lovers at the table, there was certainly no air of animoscity at all.

After more than two hours, they left from the restaurant together and Fiona was still driving Marianne's old Pajero as she left with her boyfriend. Marianne was driving her new Mini Cooper. Yesterday, reporters called Fiona and she said: "We are always getting together for dinner! There is no great deal. I have confidence in my boyfriend and Marianne as they have a joint wine business so it is not uncommon for them to see each other. Marianne is very good to me, when I crashed my car, she immediately lent me her car to use. The funniest thing is that the guy at the parking service told us that there were reporters and suggested we left from the back entrance but of course we didn't need to do that!" Marianne indicated on the phone: "Having dinner is very common, we often go out together as a group. It was so long ago (that she split from Brian), there is nothing to be embarrassed about."


[Ta Kung Pao]

TVB's "Better Halves" has been popular in the Mainland since it began airing and the stars of the show Steven Ma and Maggie Cheung are seen as perfect partners. On May 1st Labour Day, these 'better halves' joined up to make some money at the opening of a furniture business in Dongguan. In order to avoid the holiday traffic, they left at half past six from Hong Kong and even had time for tea when they arrived. When they arrived at the venue at around 11am, there were already several thousand people congregated and everywhere was packed full of people. During the opening ceremony, the crowds continuously called their names and despite dripping with sweat from the heat, they were still extremely happy at the welcome.

The most memorable thing for Steven and Maggie was being invited to the organiser's home to rest. This person owned a 10,000 foot mansion and as well as there being space to rest inside, there was also huge garden outside that held a chinese style shelter and two vegetable patches where the owner could enjoy tea or do some gardening. Maggie gasped: "I thought that Hong Kong people knew how to enjoy themselves, but the standard of living in China is equally high!"

For their work, Steven and Maggie often have to travel to the mainland so they fully understand the changes to life of the people in China. Seeing Steven again this time, Maggie thinks he looks healthier than before and will no longer joke about his chin being like 'Steven Pig'. Maggie also feels that Steven is more focused on his performance and cultural career and hopes that they will have more opportunities to work together in the future.


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