Monday, May 03, 2004

[Ta Kung Pao, Oriental Daily & The Sun]

Based loosely around the concept made famous by Tony Leung's "Police Cadet '85" TVB's new series "Police Cadet Brave Hearts" held its costume tryout yesterday and the cast attending included Ron Ng, Sammul Chan, Deep Ng, Tavia Yeung, Fiona Sit and Miu Kiu Wai. Originally, Roy Chow was offered a part in the show but with the recent allegations of drug possession, he has withdrawn from the show to avoid a conflict of interest as this series will be working closely with the Police Public Liaison Department. According to producer Wong Wai Sing, the list of cast members was passed over to the police for checking and when Roy was arrested, they had asked if there was a reserve for the role.

As for who has replaced Roy, Wong indicates that the show follows twenty cadets and they now have three options. The first is to skip ahead, the second is to select a student from the acting classes and the third is to look elsewhere for a replacement. The show will soon be filming at the Wong Chuk Hang Police Training School and in order for the cast members to understand the workings and rules of the school, it has been arranged for them to attend a seminar on Thursday at the school given by one of the instructors.

Deep Ng was asked whether he has replaced Roy's role, but he says that TVB had contacted him for it a long time ago and he had agreed a while back when he was not even aware that Roy had a part. He will not be playing a cadet in the show as his character comes from a family of gambling cheats, so he has been watching films to teach gambling skills as he jokes: "Now I am woking in music and television, I can pretend to be very busy!"

As for pop newcomer Fiona Sit, she indicated earlier that she really admires Ron Ng after filming a music video with him. However, in this show, she will be paired up with Sammul Chan. As this is her first series and she has heard that TVB often passes slips of paper at the last minute [Em: I think this means that they change the script.] then Fiona is a little nervous and hopes that everyone will help her out and she can learn from everyone, even the tea lady.

As for many newcomers being faced with hurtful outbursts from the director when they NG, Fiona sysas she has also heard about this. After six months in the industry, she has never been yelled at, so she wonders if this will be the first time for her, but hopes she will be smart about it. She also says that she has made many friends since entering showbiz and she hopes to make even more in the next three months filming this series.

Also, many of the cast appeared in casual clothes and Ron Ng indicated that his current haircut does not conform to cadet regulations so in order to avoid affecting the image, he daren't wear his uniform costume. After he enters the training school for filming, they will all need to cut their hair. As for his admiration from Fiona Sit, he indicates that he has worked with her on a music video, so he met her then. Will he have any rumours with her? Ron says that he has thought about this, but in the show he is paired up with Tavia. He says that this is the first time that he has been paired with Tavia, but laughs that if there were to be rumours between them, they would have started five or six years ago. When asked about Roy Chow, Ron says he does not know Roy.

After fifteen years away from TVB, Michael Miu Kiu Wai will be taking part in "Police Cadet Brave Hearts" and although he is an experienced artiste, he still suggested modestly that he is still a newcomer and has a lot to learn from these young actors. As for his fee, he says he is pleased. "It's not too special nor is it too mean."

Having been in the business world for so long, why is Miu being bitten by the acting bug again? He laughs that it is thanks to Eric Tsang because he took a part earlier in Eric's film "Jianghu". As he has not filmed for many years and television is renowned for being hard work, Miu is worried that he will not be used to it, but he is just there for the fun of acting again and as it is a modern series with only 30 episodes, the time is not too long and he can stay in Hong Kong to be with his family. As for whether his wife Jamie Chik would like to come back to acting, he says: "She sometimes gets the itch, but she has to look after the children as a priority. Also we are now married with children, so we can't subject the audience to our play acting on the screen, it would be too revolting!"


[Ta Kung Pao]

From today, TVB will be airing a new Tuesday infotainment show "Odd Look at Life" that covers experiences from the different stages in life, such as youth, dating, marriage and childbirth. The four hosts Halina Tam, Ander Jen, Nancy Wu and Lo Koon Fung all wore crazy costumes at yesterday's press event.

Halina appeared dressed as a pregnant woman and Ander revealed that this year will be the tenth anniversary of her entering showbiz because she was the winner of Miss Hong Kong in 1994. However, Halina doesn't mind because it is no secret about her taking part in the contest. She adds proudly: "And I still manage to keep so young looking!" Halina says that this hosting job has been great fun and as well as dressing up, they also introduce a lot of other things, for example a dating agency and how to book wedding banquets. She laughs: "If the day comes when I need to know this, then I will know what to do. (Will your dressing up affect your Miss Hong Kong image?) As long as I am not doing this in real life then it is okay!"


[Ta Kung Pao & Sing Pao]

In preparation for Mothers' Day, Metro Radio held a special Mothers' Day banquet and invited many artistes, including Leung Lok Si, Deep Ng, Don Li, Chiu Chung Yu, Ekin Cheng, Emme Wong, Steven Ma, Ron Ng, 2R and Cream. As a metro radio show host, Nancy Sit presented an 85 year old granny who was the oldest guest there with a pendant worth $20,000 as a gesture towards the greatness of motherhood.

Ron sung a duet with Nancy at the show and was presented with a kiss from her that made the audience burst with rapturous applause. Working with so many singing stars for the first time, Ron had prepared many lucky packets for the mothers as a gift and indicates that he hopes to spend Mothers' Day with his own mother, going for dinner and playing Mah Jong with her.

After handing out his own gifts, Steven Ma planted a kiss on Nancy's cheek and she joked that he was a very noisy kisser! Whilst he was watching Cream [Pre-teen band] on the stage, Steven sighed that he was getting old before recognising one of the band members as being from the 'Perish in the Name of Love Singing Contest' last year. Seeing the three girls who are younger than his own nephews and nieces, singing and dancing on the stage, he says that they are amazing and have the potential for a great future ahead of them in showbiz. He says: "I have had a chat with them and I know that their results at school are very good. They just perform in their spare time and always put their education first."

Steven will soon be having a press release detailing his new book that covers some stories tackling real life issues with young people, including triad gangs, drugs and teenage pregnancy. He says that when he was out with the social workers interviewing these people, they thought he was doing a candid camera show. Out and about between 12 midnight and 5 am, Steven visited the places where these young people hang around and when he heard about an 11 year old girl taking ecstasy, he was very shocked as he never imagined that these issues would affect someone so young. He hopes that when his book is published, more people will be made aware of these issues.

As for the earlier reports about his endorsement contract with PCCW falling through due to him being more expensive than Moses Chan, Steven reponds saying that he had discussed this before with them, but because he has to head back to the Mainland soon to film, he will not have time to attend their events, so he turned down the job. When asked if he had asked for more than a million, he returns with the question: "Do you think I would?" He emphasises that his fee is fair and although he is disappointed at the deal falling through, he believes there will be many opportunities to come. He also jokes: "I hope Moses makes more money so he can take me for dinner."


[Ta Kung Pao]

Lam Man Chung's wife Chan Ling Lei gave birth to their second son Yohji on the 2nd. Weighing in at 6 lbs 6 oz, the baby's umbilical cord was personally cut by proud father Ah Chung after filming the birth of his son to share with everyone.

Ah Chung says that in the past they didn't let you into the delivery room because they did not have any anaesthetic, but this time he was able to be there for the birth and play his part. He says: "At first I was a little afraid about cutting the cord and just touched it, but the nurse told me this was a great experience, so I went ahead and cut it." With a second son, he says that at the moment, they will not be trying for a daughter, but may consider it in a year or so.

Originally, Ah Chung was worried about his son getting mixed up with the other babies, so he had asked the nurse to prepare a wrist band for him, but when he saw the cute face of his son, he said there was no need because Yohji looks exactly the same as his big brother Lam Hang. Even before the baby was born, Ah Chung had decided on the name "Yohji". His Chinese name will be temporarily Lam Sin, but this may change after consultation with a naming specialist. As for the name Yohji, Ah Chung says there is no special meaning, he just wanted a Japanese sounding English name for him. He says: "Yohji is the name of a very famous Japanese designer."

Ling Lei gave birth under local anaesthetic and was up and about yesterday, but will still require some rest in the hospital for five days. She says: "There was no pain throughout apart from my stomach because I had been eating bird's nest!" She says that she will not be breastfeeding because she has sponsorship from a powdered milk company, she has confidence in them because their other son was brought up on the product. She says she will be looking after Yohji until he is a little older before handing him over to the maid. With a new addition to the Lam family, they had considered moving to a bigger house, but they will decide on this later.


[Ta Kung Pao, Oriental Daily & The Sun]

TVB's continuation to "Hearts of Fencing" held auditions for its female roles yesterday and of those taking part were many familiar faces such as Miss Chinese International contestants Jessica Xu and Carlene Aguilar, Andy Lau's goddaughter Ellis Tang, Juno Mak's junior Ng Yat Yin, sister of Steven from Boyz Cheung Wing Yan, singers Stephanie Cheng and Monie Tung and Man Sze Kei. The producers invited upcoming stars such as Ron Ng, Patrick Tang and Lai Lok Yi to partner the girls during their auditions.

Jessica was not confident about her screen test because her Cantonese is not fluent and she has problems with pronunciation, but she went along for the experience. At the moment she is concentrating on modelling work and practising her Cantonese to take on acting work in the future. Former beauty pageant contestant, Man Sze Kei says she has applied for Miss Hong Kong this year and has had a second interview, so she was asked whether she has been rejected leading to her trying for this show, She says: "I thin kso, because I have still not heard from them and the deadline for acceptance should have passed." As she has only a high school certificate, she guesses it may be this that has prevented her from progressing in the contest. As for her audition, she is not confident because she is neither a model or famous and has no backing.

Stephanie Cheng says she cannot act and failed at two previous screen tests for movies, so she felt a lot of pressure, but as the company had arranged it for her, she decided to give it a try. Talking of the show being centred around volleyball, Stephanie seemed very enthused by this because she can play volleyball, so she can combine leisure with work, her confidence is still low though.

As for Steven's sister, she is currently a model and she says her brother does not know about her coming for the audition because they are both very busy and are under different management companies so she would not tell him especially. Ellis Tang arrived five minutes late and when it was mentioned her godfather Andy was renowned for his punctuality, she was a little embarrassed and apologised profusedly. When asked what she thought of her opponents, she immediately praised them for having a sunshine feel and was confident with herself.


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