Tuesday, June 22, 2004

[Ta Kung Pao & Oriental Daily]

As yesterday was the Dragon Boat Festival, there were many races throughout Hong Kong, Kowloon and the New Territories and the three outgoing Miss Hong Kong winners, Mandy Cho, Rabee'a Yeung and Priscilla Chik were invited to many different places as guests to watch the races. Among them, Mandy Cho most admired the Shatin races. In the past, she has tried kayaking, but this is the first time she has watched a dragon boat race and she was feeling the heat as she joked: "This heated atmosphere can be smelled!"

Talking of TVB's Water Games next month, Mandy Cho says she will not be taking part because she was not in Hong Kong during the registration period and she had a drowning accident when she was younger, so she has a fear of swimming away from the side of the pool. As she does now know where she will be swimming at the competition, she would rather not swim.

Seeing a group of this year's Miss Hong Kong contestants, Mandy says she will miss the position, but she has decided to stay and further her career in entertainment and has signed a contract for several years with TVB. She says: "I did consider in the past whether I should continue my studies or stay in Hong Kong, but if I choose to study then it will be very difficult to re-enter showbiz again, so I finally decided to stay. As the company has given me many opportunities, I am afraid I will regret it if I don't give it a try as I can learn many new things and gain many experiences from the entertainment world. My parents are very supportive of my decision because the most important thing is that I am happy." Mandy was taking part in a slimming shoot with Daniel Wu and there have been suggestions that she acted like a doting fan flirting with him. She laughs: "Daniel is very handsome, I wouldn't use the word flirt. I guess I was more attracted to the child actor because he was cuter!"

Rabee'a was awarding prizes at the races in Tai Po and although this is also her first Dragon Boat Race, she still celebrated the festival in Canada because her grandmother would make rice parcels. She has obviously put on some weight after seeing her yesterday and she explains that she has had an infection in her wisdom teeth and her face is a little swollen. As for Priscilla Chik, she was the guest at the Tuen Mun races and she is also a Dragon Boat race debutante. Although she can do synchronised swimming, Priscilla will also not be taking part in the TVB Water Games because she has not swum for over ten years. Priscilla has also decided to stay on in showbiz and although she loves singing, she would like to try her luck in acting or hosting.


[The Sun & Oriental Daily]

Frankie Lam's father died on the 14th of this month as a result of his Parkinson's Disease at the age of 76. Kenix Kwok revealed yesterday that although she was not at his bedside when he died, she has still done her part and this is all down to destiny.

Kenix says: "Because the doctors told us that my father-in-law could die at any time, Frankie and his brother, sister and family were all at the hospital, spending his last hours with him as he held onto the last moments late into the night. When the 'other halves' left the following morning for work, then he departed too, it is all fated. Hearing Frankie tell me that his father received a kiss from each of his three children before he died peacefully and going safely to heaven, everyone is comforted.Living to the age of 76, the Chinese would consider this as a 'smiling death'." She also feels that having succumbed to Parkinson's for a number of years, then maybe this can be considered as a release for her father-in-law. "I have been filming recently for 'Blossoming Hearts', but I will take time off for the funeral.


[Ta Kung Pao, The Sun & Oriental Daily]

Sonija Kwok was wearing a super low cut dress yesterday as she appeared at an outdoor promotion for a health food product. Although Sonija has just returned from filming on location in Kenya for "Wandering Hero Medics", she is still unable to bear the heat and the sweat was pouring from her as continually mopped her brow as it seemed that she was almost melting. With the temperature in the thirties, Sonija still went ahead with her mini autograph signing event and when asked afterwards whether it was hard work, Sonija replied professionally: "No, I am just sweating because it is hot. I have already dressed for it, I can't wear any less. (Is it rather embarrassing to be sweating so much?) No, sweating is natural, there is no problem with that!"

Sonija's endorsement contract for this company will last a year and she is very pleased with the fee as she says: "I have tried this product to check for side effects before I accepted the contract and I even took a stash with me to Kenya. (Will you introduce it to your mother and boyfriend Deric Wan?) Yes, I will tell my boyfriend to try it because I want him to keep fit and get healthy." Sonija indicates that she managed to go swimming and sunbathing during her twenty one days in Kenya and she does like a healthy skin colour. When asked if she knows that Deric will be kissing Louisa So in their new show, Sonija says that this is not a problem because she also kisses a lot of men in her work. As for the mediocre results of the last week of her series "Angels Of Mission", Sonija says that she has heard good reviews and that sheh ad a good time filming because there were so many action scenes and this was a breakthrough for her.


Agressive arm pushing and elbow prodding from contestants 8, 9, 10 and 11. (L-R)

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

The 18 Miss Hong Kong contestants took part in a premiere event of their Music Video filmed in Kenya at Shatin's New City Plaza yesterday along with outgoing Miss Hong Kong's Mandy Cho, Rabee'a Yeung and Priscilla Chik yesterday, where viewers could take a first look at their hard work. Watching the clips of their trip, the girls seemed very happy and several hundred members of th public also gathered to watch.

The show's chief producer Ho Lai Chuen indicated that of this year's guests at the final, only Gigi Leung is a confirmed definite as the others are still in negotiation. There will also be two male leads and six female leads taking part in one of the items, with the former beauty queens such as Myolie Wu, Bernice Liu, Melissa Ng, Shirley Yeung, Charmaine Sheh and Mandy Cho as likely candidates for the female part. The males under consideration are Moses Chan and Roger Kwok. As for whether Joyce Cheng will be a guest performer, they are currently contacting her mother Lydia Shum regarding this. When asked whether they would be asking Ekin Cheng onto the show, Mr Ho says that they could consider this. He also indicated that the total prize money for the contest this year has surpassed $4.3 million, not including the apartment.

The contestants played games with the audience and handed out souvenirs from Kenya. Among them, 14 Kayee Tsang met with some male fans waving banners and she also picked one of her male fans to play games with her. Afterwards she indicated that she was shocked by her popularity: "I am very happy, but I will not be afraid. I have seen him before and he says that he will support me and for me to keep it up. (Are you afraid that you will cause the jealousy of others by your performance?) No, we are all very close and I am not the only one with fans, there are a lot of fans who leave messages for us on the Miss Hong Kong website."

When 8 Winnie Shum was asked how she spent Father's Day, she says: "As I had to work on that day, we didn't really celebrate, but I did call him to wish him a happy father's day beforehand. My mother will be back in Hong Kong in August. (Will you sign for TVB after the contest?) I don't know yet, because I will have to see what they offer. However I am very interested in entering showbiz, maybe I was affected by my mother."

Despite the claims of friendliness, there did seem to be some instances where the girls were showing some hostility towards each other, especially when they were posing for the photographs and elbows became a useful tool for keeping the competition at bay!


[Ta Kung Pao & Oriental Daily]

Niki Chow appeared at a promotional event yesterday, handing out some of her precious promotional photographs and movie theme CD's to her fans. Talking of her role in new movie "Love Battlefield", she says that although she does not know the results of the box office takings, she has heard some good reviews and she is very happy about this. The movie will soon be premiered in the Mainland and she hopes that it does well, especially as there are two mainland actors in the film and this adds to her confidence as she laughs that she will break into the Mainland market on this film!

Since entering the industry, Niki has been busy all along and recently she was allowed two weeks vacation, so she plans to take her parents away on holiday to go travelling and have some fun as well as spending some time with them. She has not yet decided where she will be going, maybe to America, where she can visit some of her relatives.

With Niki's sister Kathy revealing that they had both forgotten their father's birthday on Father's Day, Niki admitted this, saying: "My mum says that my dad waited at home all day, so he was not happy. The worst thing is that the elder generation feel that to make up a birthday celebration later is very rude, but luckily that was only his Chinese birthday and his Western birthday is yet to come and we still have a chance to make it up to him. I will be buying a cellphone for my father as a birthday present." Niki also adds that when they realised that they had forgotten their father's birthday, she had to grovel to her father when she got home, saying that as they are modern people, then they should celebrate Western birthdays instead.


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