Tuesday, July 20, 2004

[The Sun & Oriental Daily]
(Photos from Ming Pao News)

TVB's new series "Twin of Brothers" premiered on Monday and immediately afterwards, the Hong Kong Broadcasting Authority received three complaints about Ron Ng and Raymond Lam displaying their bottoms on the screen, saying it was unsuitable for children.

Due to the television broadcasting restrictions, TVB has always been very careful when it comes to handling nudity on the small screen, but the airing of Ron and Raymond's scene that lasted just a few seconds during family viewing time has caused quite an uproar.

The scene tells of Raymond and Ron bathing in a river, when they are spotted by Christine Ng who is chasing after them. The two men suddenly stand up stark naked to try and scare her away. It is this scene of their unclad bottoms that has caused the complaints to the authority on the grounds that it is a bad influence on children.

When TVB's external affairs assistant director Tsang Sing Ming was contacted about this incident, he said: "I have discussed this with the producer and this show was necessary to show the mischievous character of the lead roles and it was a half-second wide shot with no sexual
connotations. They were actually wearing flesh coloured T-backs for filming, but it would have been hard to spot as it was such a quick scene. (Are you afraid of being a bad influence to children?) No, in fact it teaches children that they need to be more professional when they grow up and start working."

Ron Ng responded to the news, saying that he and Raymond were wearing underpants to film the show and maybe if you just watched that scene, you would find it a little crude, but if you watched it in the context of the show, you would realise that the story told of the brotherly love between the leads and was not of any rude or disgusting nature.

Producer Chong Wai Kin insists that there is nothing perverted about the scene and it is simply to reflect the playful nature of the two men and he emphasises that the most important thing is that there is no malice or negative undertone in the scene. This is why the scene even passed the rigorous internal censorship of TVB. Although this incident has helped to promote the show even more to a certain extent, Chong insists there is no intention to use this as a promotional tactic because there are many merits to the show such as the location filming in Wuxi that sets it apart from other martial arts series.

However, the Chairman of the Parents Union Ms Chan indicated that although the 9pm watershed is past family viewing time, there are still many children watching television at this time and she hopes that the TV stations will bear this in mind and avoid any unsavoury scenes that could have an effect on children.


[Oriental Daily]

Nancy Sit, Shirley Yeung and Lai Lok Yi gathered together to shoot their photo for the 2005 TVB calendar and for Shirley, this is her third year in the calendar and she hopes it will keep coming. When it was mentioned that in the past, the groupings tied in with the series, Nancy laughed: "Really? Then maybe Shirley and Lok Yi will be joining 'Virtues of Harmony'! The shoot for this is actually very rushed and I was worried that I would not have time to get changed, but luckily Ms Lok (Yik Ling) said that the company had arranged for some designer clothes for me."

Also, Nancy revealed that she was very frightened when she heard the rumours about William Hung's death. She says: "I received many calls asking me about this, but it turns out to be a hoax from an internet site. I even received a message from Malaysia! As it was the middle of the night in the US when I heard, I called William's parents this morning, but was afraid to ask them directly. Luckily I managed to find out that William is safe and well and it put my mind to rest."


[Ta Kung Pao]

Liza Wang has been awarded the Silver Bauhinia star by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government and to celebrate this momentous event, a great party was held on Sunday, totalling twenty four tables where Liza received congratulations from her countless friends. At the venue, there was a noticeboard, displaying the letters from well wishers, including many senior government officials including the Chief of Finance and the Chief Secretary of Education. Liza also received many gifts as well as a sign of boundless friendship. Liza's partner Lo Ka Ying kept a low profile, but when he was invited on stage to talk about his fifteen year relationship with Liza, there were many amusing stories as he also admitted that he had proposed unsuccessfully to her twice already, but he will wait patiently for the third attempt. He also openly criticised Liza, saying that her direct personality has upset many people in the past. However, seeing so many friends taking part in the celebration, it just proves that Liza is still loved by many.

At the event, Liza wore a red evening dress and diamond jewellery and Ka Ying wore a suit to match his eyecatching golden wig. Before the event, Liza said happily that regardless of being honoured, she has always worked towards her own goals and to receive the title proves that her hard work has reaped success. Afterwards, Liza cut a cake together with Andy Lau and Ma Fung Kwok who also received honours as Ka Ying showed his support for her off stage.

During the banquet, there was an opportunity for Liza's friends to go on stage and talk of their feelings towards her and the comments were mostly highly complimentary about her professionalism to her work, all apart from Ka Ying's speech about her upsetting people, causing a few laughs and cheers from the audience in jest. Ka Ying says that in the fifteen years he has spent with Liza, there have been happy times and fighting times, but they have never thought about splitting up. He did think about getting married on two occasions, but now they feel a marriage certificate does not mean anything more. He says that when Liza was running for the legislative council, he had thought about getting married so that she could have the extra surname and be referred to as "Mrs Lo", but when she was not elected, he put this idea away.

Many of Liza's good friends made an appearance at the party to offer their good wishes, including Andy Hau, Hacken Lee, Alan Tam, Eric Tsang, Dodo Cheng, Isabella Kau, Margie Tsang, Chu Wai San, Shek Sau, Woo Fung, George Lam, Kam Kwok Leung, Chung Wai Bing, Nat Chan, Cecilia Wong, Leung Shun Yin, Cheng Yiu Tong, Mui Suet Si and Andy Hui. The gala was entitled "A Multitude of Stars Watch Over Liza Wang" and was hosted by the golden MC himself Philip Chan.

Andy Lau took time out from his busy schedule especially to take part, but left before the banquet. On stage, he told of his admiration for Liza and dhow he has known her for twenty years, but has never worked with her formally. He said that they both appeared in the series "The Lady Yang Warriors", but his character died in his first scene. When Liza heard this, she was rather surprised because she probably did not remember this. Andy said: "At the time, I remember seeing Liza working hard to practise her moves with the spear and still holding onto it when it was dinner time. I feel that she is like the light in the deepest ocean and totally admire her great efforts." Andy also told of the time when he was hosting the finals for the New Talent Singing Awards and as he was quite nervous at the time, he misread the judge's name and was quite unnerved. As one of the judges, Liza immediately said to him: "It's okay, don't be scared and give your best!". He says that although they have never acted alongside each other before, they have met many times during variety shows and he feels that her hard work has never faded over the years. He hopes to have the chance to film opposite her and will definitely offer her any suitable scripts he comes across. Having been named himself in this round of Government honours, Andy says that Liza and John Woo have contributed so much and are therefore worthy choices and to be able to receive his Medal of Honour alongside these two great people is especially memorable. He is currently rehearsing for his forthcoming concert, so he will not be celebrating just yet. Together with Alan, Hacken and a producer, Andy has presented Liza with a crystal ornament, each putting forward a few thousand dollars.

Dodo commented: "Liza said to dress up well for the event, but it is not a show and I cannot outshine her, so I chose to wear black so I don't steal the limelight. Also, the photographer tonight is a present from Isabella, me and some friends so that she can share the memories of the evening with her fans." Kam Kwok Leung gave Liza a handmade Brazilian scarf and praised her for being very serious about her work, but learning to see the lighter side of life after meeting Ka Ying, laughing she should keep up the good work. Hacken says he lives quite close to Liza and are true neighbours, so if she has any problems with her audio-visual equipment, he will drop by to help her fix it. He laughs: "I am often at her home 'gau gay' [Cantonese: fixing machines - literally 'being gay'.] so I am her 'gay' man. Whenever Liza makes dumplings or buys lychees, she will call me over to help eat!"

When Cheng Yiu Tong heard that the rule is she cannot receive another Honour in the next five years, he laughed that Liza will have to carry on working. Eric Tsang was late as usual, but he praised Liza for being so faithful and dedicated, always ready to stand by her beliefs and speak her mind.


[Ta Kung Pao & The Sun]

Lydia Sum and daughter Joyce Cheng have recently returned from a trip to Japan and took part in a press conference together with Singaporean actor Samuel Chong to promote their series "Living with Lydia" that will begin airing soon on TVB Pearl. In light of being hounded by the gossip magazine paparazzi throughout their Japanese trip, Lydia's patience grew short during the interview as she told of how Joyce had become so frightened that she daren't enter the entertainment industry.

After Joyce's successful slimming programme, she and Lydia have become the focus of the media's attention and there have been many reporters who had even followed them to Japan and causing the mother and daughter a lot of stress. During the interview, Lydia began losing her temper as she talked of the intrusion: "I am very bored, the magazines are driving me crazy, but it did not affect us going out because we used the secret entrance."

Lydia indicated that the press not only followed them around day and night and wrote rubbish, they also frightened Joyce a lot. She retorted angrily: "They said that I was in a wheelchair for convenience, but they did not know I had injured my spine and the doctor had instructed me not to walk too far. Then they say that Shirley Cheung had arranged for the crew to come with us, but in fact they are my own staff that come with me all the time, even our plane tickets were paid for by ourselves. Then they say I am trying to grasp power, but I have never taken part in this work. They mock me for travelling by first class and living in a suite, but in the last ten years I have always travelled in this way. Then they say that my extravagance is on a par with Faye Wong, when I was using LV bags, Faye hadn't even been born!"

Lydia understands that as a public figure, she will be reported on, but she feels that a report is enough, so when she saw the paparazzi still filming her on DV and taking photos when they were picking up their luggage at the airport, she couldn't hold back and yelled: "Have you filmed enough? You are affecting me and my freedom. If you keep filming, I will call the police." In the end, a male and a female bowed their heads and left. Lydia says: "I am not being impolite, but they have forced me into a dead end. I have been very co-operative and if they ask me nicely I will give them a chance to take photos, but enough to do their job is enough, they shouldn't have to affect my life. Then they go and write about Joyce travelling with a man, but that was a college mate who is studying Japanese at a Summer School in Japan and as he is alone over there, we didn't want him to eat instant noodles all the time and decided to take him to dinner. When the press caught wind, they didn't ask the truth and wrote more lies, making Joyce cry all night, worried about what the boy and his parents might think. The reporters should not just guess and make it up, because the readers don't know if it is true or not." Standing beside her all this time, Joyce adds: "He is like a big brother to me."

Lydia adds that she has always been very direct about things and she does not like making publicity, living only by the truth, so she does not understand how it came to this. Lydia says that Joyce was upset by her incident at the airport again, saying: "Joyce feels there is too little freedom in this industry and she is afraid to work in front of the camera." When asked whether she will not be entering showbiz, Joyce admits she is a little afraid and when Lydia heard this, she laughed out loud. Joyce says: "If they [the press] ask, then I will let them take pictures, but they even photographed me in the toilets and that was a little over the top."

Lydia says: "I had agreed with Joyce that I would take her on a European trip if she successfully lost weight, but she preferred Japan and I felt that it was more suitable for her there, so we went there to combine business with leisure, working for the first five days and then going shopping for the last three. As her father (Adam Cheng) and his family were also on holiday in Jpaan, we had arranged to meet them on Mount Fuji, but we didn't see them and got stuck in a traffic jam instead. The mountain was shrouded in mist, so we didn't get to see it properly and it was disappointing." As Joyce is now able to wear a lot of different clothes, so they bought a lot of new clothes such as the dropped shoulder top worn yesterday.

Living With Lydia

[Oriental Daily]

Lawrence Ng and Gigi Lai were filming for "Healing Hands III" at a Hung Hom funeral parlour yesterday in a scene where Gigi follows the mentally disturbed Lawrence, who goes to the morgue to inspect a stranger's body. As Gigi plays a coroner in the show, she often has to film in funeral parlours and morgues and Gigi says she is very afraid of these places, so she will leave straight away after filming and not hang around. As for Lawrence, he does not mind, because he says he was born on Buddha's birthday and has his protection, so there is nothing to fear.

With cast members from "Police Cadet Brave Hearts" being involved in an accident earlier possibly due to lack of rest, Lawrence indicates that he had a similar experience before, but luckily he was in no danger. As for constant filming, his record is to go for seven days and nights without sleep as he says: "Once when I was busy filming I fell asleep at the wheel and veered into the oncoming lane. Luckily I braked in time, otherwise I would have hit the oncoming car. I feel that if you are too tired, then it is better to stop the car and have a nap. If you can afford it, then it would be best to hire a driver."


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