Sunday, July 11, 2004

[The Sun & Ta Kung Pao]

Jessica Hsuan, Joe Ma and Don Li were among the cast members at a promotional event for "A Handful of Love" yesterday and Jessica, who was playing games with all the children from the show, was asked when she would be having kids of her own. She laughed: "Sooner or later, the best thing would be to have mixed twins and get it over with in one go. (If you don't have kids soon, you will be an older mother.) Not so fast! I have friends around me who are having children at 38 and 39."

Jessica's new contract will take effect as of October and the series she is making in August will be the last on her old contract, working with Sunny Chan. In the series, she plays a judge and she laughs that she is getting older now so she cannot stand up for too long. Judges are allowed to sit down so this is much more comfortable! Moreover, in the hot sun, she can sit inside the court set in the cool air conditioning, so this show should be quite enjoyable to film. Also, there have been reports that TVB boss Lok Yik Ling has indicated that Gallen Lo will soon be returning to TVB, but Jessica says that she has not heard this from them, so she will not add any comment. However, everyone has their own ways of thinking at different times. She feels that the company is always the best because it is a very stable environment and is suited to her as she just seeks stability and security. She also feels protected, so she has been happy in the past twelve years.

When it was suggested that the competition is not as fierce now with so many people leaving, Jessica indicates that she has never cared about the competition and she just does her own job. There are many different qualities of people in the company and each artiste has their own characteristics. This is normal. At the moment the leading females at TVB are becoming fewer and fewer, having been labelled as the top female lead, Jessica says: "I don't care for this title, I have never been bothered or fought for anything."

Joe turned up at the event half an hour late and he explained that this was due to a road closure which he was not aware of. When asked if he had been on holiday to Italy earlier, Joe was surprised that the press knew, but he openly admitted that he had been away with his wife, but his son couldn't go because he had chickenpox.

With earlier reports that he had bought an apartment to patch up his relationship with his wife, he says: "I have been looking for a property for a few years and there are no problems between us. Even if I get rumours, she never believes them. (Cathy Tsui has said you are very handsome and wants to ask the producer of 'Hearts of Fencing 2' to give you a kiss scene?) If the show needs it then I don't mind, she is also a very beautiful girl."


[Ta Kung Pao & The Sun]

Ella Koon took part in a charity raffle ticket selling event yesterday in aid of Yan Chai. This is her first time for this type of event and she wore hot pants and a strappy top, looking rather sexy. When asked if she was worried about people taking advantage, she says that she believes these things will not happen and in the hot weather, many girls will dress this way so it is not really too seductive. She is also not worried that she will be ignored by the public in selling her tickets because they are all very friendly and supportive.

Talking of TVB reducing the number of variety shows recently, leaving newcomers having to fight to take part in series to increase their exposure, Ella indicates that she has just signed with TVB and has had a screen test, so if there are suitable scripts, TVB will ask her to appear in their series. Ella would very much like to film a series, especially an ancient drama because she feels that the costumes are very beautiful. She adds that she is very stubborn so she would be an excellent choice for a conceited princess role. With comments that as she belongs to a smaller record company, is she worried that she will lose out to stars from other larger companies? She believes that it cannot be judged in this way because the most important thing is to do your best. Moreover, TVB is arranging parts for her and this has nothing to do with her record company and although they are small, everyone works extremely hard.

When it was mentioned that Fiona Sit has met with much gossip since she started filming, she is not worried that the same thing will happen to her because she will remember that she must be friendly and polite to other people. Is she not afraid that being overly friendly will bring her rumours? She laughs: "I am not hugging and kissing people, showing basic manners should be no problem."


[Oriental Daily]

Not having made an appearance at TVB for a while, Liza Wang will be hosting the forthcoming "Cantonese Opera Challenge" and when she took part in the blessing ceremony for the show yesterday at TVB City, she appeared to be nursing a limp. She revealed that the infection in the ligament in her left knee had still not yet recovered, but she will still be wearing heels for the show because of her vanity.

As for being so important to TVB that she was invited out to dinner by General Manager Chan Chi Wan, she agrees that she was very honoured and that Mr Chan is the first person she has agreed to meet for dinner in this way, suggesting she is giving him respect. Liza says: "I have been with TVB for over thirty years and I treat myself as having a part of it, so hearing people constantly criticising the company makes me unhappy too."

Liza reveals that at the dinner meeting, Mr Chan explained to her the reasoning behind the job cuts and reduction in contracts, allowing her to have a greater understanding of the company and its difficulties. Mr Chan told her not to be unhappy about these things, showing how much importance they place on her opinion. Liza also praises Mr Chan for being very open and taking the lead in speaking to her. She feels that this is very important and says: "No matter what a person does, the most important thing is to listen to the opinions of the artistes. I have heard that this periods advertising revenue has improved and this is good, I do hope that the company will do well."

Also, one of the judges for the Cantonese opera competition Man Chin Shui feels that the contest is a little unfair because professional performers are allowed to enter alongside amateurs. To this, TVB have suggested that competitors should sing without music to show their true ability. The producer of the show Cheung Ka Ling indicates that TVB is only responsible for the production and the organisers are the Cultural Development Council. The point of the event is to promote Cantonese Opera and it should be treated as a sharing of experiences, so anyone interested should take part as it is not very formal.


[Oriental Daily & The Sun]

The two Thai stars of TVB's "Split Second" Chatchai and Sririta were in Hong Kong earlier to take part in some post-production work and were treated by some of their local co-stars to a seafood meal. Alex Fong also prepared to be the Ambassador for Tourism afterwards and took them on a tour of the Hong Kong sights.

However, Chatchai was very late arriving at the meal and after waiting for over an hour when he arrived, Alex pointed at his watch angrily and said to him in English: "Delay no more!", but Chatchai didn't understand him and just apologised, pressing his palms together in the traditional Thai gesture.

It turns out that when Chatchai and Sririta arrived, they immediately headed to TVB City for some dubbing work before checking in to their hotel. When they were accompanied by the producer to the event, they didn't realise that the others had been waiting for so long and were a little baffled by Alex's reactions, leaving the others such as Yoyo Mung, Patrick Tam and Marco Ng chuckling at his embarrassment. When Alex found out it was not their fault, he did the right thing and treated Chatchai to a few whiskies before calling girlfriend Mok Ho Yan to come and pick him up.


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