Sunday, September 26, 2004

[Ta Kung Pao 27/09/04]

Former Miss Hong Kong winners Shirley Yeung and Anne Heung were invited by a motoring magazine to join their promotion yesterday. Shirley says that she has many years of driving experience and is fortunate to have not met with an accident yet, nor has she received any penalty points on her licence, but she has had some near misses. On one night at around three or four in the morning, she was driving home after work and because she was so tired, she drove into the opposite late. Luckily the oncoming driver noticed her and sounded the horn to warn her and wake her up. She says: "At the time I was very shocked because an accident takes just a moment to happen. (Why did you not ask your boyfriend to pick you up?) At the time it was very early in the morning and he needs to sleep, When I told him about it afterwards, he did offer to come and pick me up in the future, but I declined because I will do the things I can handle. He suggested to turn the music up in the future when I am tired or open a window to let some air in, otherwise it is very easy to fall asleep."

Shirley says that in the last year or so, her new licence meant she dare not drive around everywhere, so she just drove to work at TVB City and around the Mongkok and Tsimshatsiu area, not venturing up to the Peak because of the narrow roads, worried that her skills are not sufficient to negotatiate them. However, she has driven at high speeds before when she was rushing to work.

Anne has been on a break in the last few months, but she will be hosting the China National Day performances on October 2nd and 3rd. She says: "It is my birthday on 2nd October, but because I have never done a show as big as the National Day show and it will be airing live to the mainland, I hope that this will help with my popularity, so I decided to work on my birthday. (What has your boyfriend bought you?) I have not received it yet. (If he gives you a diamond ring, will you accept?) Rings are very ordinary presents and they shouldn't be given for birthdays!" As for birthday wishes, she hopes that she has more and more work and can make more money. This year is the second mid-autumn festival she will be spending with her boyfriend and they will be going moonwatching with some friends. When asked why they don't spend time alone with each other, she laughs: "We are often on our own together, moonwatching is more fun when there are more people around."


[Oriental Daily 26/09/04]

TVB's prime time viewing has stepped up a pace as "Shine on You" and "War and Beauty" both bring in good ratings and pave the way for the 37th Anniversary of the station in November. Many producers have been concerned about which series will be selected as the 'Anniversary Series', but reports indicate that Adam Cheng and Kwong Wa's "Proud Heroes of Chu and Han" and Nick Cheung and Sonija Kwok's "Wandering Medic Heroes" will take centre stage this year.

The first series "Proud Heroes" will begin airing on 25th October after "Shine on You" and TVB are ignoring the superstitions as they arrange for Adam's series to be the Anniversary Series, despite worries from investors about the 'Ding Hai Effect'. In response to this, Adam laughs: "Yes, you have to be careful, let me play the markets again and see if it works, but if it doesn't then it will be terrible!" However, Adam praises "Proud" as a good choice for the Anniversary Series because he says that his performance as the 'rogue emperor' Liu Bang is on a par as his character Chu Kam Chun in the classic comedy "Rogue Emperor" (Lau Man Wong Dai).

As for the second show, "Wandering Medics", this is to be confirmed as this will be aired after "War and Beauty" and "Split Second". As Nick is signed on a per series contract and is an 'outsider', he is pleased that his series is still in consideration for an Anniversary Series. He smiles: "What do you mean 'outsider'? I am part of the company if I make series for them, otherwise I would be stopped by security at the door!" When asked if he was happy about being selected, he jokes: "If the stage is 'hot' or not [Em: This is a play on words on 'toi hing' - anniversary, sounds like 'hot stage], then I am still happy. With the ratings so high lately, then I have no pressure. The success of 'War' is not down to luck, but the genre of 'Wandering' is not the same and with the location filming in Africa, then there will be some attractive elements."


[Oriental Daily & The Sun 27/09/04]

After appearing as the evil concubine 'Yu Fei' in TVB's epic "War and Beauty", Sheren Tang's popularity has taken a sharp turn upwards and the entertainment magazine show "Jade Starbiz" arranged for her to go and 'meet her public' yesterday, when she was very warmly welcomed by passers by.

Sheren was arranged to have an interview on the streets of Tsimshatsiu and Central and when members of the public passed by and called her by her character name, she would become possessed by Yu Fei, instructing everyone to pay her their respects as she gave them her trademark glare. At the time, Alex Fong (Lik San) was passing by and decided to join in the fun, so Sheren grabbed hold of him, asking if he was watching "War and Beauty". Alex replied: "I have watched it because I love the evil women!" Afterwards, Alex indicated that in the past when he dated girls, they would have an evil streak when they were being difficult and this is a challenge to men.

In another event later, Sheren indicated that she got on well with Maggie Cheung in the show, probably because they are both very direct. As a result, Maggie insults people easily and Sheren says she is aware that she needs to raise her EQ and improve her relationships with people. When asked if she felt confident about winning an award, she felt that this would be a bonus, but she has fed back that there should also be awards for the backstage crew to raise their morale as well. As for who she thinks will win the award, Sheren guesses it will be Ada Choi.

Also, in an online popularity vote of the characters from "War", at the time of print, there had been seven thousand votes cast and Sheren was unanimously voted as the best performance with over 40% of the votes. This was followed by Gigi Lai's "Yuk Ying" with 23%, Maggie Cheung's "On Sin" with 17%, Charmaine Sheh's "Yee Shun" received 13% of the vote with Rebecca Chan's Empress taking 6%.


With "War and Beauty" becoming a hot topic, the finale week kicks off tonigh where the conflicts between the four female leads reach white heat. Tonight's episode takes the show one step closer to the climax as Yuk Ying (Gigi Lai), Yee Shun (Charmaine Sheh) and Fuk Nga try to rescue Suen Pak Yeung (Bowie Lam) by giving themselves up to the Empress (Rebecca Chan), admitting that they were the ones that Suen was going to meet, but when Yee Shun goes to see the Empress, she sees that Yuk Ying has already saved her lover.

Another high point is where the Empress finds out that her informant is On Sin (Maggie Cheung) and to avoid losing the advantage, she just punishes Yuk Ying by making her repent. The Empress also invites On Sin to look at some pictures, where she hints that she is not a stupid person. Also, On Sin meets Hung Mo (Moses Chan) by chance and after an exchange, an excellent scene shows Hung's hatred for On Sin who is getting close to the Emperor purely for vengeance.


[Oriental Daily 27/09/04]


The final week of "War and Beauty" begins airing this evening and the focus of many viewers is on the sad ending for the show's suffering lovers Yuk Ying and Suen Pak Yeung. Screen lovers Gigi Lai and Bowie Lam take this scene through time and re-enact it for this report.

Gigi and Bowie's performances have been greatly praised in this series and they are hot favourites in the running for this year's anniversary 'favourite male and female lead' awards. They are both confident, with Bowie even laughing that if they both get an award, then they should get married as a symbol of the everlasting love between their characters!

As the viewers love these characters so much, Oriental Daily has asked Bowie and Gigi to re-enact their love scenes and when Bowie was hugging Gigi for the shoot, he couldn't help saying: "I really want to kiss her!" Then Gigi smiled and did not seem to have any repulsion to him.

When Gigi was asked to analyse the love affair between Yuk Ying and Suen, she says: "The type of guy that Suen is happens to be my perfect partner because he is very popular with the women, but he is not dirty. He is intelligent, refined, sophisticated and bold, with a good heart, so if there was a man like Suen in real life, then he would definitely touch my heart." Talking of Yuk Ying, Gigi criticises: "Yuk Ying gives the impression that she is a tigress, but she is just a pig inside and she is the most foolish out of all the noblepeople in the show, but she is lucky and has the help of a lot of people, so she does have her attraction."

Bowie on the other hand feels that Yuk Ying and Suen bring trouble on themselves: "Suen Pak Yeung has many ladies at his feet in the show: his wife Ho Suet, Heung Fau, Lady Fuk, Yee Shun and Yuk Ying, but he only loves Yuk Ying and his love for her is crazy and uncontrolled. When he gives his lover to the Emperor, he is very pained, but in real life, I would not be so generous."

Bowie's review on Gigi is of high regard: "In the past, I did not really watch much of her acting, so when the producer Chik Kei Yi mentioned that I would be pairing with Gigi, I did have a question mark over us, but when we came to work together, my eyes were opened because she is so talented and such a great actor. As for Charmaine and Maggie, their performance is more subtle and not as loud and open as Gigi, so they lose out somewhat. As a result, I think that Gigi will win the award."


[Oriental Daily & The Sun]

The current Miss Chinese International Linda Chung has been in showbiz for just six months, but as well as filming series and music videos, she has also been invited to do many advertisements and fashion shows to make some real money. Yesterday, she appeared at a wedding gown show and wore a wedding dress for the first time. She indicates that she had only rehearsed once before the show, so she was very nervous, but on the stage, she had the air and grace of a model and although she is no professional, she still smiled sweetly as well as looking into the camera lenses of the fans.

After the show, she revealed: "Maybe I am not used to wearing a wedding dress, so when I was going on stage before, I nearly fell over, but I was very happy during the show. (Are you used to getting changed backstage?) It's no problem, because when I took part in the beauty pageant, it was the same and as we are all girls then it is okay." When asked about her fee, she counted on her fingers and said: "It is very good, I received a five-figure sum for two shows. (Do you mind wearing low cut sexy dresses?) I wouldn't need to because everyone just wants to look pretty in wedding dresses and even if I wore a low cut dress, I may not be able to show it off to its best." Linda says she is single and that she would like to wear a white wedding dress when she gets married in a church. Her elder brother was present as her own personal photographer and she says: "He took some photos for me and will send them to my parents."


[Oriental Daily 27/09/04]

TVB's youth drama and sequel to "Hearts of Fencing" (tentatively titled "Prints on Red Sands") will not begin airing until Sunday, but when cast members Vivien Yeo, Monie Tung, Charles Szeto, Vin Choi and Yoyo Chan appeared at a promotional event yesterday, they already attracted quite a crowd to support them. To show their support for their idols, the fans were constantly calling out and there was a warm atmosphere. Although there were a number of Monie's fans there to support her song and dance on the stage, there were a few shouts of "Go Home!" from the crowd.

Afterwards, Monie indicated: "I did not hear them, I heard a lot of people call my name, so I am not unhappy about it because I know that a lot of people do like me and I will make myself do better." Monie says that she has taught her own fans to be courteous to other people because she feels that the fans reflect on the artistes and she goes on to praise her fans, saying they are very obedient.

As for Vivien, who takes a leading role, she only had very few fans at the event and she smiles: "I am not disappointed, to have supporters already makes me happy. This is the first time I have done a promotion in a shopping mall and I feel that the atmosphere is very electric." Earlier she fainted due to exhaustion and was rushed to hospital. She says: "I was too tired and was admitted to hospital, maybe my body has not had a chance to adapt, but the company and my colleagues treat me very well and my family may be coming over to Hong Kong from Malaysia soon to look after me."

Also, Charles Szeto reveals that he has signed a management contract with TVB and when asked if he has decided to enter the showbiz world fully, he says: "Not entirely, I am still swimming and would like to keep them going in parallel. I would most like to be able to take part in the 2006 Asian Games."


[The Sun 27/09/04]

Zuki Lee celebrated her birthday yesterday and the night before, she went with a group of friends to a private club in Central to celebrate. Those taking part included Sharon Chan, Sherming Yiu, Leung Suet Mei and Pang King Chi. The birthday girl had indicated that she just wanted to have some fun with her friends, so she was not bothered too much about a present. It could be seen that many of her friends really did not turn up with a gift with only Leung Suet Mei turning up with a present.

As for Sharon Chan, she arrived without wearing any make-up and said: "I have just returned from filming in Beijing and came here almost as soon as I got off the plane. I am giving her my whole self, so I don't need to buy her a present." As for birthday girl Zuki, she says: "I am very happy this year to be able to celebrate my birthday with forty good friends. My birthday wish is for my work to go well."


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