Wednesday, September 22, 2004

[Ta Kung Pao & Oriental Daily 23/09/04]

Rumoured couple Moses Chan and Bernice Liu took part as guests at the opening of a new fashion outlet yesterday, holding hands sweetly as they walked down the catwalk together. However, when the press asked them to do it again afterwards, they refused. Bernice said openly that they held hands because the organisers had asked them to do this, but there was no need to off the stage, but one of the PR team later indicated that they had only been asked to walk happily down the catwalk and not as Bernice had suggested to hold hands.

Talking of holding hands with Moses on stage, Bernice says that she did not mind it at all because they have filmed together in Australia before and also in the series "Blossoming Hearts", they played a dating couple that later got married. Now they are working together on "Healing Hands III", so she laughs that they are not dating, but just working together. This arrangement at the event was arranged via TVB as they are both managed by the company and it was a suitable job that fit in with their schedules with a reasonable fee. Bernice reckons that the company maybe liked her healthy image and she likes to wear more casual clothes. Does she feel that Moses suits these clothes too? She laughs that as he used to be a model, then he should be the one suggesting clothes to her.

With the mid-autumn festival soon approaching, Bernice says that she will be working on that day, but it holds little significance for her, especially as she grew up overseas, then only the Chinese New Year is celebrated and the other Chinese festivals are largely overlooked.

As for Moses, when he was asked about holding Bernice's hand, he laughed: "We were just working!" He says bluntly that this is their first commercial appearance since the rumours broke, but their fee has not risen as a result and is still the industry standard. He is also not worried that this will fuel the rumours and jokes: "If I am getting paid, then why not?" He also explains that the hand-holding was a requirement of the organisers and he had no reservations about it because he holds a professional attitude. What if they had asked them to kiss? He says that this would depend on the situation.

During the event, they had to select outfits for two children on the stage and at the end, they gave the kids a little kiss, at which point the host laughed: "Why don't the adults kiss too?" before commenting that the family of four was very cute and embarrassing them both a little. Afterwards, Moses said he did not mind because the company had arranged for them to appear as a couple and it was just a day at work for them. Talking of the good results for "War and Beauty", Moses smiles that hopes for even more improvement. Who will win the award for favourite female role this year? He says that all the female leads are very good, but if he had to choose, he would pick Sheren Tang because her character 'Yu Fei' is very devious and difficult to play well. As for the male leads, he says that this is a female orientated show, so there will be little breakthrough for the male leads.


[Ta Kung Pao & The Sun 23/09/04]

TVB's new series "Shine on You" gained first week ratings of 30 points average and 33 points maximum, breaking the first week ratings records for any series this year. A celebratory party was held yesterday, attended by cast members including Michael Tao, Kenix Kwok, Shirley Yeung, Roy Chow and Yu Chiu. Roy and Yu were willing to pose for press photos at the event, but just with their arms over each others shoulders and not holding hands. When the press joked about this Roy returned the comment saying: "Do we need to kiss as well?"

This was Michael's first series after returning to TVB and the good ratings have allowed him to breathe a sigh of relief. "Of course I am happy because the results are better than expected. At first we thought it would be in the twenties, but Kenix was always very confident and even during filming, she told me to relax. No matter what the future results will be, I have already decided I will be taking my wife on holiday to Shanghai in the middle of next month to celebrate our fourth anniversary." He says that he will be filming in Shanghai in December, but TVB is currently discussing a series with him that will begin filming in November, laughing that because he is greedy, he wants to do them both.

With her confidence all along, Kenix is especially pleased and when asked if she thinks the show will beat "War and Beauty", she says that the two shows are too different with a different viewer set, so it is difficult to compare them. She says: "The viewer base for the two shows is very different. One is very positive and suited for the students to discuss and the other is very political and supported by the housewives. One has high profile results and the other has low profile results." She believes however, that the ratings for "Shine" will continue to rise and reach an average of around 33 points. Is she looking to receive an award for this show? Kenix says that everyone would like to win an award, but this is all down to the combination of time, place and people.

Also, Shirley was just a guest star in the show, but she is happy with the good results. Before entering showbiz, Shirley studied at the Education College and although she was never a fully fledged teacher, she was happy to have the chance to play one in the show. With suggestions that the behaviour of Michael's teacher character in the show was crude and unrefined, Shirley says that there are many different methods of teaching, as long as he turns good at the end of the show then it is okay.


[Ta Kung Pao 23/09/04]

The China National Day Cultural Performance to be held on 2nd October has been confirmed as being produced by TVB at a press conference yesterday. The singers taking part in the show were also present, including Hacken Lee, Gigi Leung, Boyz, Deep Ng, Jade Kwan, Yumiko Cheng and Judi Wong. Joey Yung was not present as she had another engagement, but she will be performing on the night.

Looking at the list of acts for the evening, EEG stars take a third of the acts and TVB Variety and Sports Department Manager Wong Ka Leung indicates that the stars were not decided by the Chinese government, but by TVB. They first had to apply and if they were suitable, then there were discussions. Deep was chosen for his youthfulness and Hacken, Gigi and Joey will start the rundown by singing encouraging songs. Most of the songs will not be pre-recorded, unless there is a rigorous accompanying dance routine, where the recording will be a backup. Hacken has performed for the National Day celebrations on may occasions, but he is still very nervous each time because there are a lot of very powerful people watching him below the stage. He says: "Usually the National Day is very serious, but last year I tried to coax the audience into clapping to the beat and even Tung Chee Wah (Hong Kong Chief Executive) joined in and that made made me very happy."


[Ta Kung Pao 23/09/04]

The Miss Hong Kong goodwill tour of Taiwan headed to the Old Tofu Street in Bei Shen Kang yesterday when they tried the traditional food 'Smelly Tofu', but as there was an air raid practice at the time, they had to stay indoors and were not able to stand in the streets. However, they did not waste the time as they watched the process of making tofu inside the shop. Kate Tsui said: "I rarely eat Smelly Tofu but I did try it once in Shanghai. I am quite afraid of the smell, so I would never let my boyfriend eat it." Queenie Chu says she can accept it and Winnie Shum says: "My home is in the Mongkok area and there are a lot of Smelly Tofu stalls nearby, but I have never tried it before. After trying it this time, I find it is okay."

Kate indicates that she has experienced earthquake evacuation practices before in Japan and America and Winnie says that she has been in an earthquake back in Canada, which was quite an experience because she was not afraid until she saw the shaking of the cables in the street and realised it was an earthquake. Experiencing this practice was quite an event for them all.


[Ta Kung Pao 23/09/04]

With rumours brewing about the relationship between Maggie Cheung and Alice Tang, a magazine has recently revealed that when they went shopping, Alice bought Maggie an expensive watch. Maggie responded to this earlier when she took part in a movie premiere. She says that she will not take any notice in the reports from this magazine: "Sorry, the report was totally untrue and you can ignore it." When asked if this will affect their normal friendship, she says that of course it will not and she will not be unhappy about it. She laughs that she only found out about it after her friends told her and she just laughed it off.

When it was suggested by reporters that she may have less and less friends, Maggie smiles that maybe she has lost her husband as well. She insists that on that day, she did meet Alice to look at watches, because she has some expertise in them and this is a normal pastime. When asked if she is afraid these reports will stop men from courting her, Maggie says: "Why would you think that?" Maybe the reports of their closeness will give the message that she is homosexual? Maggie says that this is a magazine report and it is not the indication of what the public thinks.


[The Sun 23/09/04]

Currently being promoted by TVB, Sammul Chan appears to have developed a skin condition recently as many of his co-stars have noticed a number of white marks appearing on his skin, especially on his forehead, which he covers with a very thick layer of foundation and raising suspicions that he may have developed a pigmentation problem. Even two months earlier whilst filming for "Police Cadet Brave Hearts", colleagues had noticed that when he was not wearing make up, Sammul's skin showed areas of skin where the tone was a lot lighter than the surrounding area, firstly on his forehead and later in the neck area. Sammul seemed rather embarrassed about it, covering it with make up and responding to queries by saying it was just sweat marks. After this show finished filming, he immediately flew to Thailand to top up his tan.

Currently filming for new series "Courageous Kunlun", Sammul's marks do not seem to have gone away and as this problem seems to have persisted for a while, fellow cast and crew members are concerned for his condition. As a promoted star, his appearance is obviously of great importance and everyone is worried his progress will be hindered by this problem. It would appear that the troubles from "Police Cadet" are still not over, following from cast conflicts, car accidents and now this skin problem. When Sammul's manager Miss Chow was asked about the condition, she said directly: "You think he has a pigmentation problem? It is just sweat marks. He has already been to see the doctor and he was advised not to wear make up, but he cannot do this because he is filming at the moment, so when he finishes this in November, he will go for proper treatment."

Miss Chow continues: "I think it may have been because he was always filming out on location for 'Police Cadet' and the constant sunshine caused some injury to his usually fair skin, but this does not affect his work and he is working as normal." Sammul himself insisted that they were just caused by sweat and when asked if he was worried about it, he says: "Not at all, I have been to see the doctor and it is improving after taking medication."


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